Michael Grey

Michael Grey

Seatrade Maritime Correspondent

Michael Grey is a columnist and correspondent and has been associated with the maritime industry for the whole of his working life. At sea for twelve years with the Port Line of London and the holder of a British Foreign Going Master’s certificate, he came ashore to work in the safety and technical department of the UK Chamber of Shipping, before moving into maritime journalism.

Currently he is the London Correspondent of BIMCO and is the author of a number of maritime books. He lectures at the World Maritime University and Greenwich Maritime Institute.

Rating your experience at ports and terminals

February 15, 2017

A constant need for reassurance is one of the phenomena of our age. Stay in a hotel, communicate with your bank, have your car serviced and no sooner have you finished this commercial transaction and you will be invited to “rate your experience”. You may find this annoying, even insincere, but we are assured that it is because they are trying so hard to improve.

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A shot across the EU bow

January 13, 2017

Are you motivated more by threats, or reason? Is a complex problem solved more effectively by a consensual agreement between the largest number of people, or by the prescriptive demands of a muscular minority imposing its will upon the rest?

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Nostalgic about the need for speed

December 14, 2016

“It was thrilling to be running at over thirty knots. Aircraft carriers would be the only comparable ships afloat for size and speed”. This was 1972 and the designer of the far east container ship Encounter Bay, the late Marshall Meek, was writing* about the trials of this fast first of class.

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‘Society’ matters in port

November 16, 2016

Port people get terribly frustrated at the obstacles that arise whenever they announce their well thought out development plans. Inevitably there will be furious objections by local interests, environmental lobbies and the public in general, heralding years of argument, planning inquiries and judicial reviews, all racking up huge costs before any work dare begin.

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The burden of the affordability factor in shipping

October 18, 2016

How on earth can any part of the maritime industry afford major investment at a time when a reasonable return in most sectors seems so very elusive? Ships are cheap, shipyards are desperate for any sort of order and sacking their workers by the hundred, as the building berths empty out.

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The dawn of the age of the onboard ‘Compliance Officer’?

September 19, 2016

It might seem daft to even suggest it, but the day could be approaching when every ship will have to employ, as an important member of her crew, a “Compliance Officer”. Every year brings with it a shoal of new regulations, many of which will not be simple to implement, but will be subject to interpretation, or, in the weasel words of the regulator - “to the satisfaction of the administration”.

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Slaves at sea

August 15, 2016

Sometimes it is difficult to believe that we are living in the 21st century and not the beginning of the 19th, when life was cheap and a good deal more brutal.

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Seafarer health – It’s the life you lead

July 25, 2016

“There’s old captains and there’s bold captains, but there’s no old, bold captains” – is an ancient saying beloved of people who lecture about navigational safety. Its equivalents, advocating the somewhat unfashionable virtue of prudence, will be found, in every language, all over the world.

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The Baltic Exchange, sovereignty, Europe and beyond

June 14, 2016

How do you feel about the proposed link between London’s Baltic Exchange and that of Singapore? It makes a lot of sense, you might think, in this global village that is international shipping, with the locus of activity inexorably moving eastwards.

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