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Kaptanoglu and Chao become first women to head BIMCO

One of the world’s most influential shipping organisations finally has a women in charge. Şadan Kaptanoğlu, managing director of Istanbul-based HI Kaptanoglu Shipping, was elected president of BIMCO, the world’s largest shipping association, at its general meeting in Athens yesterday. Moreover, Sabrina Chao from Hong Kong shipping line Wah Kwong was voted to become president-designate of the 114-year-old association whose members account for approximately two-thirds of the world’s merchant tonnage.

Kaptanoğlu’s two-year tenure at BIMCO is likely to have a strong environmental focus as evidenced by comments at recent shipping conferences around the world and remarks made yesterday on accepting the prestigious post.

“The environment and climate change are key public concerns and getting the shipping industry to embrace this reality – and delivering the solutions to meet the world’s environmental expectations – will be my priority,” Kaptanoğlu said yesterday.

The Turkish shipowner takes the reins from Anastasios Papagiannopoulos at BIMCO and will be leading the organisation through the sulphur cap and towards 2030 decarbonisation targets set out by the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

On the appointment of Chao as her successor in 2021, Kaptanoğlu commented: “BIMCO has always been ahead of its time, and today I am standing here not alone, but with our president designate Sabrina Chao as the biggest proof of how BIMCO embraces change. One woman president could have been seen as a show or project – but two, one after the other, is indisputable evidence of that change.”

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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