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The shipowners’ cry for help

Germany: shipping about to collapse

by Port News Editorial Staff

German shipowners fear the sector will collapse. This was disclosed by the German Shipowners’ Association (VDR) in a survey published this morning, which highlights how the Coronavirus has brought strategic sectors such as cruise ships and ferries to their knees.

The Association interviewed a sample of 50 shipping companies. A gloomy picture emerges in March and April alone, earnings fell by an average of 30-40%. 44% of the interviewees reported substantial liquidity problems.

“Almost all areas of the industry segment are being heavily impacted (by the Pandemic),” says VDR Chairman Alfred Hartmann, and the outlook for the future is certainly not rosier: “If production and consumption worldwide do not recover soon, then the consequences of the pandemic could be far more severe than the financial crisis.”

Hartmann therefore calls on the government to take appropriate support measures, including the KfW ( the Credit Institute for Reconstruction).

“As most German shipping companies are small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), they face extinction without effective support”, concluded VDR leading figure, who called for additional tax burdens to be avoided.

Translation by Giles Foster

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