As the administration of US president Barack Obama works to relax a decades-old embargo on Cuba, shipping companies are evaluating how the warming of relations between the two countries will impact maritime trade.

The measures unveiled last month could have the most immediate impact on the dry bulk trade, as the US government is expected to make it easier to bring humanitarian cargoes to its island neighbour and to broaden the types of cargo that can make the trade.

But further easing could bring a variety of impacts to other sectors, with cruiseship operators, ferry-sector investors and the container liner business, among others, all potentially benefitting from further easing down the road.