|The history of mankind is one of pushing boundaries, exploring the unknown, and creating communities and settlements when the terrain seems hospitable. Evolving technologies and change follow much of the same pattern: new challenges (or a new focus) create opportunities to push forward into uncharted areas not knowing what the outcome will be, or if the effort will be successful.
That is about where we are in so many areas of shipping. Multiple demands are being placed on our industry in a convergence of regulatory requirements and market opportunities—not to mention risk. While risk is no stranger to shipping, the stakes are higher in cost and efficacy. Developing a strategy around change is an important first step– as Sam Walton founder of Walmart said: “To succeed in this world, you have to change all the time”.
So where to start, especially in light of the “bodies of pioneers” in your path? Yes, we have experienced the growing pains of OWS (Oily water separators), BWMT (Ballast Water Management Technology) and now the debate over scrubbers. (I received a note from a charterer who wanted to know why shipowners haven’t made a dash to install scrubbers; perhaps this is the reason?)
Regardless, the chronometer is ticking on all fronts. Pressure on emissions of all types, cyber security, the challenges of automation, data management is being brought to bear today—and industry must act.
There is no silver bullet, but I hope you can take guidance in the words of the Dalai Lama:
“Remember that great love and great achievements involve great risk.”