|About 10 years ago, I was invited to a thinktank discussion in Washington DC about marine carbon cap and trade. I went, expecting to see a room filled with maritime executives looking at the opportunities surrounding this potentially lucrative practice. Instead, I found a room filled with hedge fund fellows who were looking for a quick buck. Now, I have nothing against people seizing opportunity, much like the Norwegian pharmaceutical company who intends to set up two funds to capitalize on the price spread of residual fuel oil over gasoil, but I DO object to outsiders benefitting from our industry like hungry vultures.
We need to own our future, and that means investing in it. Throughout the world, we are seen as low-hanging fruit just ready for the plucking. How about if we LED innovation, instead of following? How about if INDUSTRY invested in innovation, instead of being perceived as an adjacent sector from which to make money?
If “outsiders” want to enter our shipping sector, great! But enter with both feet, invest in us, and don’t just try to skim the cream. We need committed partners, not carpetbaggers! Make sure you are at SHIPPINGInsight so you can engage in these tough conversations—and so you can discern between the committed and the opportunists!