In recent years the focussed has been greater not only on environmental consciousness but have also included new technological developments in the maritime industry
GENEVA: Vincent Wee spoke to International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) Secretary-General Peter Hinchliffe and Chairman Esben Poulsson about the complexities of achieving successful yet cost effective regulations for shipowners.
The role of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) to represent the interests of shipowners at international forums, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in particular, is one that pushes it to the forefront of many hot button issues.
In recent years these have been focussed on a greater environmental consciousness but have also included new technological developments in the maritime industry as well. At the centre of all this has been Secretary-General Hinchliffe, while Chairman Poulsson, since being elected in 2016, has also provided strong impetus to effect many of the key changes that are helping to define the future of the shipping industry.
‘Perfect storm’ of regulations
This applies across the range of new regulations that are imminent with the current situation looking almost like “a perfect storm” for shipowners, added Poulsson. But highlighting the positive work of ICS he pointed out that the eventual outcome on the ballast water management convention is a good example of how industry associations can eventually prevail with common sense.
While both cited key achievements made in pushing through the recent carbon dioxide reduction commitment at the IMO as well as progress made on the sulphur cap they acknowledged that the hard work now lies ahead.
“We’re extremely pleased with the way the IMO is progressing with carbon dioxide reduction (and) there will be some discussion on dealing with the next steps,” said Hinchliffe pointing out that the agreement has put the shipping industry ahead of any other sector in the world in this regard.
Digitalisation and autonomous shipping
Among the most recent of these has been work done in what might generally be called the digitisation of shipping, with the greater interest in autonomous ships as well as accompanying issues of cybersecurity.