The board of the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) met last week and subsequently called on EU member governments and Brussels to adopt a targeted rescue and recovery plan for the maritime sector, which it said was heading close to collapse from the strains brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.
ECSA president Claes Berglund said that “European shipping has reached a breaking point. On the surface, trade continues to flow. Below the surface, our crews are being challenged enormously.”
ECSA said in that the current unprecedented crisis required unprecedented reaction.
Berglund, who is a director at Stena, said that financing had to be kept open for shipping companies in order for them to cope with immediate liquidity problems. These would help avoid redundancies, refinance, suspend or extend loans.
Berglund said that “without the authorities and banks stepping in on this, many companies will not survive the crisis and Europe’s share of global shipping is going to plunge,”.