In a Providence Journal op-ed, shipping expert Richard DeSimone, president of Travelers Ocean Marine, argues that the U.S. shipping industry will continue to grow even during the current economic downturn:

The economic storm signals signals are all around us: the wild swings in stock markets globally, the contraction of credit availability worldwide and the frequent use of the dreaded R-word. Is the United States headed for a deep recession? Is a recession already under way? Will the slowing U.S. economy drag the rest of the world’s countries into recession as well?It’s enough to make those of us either in or aligned with the maritime industry wonder what the future holds. Should we batten down the hatches, yet proceed full speed ahead to ride out what may be a temporary squall? Or should we be looking for the shelter of a safe harbor until the worst of the storm passes?

In the insurance industry, we have confidence about what lies ahead for the shipping industry. That’s largely because we’re used to assessing risk and taking a long perspective that smooths the bumps of short-term disruptions. One large trend (globalization) and two sets of statistics (U.S. exports and shipbuilding rates) are enough to give us optimism about the maritime industry overall, and shipping in particular.

Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State, and if we properly protect and promote our ports we can directly benefit from continued growth in the shipping industry.

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