|Two weeks ago, I was honored to be the emcee for the North American World Maritime Day conference held in Cozumel, Mexico. The IMO theme for 2018 was “Better Shipping for a Better Future”, and this event explored that, while underscoring the need for change.
But change must have a purpose. One of the most profound moments was the showing of Wärtsilä’s Oceanic Awakening presenting a harsh look at the demands we place on our world today—and suggesting that we need to act NOW in order to mitigate the damage done by modern society and prepare intentionally for tomorrow’s growth and quality of life.
Shipping is no different. Societal demands, technology and regulation are the visible drivers of change today. But there are other, less obvious, influencers—market forces. Today’s gold standard is “efficiency”- of ships, processes, capital, fuel and people. There is also a demand for a seamless logistics chain; if we can’t deliver it, others- such as Amazon and Alibaba—will.
I closed the World Maritime Day Conference with an appeal to the delegates: let us remove from our language the phrase “Because we have always done it that way.” We need to open our minds to new processes and approaches. We need to have our own Oceanic Awakening.