Another positive year for International Group, says chairman

In IG P&I’s just-published annual review 2016-17, chairman Hugo Wynn-Williams reported “another positive year”, with an increase in group-entered tonnage, a reduction in both the volume and severity of reported pool claims, “and a fourth year of significant savings in the cost of the Group reinsurance purchase”.

However, Wynn-Williams conceded that challenging markets were persisting. “There have been, and are, signs of improvements in some vessel sectors, but surplus capacity continues to dampen any significant improvement in freight rates”, he said. He also reported that there was some cause for optimism to be derived from the significant growth in 2016 in global seaborne trade, with Clarksons reporting that the volume of trade added in 2016 matched the historical high levels of the boom years of the 2000s. “The annual rate of growth is now settling to around 2-3% and 2016 saw a respectable recovery in the dry bulk sector after a very poor performance in 2015”, Wynn-Williams said.

Group-entered tonnage rose by just under 4%, remaining at about 90% of the world’s fleet, just over 1.1bn gt.

Wynn-Williams said that, even though IG P&I probably had the widest representation of the world’s shipowner interests, there was still in many quarters a limited understanding of the role and scope of engagements undertaken by the Group on behalf of its member clubs’ shipowner, operator and charterer interests. The Group had therefore commissioned a market research exercise, which is currently in process, with a view to establishing areas where efforts can be targeted in raising levels of understanding and appreciation of the role, functions and engagements of the Group, and ways in which the Group might enhance the services it provides and the benefits it delivers on behalf of shipowners.

Insurance Marine News will be covering the report in greater depth in coming days.