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Representing the industry in times of change

Esben Poulsson has arguably become one of the best known faces in shipping. The Dane, who has spent much of his career in Asia, is today both president of the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) and chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and is highly active representing the industry both in the Lion City and globally with ICS.

Poulsson has also taken on these roles at times of great change in the maritime and shipping industry with the environmental agenda very much at the forefront.

The International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 0.5% sulphur cap for marine fuels from 1 January 2020 (IMO 2020) has been characterised as a once in 100 years event for the industry.

“This is a major change across such a massive sector as shipping – something which has never been attempted before on a global scale,” Poulsson tells Seatrade Maritime. “As a minimum we anticipate some ‘teething problems’ both immediately before 1 January and for a few months afterwards.”

One of the big questions has been whether there will be enough compliant low sulphur fuel available for the global come 1 January 2020. It does appear there will be enough fuel, even if price is an unknown quantity, however, availability outside of major bunkering ports like Singapore remains rather more open to question.

“This is a real headache for the tramp trades….

To read the full interview, download the Seatrade Maritime Singapore Report 2019:

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