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Marsoft Inc. is the world's largest independent advisory group focusing solely on the maritime industry.


Our primary focus is on providing expert, objective, and timely support for senior management in making investment, financing, and chartering decisions.


Our services are based upon quantitative analysis of market developments and sophisticated analysis of risk and financial performance.

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Market Data: 19Q4 released Nov. 2019        

Flagship: V1.7.1 released Feb. 2019

Next release: Feb. 2020

Marsoft Updates

Feb 14, 2020


Julia Zhan, Senior Business Development Specialist at Marsoft, will be joining the panel discussion,

Poseidon Principles – What it Means for Borrowers, Lenders….And the Shipping Industry


Marsoft is working with clients on their approach to the Poseidon Principles, for further information please contact one of our offices

Feb 11, 2020

Impact of Coronavirus

A brief comment from Kevin Hazel, Head of Marsoft’s Shipping Economics Team:


Marsoft’s  base case view is that the virus will have a significant impact on the Chinese economy for the next 3-4 months, before conditions return to normal in the second half of the year.

We see this having a significant negative impact on Chinese oil demand and imports in 20H1, with OPEC likely cutting production in response, so this is a clear negative for the tanker market.

On the dry bulk side, we see a modest negative impact for steel production.

Our Low Case sees a much worse coronavirus situation, lasting through all of 2020, and helping to push the global economy into recession during the second half of the year.


We will comment further on the coronavirus impact in our upcoming 20Q1 release, scheduled to come out later this month.

Jan 29, 2020

US-China trade deal has strong potential for LNGC tonne-mile boost

Hauke Kite-Powell, Head of Marsoft’s Gas Market Tanker Teams comments:

The Phase 1 trade deal between the US and China has the potential to boost LNGC tonne-mile demand.  But for now, it is only potential.  While China's import tariffs on US LNG remain in place, it is not likely that US LNG flows to China will rise significantly.  If China were to reduce or remove tariffs, and cover most of its 2020/21 uncontracted LNG demand from the US, this could increase lng tonne-mile demand by 3-4% over current trading patterns.

Jan 23, 2020

Will IMF get it right this time?

This week the IMF released an update showing a downward revision since its October projections. We are inclined to believe the IMF has got it right this time, as we now have a 2020 Sino-US détente to place our positive reasoning on.


The Sino-US trade conflict has arguably been the no. 1 culprit of the global economic slowdown over the last 18 months, and we cannot underestimate the importance of the newly signed phase one trade deal. No matter how minor this agreement may seem, even the temporary cessation of trade hostilities and tariff escalation could work wonders for global manufacturing, investment, business confidence and trade.


In fact, we could end up seeing the opposite of what happened last year, when the global economy was just a hop, skip, and jump away from falling into a recession – if the preliminary 2019 figures from the IMF are correct, that is.

Jan 14, 2020

Fuel Prices Jump As IMO 2020 Is Implemented

As the new year began, fuel prices were boosted by the implementation of the IMO 2020 regulations, which shifted some 80-90% of bulkers and tankers from high sulfur fuel oil (HSFO) to 0.5% very low sulfur fuel oil (VLSFO). Despite assurances from analysts and refiners that VLSFO supplies would be ample, the VLSFO vs HSFO premium, or differential, jumped from $250 per tonne in November to an average of $300 per tonne by the end of December, and in early January it topped $350 per tonne in some ports, most notably in Singapore.

The shift in fuels has raised voyage costs significantly. While nearly all ships were burning HSFO in 2019, at an average price of less than $400 per tonne, most ships must now burn VLSFO, at an average of price of $670 per tonne (as of early January).

Meanwhile, what is clear from the widening VLSFO/HSFO price differential is that scrubber investments are currently paying off big time! For VLCCs with a scrubber, we estimate that they are saving $20,000 per day in fuel costs vs. ships without a scrubber, leading to a premium in net earnings equal to this amount (subject to negotiation with the charterer), while Suezmaxes with a scrubber are seeing a $12,000 per day premium, and Aframaxes are earning $9,000 per day extra. On the product tanker side, MRs with scrubbers are currently seeing a $7,000 per day premium.

In the dry sector, for Capes with a scrubber, we estimate that they are earning a $10,000 per day premium vs. ships without a scrubber, while Panamaxes with a scrubber are seeing a $5,500 per day premium, and Supramaxes are earning nearly $5,000 per day extra. 

But these premiums are expected to shrink over the next couple of years, as the VLSFO/HSFO price differential is seen falling from more $300 per tonne in 20Q1 to $250 per tonne by 20Q4, and to just $150 per tonne by the end of 2021, as shown in the chart below. Accordingly, the VLCC scrubber premium is projected to fall to just over $9,000 per day by the end of 2021, while the Cape earnings premium is projected to fall to $4,500 per day.

Jan 08, 2020

The US/Iran

With the recent escalation in tensions between the US and Iran has come questions surrounding potential disruptions in oil supplies. While the conflict could have a significant impact on oil prices and cause them to rise sharply, which in turn could disrupt the global economy, Marsoft currently views the probability of this happening as relatively small.


These developments, along with the first implementation of IMO 2020, are among the topics we explore  in our forthcoming Marsoft eBriefs, out later this week.


For further information please contact one of our offices.

Dec 17, 2019

Tariffs Update

On December 13th, 2019, China and the US officially confirmed that the two countries reached a “phase-one” Trade Agreement. Both countries still need to go through legal steps and set a time for signing the deal. Details of the deal were not announced. However, Donald Trump tweeted the same day that the two sides had agreed “to a very large Phase One Deal,” adding that the 25% tariffs on Chinese imports would remain but that the 15% levies on other goods would be cut in half. Meanwhile, the Chinese have agreed to buy US agricultural products in 2020 (according to some reports worth up to $50 billion), thus satisfying Mr. Trump’s request to support US farmers, an important constituency of his, and they also agreed to some other concessions.

Significantly a new round of US tariffs on $160 billion worth of Chinese consumer goods slated to go into effect on December 15th will be scrapped. While previously imposed taxes had targeted primarily industrial goods, the levies set to take effect in mid-December were to target important consumer products. The US consumer had previously been spared from tariffs, while enacted levies had seen to US industrial output contracting in recent months. With consumer demand accounting for 70% of the US GDP, one could easily see that the December tariffs would have weighed on US economic growth in 2020.

The significance on the global economy of the December duties not taking effect cannot be overstated. These tariffs would not only slow down the Chinese and the US economy, but would help sink the global economy into a recession: The financial and equity markets and international businesses had all bought into the view that the two sides were converging to a mini-agreement. Global manufacturing expanded once more in November after contracting for six months in a row, global employment edged higher as businesses started hiring again and consumer goods output expanded at the fastest pace in nearly 2 years – global industrial output is still down (so far, industrial production has been affected by tariffs the most). If the two sides had failed to come together and new levies had been imposed in December, international markets would have moved from jubilation to trepidation. This would have been the worst blow on global manufacturing and trade seen during the last 20 months. This was also the main premise of Marsoft’s November Low Case which presumed a 2020 global recession in the aftermath of a breakdown in Sino-American trade talks.

Instead, the announcement last Friday, December 13th, gives credence to our November Base Case, which assumed that the mid-December tariffs will not take effect and that the two countries will reach a phase-one mini-agreement by January 2020. Furthermore, our Base Case assumed that China and the US will continue talks throughout 2020 and gradually agree to further roll-back of already imposed tariffs (of note, Chinese officials did say today that the US agreed to remove tariffs in stages).

Uncertainty relating to the escalation in the Sino-American trade war has negatively impacted global business confidence and investment, compromised world manufacturing and trade and seen to a large correction in global economic growth (from 3.6% in 2018 to 3.0% or 2.9% this year). Signs of a thaw in November allowed for a reversal in downward trends in business confidence, investment and manufacturing. A signing of a Phase One agreement in the near term should provide a significant boost on global economic and trade growth including the containership markets.

If you would like to discuss any of these or related issues please contact one of our offices.

Dec 16, 2019

VLGC Rates update

EIA’s weekly report quotes soaring US propane production and exports, and if this kind of strong growth continues Marsoft expects it to support High Case scenario VLGC rates through this winter and into 2020.

For further information on Marsoft’s latest LPG scenarios as detailed in our VLGC market report contact us at one of offices – we will always be happy to discuss further.

Nov 27, 2019


Kevin Hazel, head of Marsoft’s shipping economics team, notes that although no progress has been made on the trade war front the shipping markets have been anything but dull.

Crude tanker rates went sky-high in October driven in large part by the ban on companies with ships trading with Iran - spot rates have since come back to earth.  Other indicators remain strong and we expect the market to remain buoyant in the short term.

After a robust third quarter, dry bulk spot rates fell back significantly in early November, with Cape rates remaining relatively firm.  Looking ahead, we expect a mild pullback in 2020. 

Despite the worsening macroeconomic environment charter rates for large containerships are at four and half year highs, benefitting from an ever-increasing number of liner-operated vessels idled for scrubber retrofitting.  Our updated 5-year outlook will soon be available to outline longer-term prospects, as will our updated gas tanker market analysis.     

With the IMO 2020 deadline now just 6 weeks away, concerns about the availability of 0.5% sulfur fuel have largely dissipated, and the differential between the price of this fuel and conventional fuel is expected to average $235/tonne over the course of 2020, based on forward markets. Another noteworthy development has been the relatively low level of ordering in most shipping sectors so far this year. We attribute the slowdown to uncertainty about what the ‘fuel of the future’ will be. Of course, the longer that ordering stays low, the more likely it is that shipowners should be able to enjoy a relatively prolonged period of healthy earnings.

For further details on Marsoft’s approach and our shipping markets outlook do get in touch via one of our offices or on twitter.  


Marsoft produces regular market reports and risk analysis to guide our clients with an objective and independent viewpoint.

Nov 19, 2019

Live seminar: A Carbon Tax for Shipping: Theory and (Possible) Practice

Wednesday, November 20th, 2019 from 1:30-2:30pm (EST)

to be live streamed here.

Arlie Sterling: President of Marsoft 

Hauke Kite-Powell, Head of Gas Tanker Research, Marsoft

with MIT Sea Grant College Program

A tax on carbon emissions is widely perceived (by economists) as the most efficient way to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the costs of climate change.  We will briefly review the structure of integrated assessment models of climate and the economy, and show how these models determine a socially optimal climate policy (emission reduction path) and the social cost of carbon. Application of the framework to guide research into the capacity of the oceans to absorb carbon will be described.


The shipping industry accounts for approximately 3% of global carbon emissions, roughly equivalent to the carbon emissions by Germany. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has set a goal of at least a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from shipping by 2050 and a complete decarbonization as soon as possible thereafter.  A “carbon levy” on bunker fuel could contribute to that goal and the concept has recently been endorsed by influential owners, charterers, and banks. The proposals will be reviewed along with the considerations (including speed reduction) motivating the specific recommendations. 

Nov 19, 2019

MARSOFT quarterly reports and market data updates released

Marsoft’s latest FLAGSHIP update as well as Dry Bulk Market and Tanker Market Reports for the 4th quarter 2019 have been distributed.  The Container Market Report and LNG/LPG Tanker Market Reports will be issued shortly. 


For further information on our publications and all our services please contact one of our offices or get to us via Twitter

Nov 15, 2019

Marsoft sees Container Global Volumes expanding by 2.5% in 2019.

Costas Bardjis, Head of the Containership Market Researchat Marsoft comments:

"Even though European import volumes (especially from Asia) are very strong this year, Marsoft’s base case view shows a slowdown in US imports:  we expect only +1.5% growth in 2019.


Furthermore, we see volumes in the Transpacific Eastbound main lane (Asia to the US) contracting in 2019 by 1%, registering the first decline since 2019.


Looking at the trade to GDP multiplier, it is of course not a new phenomenon that it is below 1, and as can be seen in this table showing the ratio of trade to GDP it was 0.5 back in 2015, a very poor year on the trade front.  Marsoft expects the multiplier to be closer to 0.8 in 2019.


It seems clear from recent developments that the trade war does have an impact on global trade.  Nevertheless, we expect global volumes to expand by 2.5% in 2019."


Our next market update is out shortly. 


We are always happy to discuss these issues so please contact us via one of our offices.

Nov 12, 2019

Reflections and Impressions on last week’s Global Maritime Forum in Singapore.

Marsoft’s Arlie Sterling attended the Global Maritime Forum in Singapore and will share his reflections and impressions on developments and implications for the world in a super-informal, conversational gathering at the Marine Money 20th Annual Ship Finance Forum in NYC on 12-Nov.

“A maritime green fund could accelerate decarbonization in shipping, support scaling and infrastructure to deliver new fuels, while taking into consideration the impact on trade and developing states,” said BW Group Chairman Andreas Sohmen-Pao, who helped shape the plan.

GMF has supported the development of the Poseidon Principles and, more recently, the Getting to Zero Coalition, both of which were also focused on.

To register, and/or for information on membership, please contact:

Mike McCleery at mikemccleery@marinemoney.com

Nov 12, 2019

Marine Money New York - November 13th 2019

The Poseidon Principles


Julia Zhan, Senior Business Development Specialist at Marsoft will be interviewed by Greg Chase, Partner at Reed Smith


The Poseidon Principles provide a framework for integrating climate considerations into lending decisions to promote international shipping and decarbonization – but what does that mean for borrowers, lenders and the professionals who support ship finance transactions?


To register for this forum contact MikeMcCleery@marinemoney.com

About the 20th Annual Marine Money Finance Forum

Nov 11, 2019

A Quick Guide to the Poseidon Principles

Marsoft and UMAS co-authored “A Quick Guide to the Poseidon Principles” for the latest Marine Money Magazine. UMAS is a world leader in providing decarbonisation solutions for maritime shipping. It co-authored the Poseidon Principles (PPs) in collaboration with the UCL Energy Institute and led the IMO’s 3rd GHG study. Marsoft has successfully forecasted and helped clients manage past shipping cycles. Both Marsoft and UMAS believe the PPs will catalyze a Green New Cycle in shipping, and aim to help stakeholders capture the climate wealth to be created in this cycle.

Nov 06, 2019

Global Maritime Forum - Singapore

SINGAPORE - Arlie Sterling, President of Marsoft, the world’s largest independent maritime advisory service, was a participant at the recent Global Maritime Forum in Singapore.

Decarbonization was a fundamental theme of the forum and one key outcome was the endorsement by the GMF of a carbon levy for shipping. Leading owners, charterers and banks have recommended that the IMO take the necessary steps to impose a carbon levy on bunker purchase. The proceeds of the levy would be to fund R&D, de-risking first movers, and the upstream investments, necessary to provide the new fuels required to decarbonize the industry. The specific levy proposed amounted to $30/tonne of bunkers in 2020 rising to $100/tonne by 2030.

The likely impact of the industry’s decarbonization initiatives and carbon levy will emerge later in 2020; in particular whether ships more than 10 years old will depreciate more rapidly than historically observed. There was widespread discussion that the decarbonization/carbon levy initiatives could slow the pace of ordering until the net zero carbon “fuel of the future” was identified. LNG is likely to be getting a lot of interest because it is so cheap and because the cost of the incremental dual fuel capability (for large ships) has fallen so much.

We are happy to discuss all these issues with you by email, phone and twitter – just get in touch!

Oct 31, 2019

Uncertainty still surrounding the impacy of Cosco ban on VLCC earnings

There is still uncertainty surrounding the impact of the COSCO ban on VLCC earnings. We are continuously updating our models to reflect current market events, and here we show expected rate sensitivity for two cases: one where the COSCO ban remains in effect, and one where the ban is lifted by Q1 next year.

How sensitive do you believe rates will be to a ban remaining in place? Get in touch with us to discuss!

By Megan Kennedy - Marsoft Analyst

Oct 18, 2019

Marine Money - Athens

Hauke Kite-Powell, head of Marsoft's gas tanker markets team, gave a thought-provoking presentation at Marine Money in Athens on Tuesday.  He then went on to moderate a spirited panel discussion of leading LNG tanker owners.  They briefly discussed emissions and LNG as a bunker fuel, acknowledging the challenge of decarbonisation for the whole industry, not just for owners. You can view his presentation, "LNG Shipping and LNG Fuel: A Shifting Landscape" here.

Oct 18, 2019

Shipping Insights - Stamford, Ct.

Arlie Sterling gave Marsoft’s views about the shipping markets of the future at the ShippingInsight conference in Stamford on 17th October.  Arlie discusses the key concerns of the current market and then the spotlight increasingly falls on decarbonization.  You can see his presentation, Shipping Markets of the Futurehere.

Oct 14, 2019

Marsoft took a group of Norwegian students to the MIT Sea Grant Design Lab

Marsoft and the MIT Sea Grant Design Lab hosted students and faculty from the Oslo Handelsgymnasium, one of the largest high schools in Oslo, Norway, on October 16th.  The students were part of an intensive program integrating training in programming with a rigorous science, technical, and mathematics curriculum.

Professor Chrys Chryssostomidis, head of the MIT Sea Grant Design Lab, observed “The visit was a wonderful way to introduce the Oslo Handelsgymnasium students to MIT – the lab experience plus discussion of research illustrated MIT’s “mind and hand” learning approach.”

Arlie Sterling, President of Marsoft Inc., commented: “The MIT/Marsoft decarbonization in shipping research program is intended to identify and take advantage of opportunities to quickly reduce carbon emissions from shipping.  The visitors had a chance to see the close links between the laboratory and the business of shipping.”

“We really appreciate the opportunity to learn more about MIT and the shipping business.  And the projects presented by Professor Chryssostimidis are a great way for our students to participate in important research relevant for the environment and business” commented Vigdis Oskarsdottir, faculty leader for the visit to MIT.

MarineTraffic provided vessel tracking videos for the program.

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