|We use the timeframe of 2020 as a watershed moment for our industry, but what does it really portend? In addition to the seismic shift of IMO’s Sulphur 2020, there will be other trends that will also require our attention:
Sulphur and Decarbonization- we are less than one year away from Sulphur 2020, and 4 years away from the IMO’s deadline to submit a strategy for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG). The industry is in the process of deciding which option to choose for Sulphur 2020, with a great deal of polarization “to scrub or not to scrub”. Given the narrowing window of opportunity, I hope most are ready to implement their decision, so we can move onto the more complex consideration of reducing GHGs. Stay tuned!!
Ocean Sustainability – impacts on our oceans will continue to be in the headlights moving forward, from the issues surrounding ballast water, to bio fouling (we have spent the last 15 years looking at the critters on the inside of the ship, and now will be looking at the critters on the outside!) and aquatic noise. Expect to hear more about these initiatives!
Cybersecurity- I just left a seminar in Athens which also covered cyber threats. Frankly, I was stunned when one of the owners stated he didn’t see it as a threat “because it hasn’t happened yet in shipping”!! With more and more elements of a ship becoming digitalized, the vulnerability grows! While the IMO is requiring a cyber security management plan incorporated into a ship’s ISM Code by 2021, why wait???!
Digitalization- This same shipowner also stated that he didn’t believe digitalization was an important element in shipping operations!! Now, this fellow probably grew up with a Nintendo and a PlayStation, so his denial of the impact and efficiencies of digitalization flummoxes me! I don’t know whether to give him the Ostrich Award, or the Lemon! I certainly don’t expect his company to thrive as his competitors adopt more technologies!!
Blockchain, blockchain, blockchain- I believe that blockchain technology will revolutionize the WAY in which shipping does business. There are tremendous economic efficiencies to be derived, not to mention the security and immutability of information. Whether for regulatory reporting, S&P, or chartering, blockchain is the next transformation to hit our industry.
So much to do—and so little time!!