Billionaire Wilbur Ross is a renowned debt investing expert who has turned bullish on the shipping industry; believing there are a number of opportunities in the dry bulk and container ship markets. Ross started his own firm in 2000, specializing in distressed investing.
Private equity has also been showing interest in shipping. Major private equity firms have been buying up shipping vessels of late, including Blackstone's buy of nine refined-product tankers toward the end of 2012. Ross also snatched up a majority stake in Navigator Holdings, a shipping industry leader. While a number of stocks and industries might be considered economic bellwethers, one of the most overlooked is shipping. The slowdown in the global economy has decimated the shipping industry, where the Baltic Dry Index is down 75% over the last three years.