The State of Sea Travel during the Pandemic

shipping vessel

The pandemic has affected all sorts of industries worldwide. One of the most affected industries is the transportation sector, specifically sea travel. Many are lacking the means to go to cruise ships or use their yachts because of quarantine protocols. Furthermore, the fishing industry is suffering from the same curse.

Sea travel is relatively common in the US, and it’s connected to the logistics sector and many other industries such as fishing and tourism. However, because of quarantine protocols, sea travel has been limited to primary logistics. That is why the cruise ship industry is currently suffering immensely from the pandemic.

Cruise Ship Industry

The cruise industry was huge years before the pandemic hit. It was netting billions of dollars annually and was one of the best tourist choices by most Americans. That all changed when the pandemic hit.

Now, the cruise industry is a former shadow of what it had been. The industry’s revenue has decreased by a staggering 87%, pushing the industry into survival mode. As a result, growth in the sector is negligible, and many companies are forced to lay off many of their workers. Furthermore, some cruise ships are planned to be decommissioned because of increased maintenance costs. However, there is hope that the industry can rebuild once again.

Currently, the industry is implementing safe travels within their ships, limiting their capacity by 70%, and only allowing fully vaccinated people or those that have tested negative for the virus to be a part of their travel. The limited capacity will certainly reduce the revenue coming from each trip, but it’s better than not operating at all.

The industry is also planning to look into other opportunities that can help them increase revenue, but it’s still a long way before they can fully rebuild the sector to its former glory.

The Marine Vehicle Cleaning Sector

During the start of the pandemic, only very few people used their cars. This means that it can be tough for people to find some vehicle cleaning services because people have abandoned the sector. However, certain services, especially for marine vehicles such as yachts are booming, because many are currently stationary in piers.

Stationed marine vehicles in piers can lead to barnacles sticking on the hull of the ship. This can lead to fast depreciation of not taken off or cleaned properly. Yacht hull cleaning services are now fairly common, as most yacht owners want to maintain their expensive investments. Furthermore, some are capitalizing on such a service, especially part-timers.

Marine vehicles such as yachts, fishing boats, and others are prime targets for the sector right now, as cruise ships aren’t a real option. In addition, many people who have lost their jobs or want to gain extra income have entered the industry because of the growing demand. But it can be risky because demand might fall once the pandemic has subsided and people return to their normal lives.

fishing boats

The Fishing Economy

The pandemic has disrupted fisheries’ supply and demand chain since it hit the country last year. There are two main troubles for the industry, the first of which is the lack of demand.

Many fisheries don’t know what to do with the lack of demand for fish, and certain areas have increased demands, but they can’t reach it due to quarantine restrictions. This back and forth leads many fisheries to scratch their heads because they have not encountered such a problem before. Another main trouble is cold storage.

Cold storage is expensive, especially if what you have are perishable such as fish. Many fisheries are now forced to invest in additional cold storage because of the lack of demand, which leads to increased expenses. This is problematic for smaller fisheries that rely on supplying the already established supply chain a couple of years ago.

There are some hopes that the economy will recover sooner than later. Many fisheries are hoping that they’ll at least have the demand they had before the pandemic.

Logistics

Lastly, is the logistics industry. Well, suffice to say, the logistics industry isn’t affected as much compared to others in this article. There is still a dire need for materials and products worldwide, and the logistics industry can’t stop just because a pandemic is happening. However, earlier this year, there was an event that led to billions of dollars wasted: the blockage in the Suez Canal.

The blockage of the Suez Canal has pushed marine travel to a staggering halt. It has cost the industry nearly a trillion dollars, and the effects of such a disaster are still being experienced today. But overall, the pandemic hasn’t affected the logistics industry aside from strict quarantine procedures for workers.

Overall, depending on the sector you are looking at, the pandemic has different effects on sea travel. Tourism sea travel such as the cruising industry has received a serious blow, but the logistics sector is mostly left unharmed by the pandemic. There is hope that sea travel will soon be back to normal, and hopefully, other sectors in the industry may recover from this.

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