It’s official: the global pandemic is one year in and counting. No one has been unaffected by the impacts of COVID, and many have tragically died. We’ve learned much in this past year about ourselves (who knew you could wear pajamas to work??) and the importance of connection. The reality of globalization and our interdependence has been demonstrated to all, even those who would prefer isolationism.
Shipping demonstrated its capability to keep the world going. We continue to feed, clothe, heat and cool the world in addition to providing medical supplies. Shouldn’t that be worthy of recognition? Where are the medals and the ticker tape parades? I would settle for a Netflix special on our role in keeping the world spinning on its axis.
We saw cracks in how we support mariners with the crew change crisis. How many of us would tolerate a forced separation from our families for over a year? This is improving but illustrates again the disconnect between the service we provide and the understanding of our value as an essential industry with essential workers.
We found opportunities to do the business of shipping better- our attendance at SHIPPINGInsight last October was the highest due to remote participation, and digital tools have helped shipping become more efficient. We also demonstrated that remote working works; the phrase “necessity is the Mother of invention” has never been more apt.
As we begin to emerge from this scourge, let’s take the lessons with us. We are strong and resilient. We provide unparalleled value to global society. We are accelerating change and innovation.
But I still miss the hugs!