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Friday, October 19, 2018

The annual Cadwallader Memorial Lecture ‘Challenges Facing the Shipping Industry in the 21st Century’

The challenges facing the shipping industry in the 21st century were examined at the Cadwallader annual memorial lecture in London this week.

INTERTANKO’s Peter Swift pointed to the regulatory challenge of defending the international regulatory system, and encouraging the adoption of harmonised rules. He called on the industry to be responsive to calls for change.

He then highlighted the economic challenge of absorbing the extra costs of compliance while not receiving any extra reward and the environmental challenge of demonstrating an outstanding record of improvement, proactive as well as reactive, with credit not always forthcoming. “The challenge is to be ahead of the game and to have it recognised.”

The fourth challenge he chose was that of responsibility, highlighting and eliminating weak links. He stressed that those who are the first to damn the industry (politicians, regulators, environmentalists, the media) are themselves often irresponsible in performing their part in the shipping industry.

IMO Secretary-General Bill O’Neil pointed to the overall challenge of continuing to provide the most cost-effective means of bulk transport. He spoke of the specific challenges of achieving the quality demanded without increasing transportation costs; of creating “a genuine safety culture within the industry”; of establishing a proper international security regime; and of balancing the hard work of creating a regulatory framework with committed implementation.

The International Chamber of Shipping’s Secretary-General Chris Horrocks also pointed to the challenge of improving efficiency and competitiveness. He added the challenge of those responsibilities brought about by the fundamental freedoms of the shipping industry (open markets, freedom of navigation, choice of flag/crew); the challenges of giving more time and space to the views of the growing Asian shipping industry, and also of ensuring that flag states take their responsibilities seriously including exercising diplomatic muscle when necessary to protect the rights and interests of their fleets to navigate freely; the challenge of increasing public and political awareness of the shipping industry “so that decisions can be taken on the basis of understanding not ignorance”.

Click here to download Dr Swift’s speech.

Contact: Peter Swift