Danish Maritime Days: Industry Needs to Bridge the Gaps

There is an incredible gap in the industry with respect to its internal organization and a lack of common voice among the industry players, Claus Hemmingsen, Chief Executive Officer at Maersk Drilling and Chairman of Danish Shipowners’ Association said during today’s closing plenary at Danish Maritime Forum.

According to Hemmingsen, the gap has been created due to the failure of industry stakeholders to share information making the public unaware of the industry’s accomplishments.

“On the other hand, we all think that we are doing a fantastic job and we are all very proud of what we do as we think that we are moving the agenda forward as individuals, companies and associations. At the same time we seem to collectively believe that we don’t get that across to the people that are not directly involved in the industry,” said Hemmingsen.

The gaps also exist among regulators and the industry, technology development and among associations, hampering the attempts to bring the industry further and achieve progress.

“We have to a certain extent been derailing progress by not being able to agree on minimum standards we would like to put forward. We can’t even get our individual governments to back up the IMO, which has resulted in IMO regulations being flawed to a certain extent,” he added.

Hemmingsen believes that in order for all these gaps to be bridged there is a need to join forces across the board and work together.

“If we put a collective effort into it we will improve the industry as we see it,” he went on to say.

Also speaking at the plenary was Michael Parker, Managing Director at Global Head of Shipping at Citi, the United Kingdom, who agreed that there is a need for a level playing field in the industry and fair international regulation so as to “share the pain”.

As Parker indicated “there is no shortage of money, but there is shortage of capital”, however; the banking sector and the industry need to work together in what has been described as the “coalition of willing“.

“What we have to do in some of our organizations is fight for that capital on the industry’s behalf,” he added, stressing that for that to become reality “shipping needs to remain a good story” and facts about the industry need to be clear.

Randy Chen, Vice Chairman and President, Wan Hai Lines, Taiwan stressed the need for being actively involved in the dialogue and thus take part in shaping the narrative.

“For our industry it is long overdue that we try to take the challenges that are ahead of us put and try to make something that is distinctly positive before a short-term reaction,” Chen said.

Speaking on the industry prospects, a joint sentiment was that the industry players need to get used to a new normal and have relatively modest expectations.

As Hemmingsen explained, overall there is optimism about the future growth but at a somewhat slower pace.

World Maritime News Staff