It is my honor to sit on the Board of a naval architecture company, which is primarily, but not exclusively, engaged in military projects. During the course of dinner, we raised a number of topics: autonomous versus unmanned vessels (a hot US Navy and commercial discussion), the impacts of the human factor (remember the two Navy incidents in the Pacific/Singapore last year?), and this past weekend’s drama with the Viking Sky cruise ship off of Norway. These were all headline topics for the table with my fellow Board members—all of whom have been in the naval architecture or Navy business all their careers. I’m the lone commercial voice in the bunch.
But then one of them asked, “Is it true that shipping is the most environmentally benign transport system compared to airplanes and trucks? Why doesn’t the public hear that message?”
As most of you know, I am passionate about communicating the value proposition of shipping. I can bore friends and strangers for hours on the topic of how great the industry is and how their lives are inextricably linked to shipping, and how they benefit from this linkage. But you know all that.
The answer is that we aren’t organized globally to communicate this message. As a fragmented business, we don’t reach beyond our commercial realm to collectively communicate our business, our value, and the opportunities that exist for communities and individuals. We don’t exploit the romance of our work and tell our stories to the public. But maybe we need to be reminded about our value, and what a great job we are doing to provide a seamless global transportation system? Maybe we need an opportunity to celebrate our achievements and those who advance our industry?
SHIPPINGInsight is partnering with SAFETY4SEA in May to bring together the world’s greatest shipping nation with the commercial heft of the Americas for the first Hellenic American Maritime Forum being held May 28th-30th in Athens where shipowners and managers can voice their concerns and needs while finding solutions and collaborations. An important feature of the Forum is the Awards Program, where we recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of our industry.
Take a few minutes now to look at the Awards Program and submit your nominations. Nominations are closing this Friday, March 29th so act fast!!