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Podcast – Esben Poulsson on 50 years in shipping

International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) chairman Esben Poulsson is one of the most well-known faces in the industry with a 50-year career that highlights the truly global nature of shipping and maritime.

In this latest episode of the Maritime Podcast Seatrade Chairman, Chris Hayman, chats with Esben about his fascinating career in shipping.

Listen to the conversation in the player above this story or on the app of your choice:

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You will hear Esben’s firsthand experiences of the rise of China and its impact on shipping:

“Well, of course, the single biggest driver in all this has, of course, been China. And bear in mind that when I first came to Hong Kong, you could not go to China, unless you had a government invitation, literally, I was lucky enough to go myself in 1978. And at that point, they were still in Mao jackets, and so forth.”

The rise of the corporate industry structure and consolidation:

“It is definitely more corporate. And I think the consolidation has, of course been principally in the container space, where I think four or five years ago, there were about 18 lines, today, there are of major lines about seven. So very, very big consolidation in that sector, and to a lesser extent in the tanker sector.”

The image of shipping as industry to the wider world:

“So, I think in terms of the image, then we are our own worst enemies. We've had a poor image, because we've been incredibly bad at telling our story, and particularly telling the improvements that we've made over these years. I mean, we're terrible at it.”  

Why he would recommend a career in shipping:

“I would most certainly recommend shipping to any young person who is unsure what to do with their lives. Because to me, shipping is meaningful, it's useful, it's relevant is meaningful. And it offers so many aspects… you can be in finance, you can be in law, you can be in operations, you can be in chartering, you can be an agency, and so on, there are just so many aspects or ship in maritime insurance, there are so many facets to shipping that are there for anyone who would consider it.”

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