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Friday, October 19, 2018


Jonathan Benner and Peter Swift addressed the Maritime Economics and Logistics (MSc) programme of Erasmus University in Rotterdam on 19 April on the Tanker Industry and some of the key issues and challenges it faces today.

Speaking to the graduate students they briefly summarised the role and activities of INTERTANKO before highlighting the record over recent years of continuing improvements in the performance of tanker owners and operators in contrast to the perception frequently held by others outside of the industry. Dr Swift identified the need for owners to receive an adequate reward in the market place if these improvements and quality standards were to be maintained, while concurrently responding to the many challenges such as meeting environmental performance expectations and heightened maritime security requirements. In this latter respect he pointed out that, by the very nature of dealing with hazardous cargoes and working with the strict requirements of the oil and chemical industries, tanker owners were already operating with a high degree of innate security in all parts of their business. He also stressed the importance of ensuring that solutions to the various challenges had global application within international regulatory structures.

Mr Benner further elaborated that while the industry was indeed subject to extensive regulation, it could not be considered “regulated” in the traditional sense since it operated as an effectively totally free market with no price controls and subject to the vagaries of fundamental supply-demand economics. He also noted the need to be vigilant in monitoring legislative developments for consistency and to avoid state and local regulators promoting regional or national legislation. The talk was followed by a lively exchange on a variety of related issues.

The presentation materials can be viewed on INTERTANKO’s web site at