While wasting too much time down a social media rabbit hole the other day I came across the best line about shipping that I’ve heard for a long, long time.

A LinkedIn connection relayed how his father always said that when shipowners start explaining to the world how great shipping markets work and begin predicting extended booms, it’s time to run for the hills because they have already run to the yards. “They are the most suicidal individuals on Earth,” the Norwegian commented.

It is often indeed the case that shipowners do shoot themselves in the foot, however this time round – at least on the dry bulk front – there is little of the hubris you had the last time the market fired up in the first decade of the century.

There is still so much caution out there, everyone looking for the whole thing to go wrong. The last brutal decade for bulk earnings has changed temperaments.

You just need to look at the period to spot spreads in bulk, it tells you all you need to know. Period charters are being done at big discounts to spot rates, almost historically large spreads.

There is clear caution among the big industrial carriers about where the markets are heading. It’ll likely to take through to Q2 next year for that caution to dissipate, and that will be the moment where the market begins to become dangerous.