The 15th Capital Link International Shipping Forum took place on 2 and 3 March and saw stakeholders and shipping experts discuss a variety of topics, including sector trends, geopolitics and the industry’s post-Covid-19 recovery.
In the ‘Geopolitics, global economy & commerce – heading into a new era’ panel, participants from organisations such as Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO) and Hapag-Lloyd discussed a range of topics.
Here is what they had to say about the situation of seafarers, vaccinations, decarbonisation and tariffs.
Seafarers continue to bear the brunt
“I think shipping has performed perfectly during the pandemic, but at a cost and the cost is the well-being of seafarers.”
With these words, BIMCO president Sadan Kaptanoglu summed up how the industry has been affected by coronavirus travel restrictions, which have often not allowed for crew changes, stranding seafarers at sea for more than a year.
“This is not acceptable,” she added. “We have to make sure that all industry is working together to make the supply chain and shipping resilient, so that we will not go through something like this ever again.”
For Columbia Shipmanagement president Mark O’Neil, the pandemic has divided the world along lines of ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’. “The rich versus the poor, East versus West, vaccinated versus non vaccinated,” he said during his speech. “I think we are coming out of this pandemic into a febrile environment and that is going to pose challenges for shipping.