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Live from CMA Shipping

‘No time to waste towards 2030’ - the rallying call on CMA Shipping opening day

CMA CMA 2024 Press release
As the curtains raised on the opening day of CMA Shipping 2024, attendees of North America’s premier shipping industry event gathered in Stamford, Connecticut, to network, do business and listen to industry experts in a series of welcome and keynote addresses.

As the curtains raised on the opening day of CMA Shipping 2024, attendees of North America’s premier shipping industry event gathered in Stamford, Connecticut, to network, do business and listen to industry experts in a series of welcome and keynote addresses.

In a rallying call, DNV’s CEO, Knut Orbeck-Nilssen told the conference audience ‘there’s no time to waste towards 2030 – this is the decisive decade for shipping’.  A comment echoed by V Group CFO, Petter Traaholt, adding that ‘In addition, the industry needs to invest in crew.  Crew have to be seen as assets, not commodities.”

In the afternoon, ABS took the stage, where Roy Bleiberg, Vice President, North America Business Development, told the conference audience to “innovate and seize the moment. The ability of shipping to deliver a more sustainable industry is of enormous consequence to the world.

“This is because of the pivotal importance of the maritime industries to the global economy. It is so obvious that we don’t often stop to think about it but consider how some 11 billion tons of goods are transported by ship each year - representing an impressive 1.5 tons per person based on the current global population. Don’t forget this cargo includes around 2 billion tons of crude oil, 1 billion tons of iron ore for steel and 350 million tons of grain to feed the world. These shipments would simply not be possible by road, rail or air. The latest figures available put the value of goods transported by sea at more than 14 trillion US Dollars. And, it should be said, despite the urgency to decarbonize, shipping has the lowest environmental footprint in the transport segment on a per-ton basis.

“Of course, technology can only take us so far. We also need to foster a culture of safety among our employees and crews. This means empowering our engineers, naval architects, surveyors and seafarers to actively identify and manage risks through training and investing in today’s 21st Century skillset. After all, they are the ones on the front lines, and can make the real difference when it comes to decarbonization and use of technologies.

From the earliest days, shipping has both driven and responded to change in technology. As these demands become ever greater, the challenge before us is to ensure we deliver the transformation required while retaining shipping’s ability to deliver global trade and ensuring our approach to safety adapts and raise the safety bar.

“A focus on safety must remain at the heart of our decarbonization efforts and push for change. It is not a hindrance but an enabler of sustainable progress, shaping and driving our industry towards more sustainable operations. By prioritizing safety, we can accelerate the path to a decarbonized future and preserving the marine environment for generations to come, while safeguarding the well-being of our seafarers and all those that make the ships sail around the globe.”

On the topic of crewing, a lively discussion dominated the Seatrade Maritime Club round table – a closed-door shipowner meeting which allowed senior executives to have open and frank conversations on matters which included EU ETS; trade disruptions and crewing.  Club ambassadors, Chris L. Aversano, Product Manager, Q88 a Veson Nautical Company & Past President, Connecticut Maritime Association; Captain Alexandra Hagerty, Founder, Captains Without Borders and Darren Shelton, Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder, FuelTrust moderated the different topic areas and were joined by senior representatives from the ship-owning community.

“Once again, it’s been a pleasure to see the great and good descend on CMA Shipping. The Seatrade Maritime Club roundtable was a fantastic insight into the inner challenges and opportunities facing industry board-room attendees and acted as a great start to what’s shaping up to be another record year for event,” said Chris Morley, Group Director, Seatrade Maritime – a portfolio of Informa Markets.

This CMA Shipping is the 39th edition in its series and also marks the 40th anniversary of the Association.

“Over the last four decades, the global shipping industry has demonstrated its unique ability to adapt, evolve and therefore keep the world connected through facilitating important supply chain and trade links,” commented Sandra Ennor, President of Connecticut Maritime Association.

“Connecticut Maritime Association has remained steadfast with its members, whose commitment to ensuring global trade continues to move throughout economic and global uncertainty continues to be nothing short of remarkable. We look forward to recognising the significance of the last 40 years at CMA Shipping 2024 and celebrating in style as we look forward to the future,” added Ennor.

Looking ahead to Day 2 (March 13th), 17 sessions running in parallel will cover multiple topics in concise, compact 20-30 minute sessions.

In addition to the conference, over 80 industry suppliers will line the Expo Hall of CMA Shipping 2024, offering attendees with an abundance of opportunity to meet with market leaders and emerging industry innovators.

Renowned for cultivating a dynamic environment rich with networking possibilities, CMA Shipping stands as a pinnacle event on the calendar for global shipping leaders and will return to Hilton Stamford, Connecticut, from 12-14 March 2024.