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Carleen’s Christmas List for Maritime

Dear Santa:

I hope you have been well this year.  How is the automation of your workshop going?  I understand your connectivity has improved—has that resulted in more requests from kids wanting even more technology?  How is your home doing?  While we’ve been battling typhoons, hurricanes, floods and fires we understand that you are on thin ice.  In fact, it looks as though we are going to be able to deliver supplies directly to you year-round!

Well, I’ve been a VERY a SOMEWHAT an OCCASIONALLY good girl this year, so I’m hoping I’ll get EVERYTHING on my list!!!  Here goes:

  • Safety at sea.  I’m wishing that all ships carry modern covered lifeboats and have a strong safety and compliance culture on board.  It all starts there!
  • Wellness of mariners.  A lot has been written this year about their welfare, especially mental health.  I wish that the industry would embrace their needs as a top priority, as people are still our number one asset.
  • Harmonization of regulations.  I wish for globalization of regulations AND enforcement!  You did a great job this year with the USCG ballast water regs.  What’s next?
  • Compliance and enforcement.  I wish for a level playing field for those wishing to improve their operations through compliance with regulations and have the surety that these are being enforced across the globe.
  • Strategy for 2023.  Santa, the industry which is already contending with the changes coming in 2020 need to also be focusing on decreasing GHG emissions.  My wish is that they aren’t surprised when regulation follows closely on the heels of the strategy.  Certainly the IMO’s mandatory Data Collection System (DCS) coming into force on January 1 will be a good reminder!
  • Clarity on fuel supply.  I wish that we will be assured of a rationally priced supply of .5% Sulphur fuel going into 2020.  Shipowners have enough on their plates without either worrying if it will be available or concerned about being gouged!
  • Improve fuel quality.  I wish the fuel supply chain would improve the quality of the fuel in their pipeline AND be held accountable for that quality.  Perhaps their examination of how blockchain could improve their business practices will help.
  • And speaking of blockchain…  Santa, have you tried this transactional tool yet?  I’m guessing that the charterers and the shipowners you hear from are going to be asking you for blockchain applications more and more.  It will truly transform the way business is conducted!!
  • Communicating the benefits of automation–  I’m concerned, Santa, that we are barreling along with automation in our industry without taking into account the public.  I don’t believe they will accept an UNMANNED vessel sailing into a port.  We can also learn some lessons from the Lion Air tragedy on the public’s confidence in automated systems—and adapt them for maritime.
  • Greater efficiency due to digitalization.  Wow, Santa, your workshop has been busy this year creating digital tools to make the shipping industry more efficient!!!  From sensors to dashboards to savings for the owner!  Keep it up!!!
  • Improved market rates.  So the industry can afford all these changes!

I hope that this list isn’t too long, Santa.  I did cut it in half from my original.  Our industry is going through a tough time and could use your help!

Thank you for your carbon-free logistics system and global connectivity!  Oh, and please don’t leave a lump of coal in my stocking—perhaps something renewable???

Keep optimizing,


Carleen Lyden Walker
Chief Evolution Officer
IMO Maritime Ambassador
+1 203 255 4686 (o)
+1 203 260 0480 (m)

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