|This week, we honor mariners and the contributions they make to transporting more than 90% of the world’s goods and energy. They are the backbone of our industry, enabling ships to be the engine of global trade. They are also facing incredible change as we move forward in the Fourth Revolution.
As we celebrate the Day of the Seafarer, what are some of the actions we can take—today and tomorrow—to ensure their well-being? We can operate ships in the most responsible way possible. We can ensure that our mariners receive continuous training on operations and safety. We can provide connectivity so they can reach their families. We can look for signs of isolation or depression to get ahead of the growing mental health issues affecting them. We can enable them to do their best.
As to preparing them for the industry of tomorrow? It is important for all of us to identify the important role that the mariner will play in the paradigm shift that is taking place. Some students today are hearing of the autonomous ships of the future and asking if there is a place for them? Why would they enter an industry that has a short horizon? We need to incorporate seafarers into our discussions of the changes industry is facing and include them, through education and training, in our industry evolution.