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"Our results reflect our resilience, agility, and market leadership as we provide integrated advice, intelligence and services to clients, helping them to make better decisions in increasingly complex times."

Andi Case

Chief Executive Officer

2023 was a year of disruption in the maritime markets and I am enormously proud of, and grateful to, my colleagues across the business, who have together achieved another record year. Seaborne trade has continued to grow, and the increase in shipping demand has been exacerbated by tonne-mile impact arising from a variety of disruptions, be they climate or geo-political-related. Our results reflect our resilience, agility, and market leadership as we provide integrated advice, intelligence and services to clients, helping them make better decisions in increasingly complex times.

We have highlighted the impact of supply and demand dynamics in the shipping industry for the past few years, and the supply side remains tight in most sectors. Shipbuilding capacity is limited, the cost of building new vessels has risen with increased input costs, and financing is expensive. The green transition and the need for alternate-fuelled ships has exacerbated the squeeze, with owners being hesitant to commit to newbuilds while uncertainty remains about which fuelling technology to move forward with. As a result, the average age of the global fleet is increasing. The global fleet grew by just 3% during the year, and the global orderbook, which is still only 12% of the fleet, is highly skewed towards container and gas in the near term, which is likely to result in constraints for other markets.

Demand-supply dynamics have supported various growth drivers including global seaborne trade, increased complexity in the energy supply chain, global economic growth and rising global energy consumption. Climate, environmental issues and the green transition have played a part here too. Vessels are being run at reduced speeds to lower emissions as corporates and consumers intensify their scrutiny on carbon emissions, and reduced water levels in the Panama Canal have slowed the passage of ships through the waterway and forced many to take alternative, longer routes. The inclusion of shipping in the EU’s ETS has created even greater demand for vessels, both now and for the future, which meet the requirements of both customers, who are demanding more carbon-efficient journeys, and the regulators.







"It is in times such as these that the shipping industry has to adapt to meet new challenges."



The Broking division had another successful year. Energy shipping led the way, with gas, tankers specialised products, offshore and car carriers all experiencing strong conditions and dry bulk and containers freight rates rallying later in the year.

As global trends evolve, Clarksons’ strategy to invest in all areas of shipbroking has ensured that we are able to support our clients across both mainstream and more niche markets, in every vertical. Within the car carrier market, electric vehicle manufacturers and their customers are increasingly requiring carbon-neutral delivery of both components and end products, and Clarksons’ expertise in the green transition has enabled us to assist our clients’ investment into this important market.

The offshore sector has seen a recovery this year as global disruption to energy supplies has created a buoyant market in which increased utilisation rates have led to a supportive rate environment. When Clarksons acquired RS Platou in 2015, we became the world’s largest offshore broker with a team of unrivalled scale and expertise in the marketplace. This market-leading position now optimally positions us to capitalise on the sector recovery in 2024 and beyond as long-term targets for energy security, offshore supply and renewable energy are becoming increasingly important.

The sale and purchase team had another very successful year as demand for secondhand vessels was high, and we delivered strong newbuilding activity within the Group. Clarksons’ market-leading global teams and analysts have again assisted our clients with their strategy and execution.

Segmental profit before taxation from Broking was £121.2m, up £3.6m over the year, with a margin of 23.5%.



The Financial division had a more challenging year as the real estate sector and global capital markets remained quiet. Many clients in shipping have taken advantage of the markets to pay down debt, however the team has been involved in most of the sizeable transactions in the shipping industry and continues to develop and evolve its offering to meet clients’ needs. The Financial division plays a critical role in Clarksons’ integrated offering for clients and secures Clarksons’ position as the only full service provider in the sector.

The Financial division produced a segmental profit before taxation of £6.6m in 2023, compared with £7.8m in 2022.



The Support division in the UK, EU and Egypt had an excellent 12 months as its agency, customs clearance, canal transit and Gibb Group, its PPE and safety & survival supplier, all performed very well. Clarksons Port Services acquired DHSS early in 2023. This business is now fully integrated and has exceeded management’s expectations at the time of the acquisition. Investment in office and warehouse facilities in Aberdeen has introduced new technology and capacity, enabling us to serve more clients and work more efficiently.

The Support division produced a segmental profit before taxation of £6.4m and a 11.3% margin in 2023 (2022: £5.0m and 12.8%).



Clarksons Research is renowned as the standard bearer across the industry, with the division delivering proprietary data to both our teams and our clients to enable better decision-making. The quality of the team’s unparalleled analysis and understanding of global megatrends and trade complexities, including the green transition, energy transition and fleet evolution, has resulted in recurring revenues in excess of 85% as clients seek consistently high-quality data and commentary to manage their business decisions.

The division increased segmental profit before taxation by 20.0% to £8.4m (2022: £7.0m).



We are very pleased with the progress the Sea platform has made this year as regulation, risk requirements and increasing trade complexities have led clients to seek improved governance and efficiencies in their contract management. Our investment in Sea has created an opportunity from this market trend. Revenue, both one-off and recurring, has increased, and the volume of contracts fixed on the platform continues to rise. We acquired MarDocs and brought Recap Manager back into the business over the period, further accelerating Sea’s progress in digitising and managing chartering workflows from pre-fixture negotiation to at-fixture documentation.



The business today is a reflection of two decades’ investment in our strategy, and we are confident in our outstanding team, our breadth of market-leading services, our technologies and our geographic reach to meet the growing needs of our clients in a world which is evermore complex. We nurture long-term relationships with clients and we have built a business which helps support them with their decision-making.

These investments have set the foundations for the business into the future and we are optimistic in the outlook for Clarksons in the near, medium and long term. We are unwavering in our commitment to growth and our strong forward order book for delivery in 2024 only, and which stands at US$217m, together with our much larger forward orderbook which stretches further into the future, gives us growing forward visibility and the confidence to continue to invest in our capabilities across the business. Our strategy of investing in market-leading positions, pioneering technology, top teams, and continually increasing the breadth and depth of our advisory capabilities has optimally positioned us to capture future opportunities in the global shipping markets. We will continue all elements of this investment strategy and seek further opportunities for M&A.

Supply and demand dynamics and the impact of the green transition, which is still in its early stages, ongoing trade disruptions and other geo-political, economic and environmental challenges will require more insights, experience, advice and connectivity than ever before. Clarksons is uniquely positioned to help guide its clients through this challenging and ever-evolving environment.


Andi Case

Chief Executive Officer

1 March 2024


Back to Highlights

2023 Annual Report

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Chair's review

I am privileged to report another set of record results. As I reflect on the drivers of this performance, despite all the disruptions to shipping faced throughout the year, I believe it comes down to a number of key factors, the seeds of which were planted many years ago.

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Financial review

Another year of record financial performance. Strong cash generation enables us to continue our progressive dividend policy for the 21st consecutive year.

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Clarity in a fast-changing world

Navigating change and complexity is what we do best. Read more about the global market trends that are impacting shipping and how we can help our clients to manage and stay ahead of change.

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