Can Atalay: Uncertainties in Regulations may Challenge the Sector

The webinar “The world is changing. What about the supply chain?” organized by Disyonder, a Turkish association for international trade, has been held with the participation of Can Atalay, CEO of Arkas Line. During the webinar, Atalay has stated that he does not expect a decrease in freight rates soon and added that there may be significant problems in the maritime sector due to some uncertainties in regulations.

Having attended the webinar “The world is changing. What about the supply chain?” that was organized by Disyonder, Can Atalay has given insight into the future of maritime transport and expectations thereof. Atalay has said that he analyzed both the short- and long-term future of the maritime sector, explaining that in the short term, the current state will continue until the middle of 2023 and that a significant decrease in freight rates is not anticipated. Pointing out that there is no competition in the industry anymore, Atalay has stated that he does not expect container prices to decline to pre-2020 levels. Adding that many companies went bankrupt or had to merge due to low freight rates, Atalay continued: “While the market share of the top 10 shipowners was 63% in 2010, this rate increased to 83% in 2021. As shipowners are also entering the logistics sector, there is a risk that the competitive environment in road transport may also fade away.

Reminding that large-scale vessel orders will be given to the fleets as of 2023, Atalay has emphasized that the activity of ports is of importance. During his speech Atalay said that “Shipowners will balance the freight, as long as containers are kept at ports”, and clarified the reasons why the thesis that ‘container production in Turkey may increase imports’ is wrong.  According to Atalay, another significant factor is regulations. Explaining that the Green Deal will be effective as of January 2023, Arkas Line CEO Can Atalay has underlined that the expected amount of investment, which will be made within the deal in the entire maritime sector, is around 1.3 trillion dollars. He continued: “The vessels must be changed, but there are uncertainties about which fuel to use. Considering that vessel investments are long-term investments, then 2030 and 2050 are included in the regulation. If you do not comply with the regulation, you cannot enter ports. Therefore, shipowners will keep the freight rates at a certain level to make these investments.”