Setting a new course for shipping clients

A major consulting project completed by Moore Stephens suggests that shipping companies are beginning to look to the future once more and considering their strategic options.

The recently completed strategic review, undertaken for a Moore Stephens shipping client based in the Middle East, focused on its strategy over the next 10 years.

“We were engaged to review the strategy for its business in the widest possible sense,” says Phil Cowan, shipping partner and head of Corporate Finance at Moore Stephens. “This project was notable not only for its scope, but also as an indicator that shipping businesses are looking forward once again. As well as continuing to deal with the problems of the past, they are now considering their strategic options for the future as well.”

Moore Stephens’ remit was extensive, looking beyond core financials to include global trade and market outlook, operational performance, including organisation structure and operating cost efficiency. “We looked at options for investments going forward in terms of the most appropriate types of ships given the existing vessel profile, and the suitability of new or second hand vessels,” Phil says. “We also considered the regulatory landscape in terms of requirements concerning the installation of ballast water management systems and emissions control issues. The need to comply with new regulations can have a major impact on ship investment decisions.”

In order to complete such a substantial management consultancy exercise, the Moore Stephens team needed to draw on its deep knowledge of and experience in the shipping industry. For example, when considering the client’s operating costs, the Moore Stephens team made effective use of the firm’s OpCost database. “We drilled down into the detail to make sure we could benchmark the client’s vessel base as accurately as possible, against specific ship profiles rather than a general shipping categories,” Phil says.

Moore Stephens delivered its report to the client earlier this year. “Our work was very well received,” Phil notes. “From a sector perspective, however, this project is particularly notable not only because of its substantial scope, but also because of its focus on the future, and not just the difficulties arising from the industry’s troubled past.”


Phil Cowan
Richard Greiner

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