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Maritime CEO Forum: ‘Common sense is in short supply in this industry’

Cautious optimism about prospects for next year was tinged with regulatory anxiety during a lively dry bulk panel moderated by Mandarin Shipping CEO Tim Huxley at Tuesday’s Maritime CEO Forum held at the Monaco Yacht Club.

The panel featured Cesare d’Amico, CEO of d’Amico Società di Navigazione, Danilo Fumarola, CEO of Gestion Maritime, John Michael Radziwill, CEO of GoodBulk and Edward Buttery, CEO of Taylor Maritime, all of whom admitting that 2019 had not been as good a year as they had expected with dry bulk rates facing extraordinary volatility once again.

As with the tanker session earlier in the day, panellists were straight up in voicing their concern about the ability of regulators to deliver new rules in the right manner.

“It seems that common sense is in short supply in this industry especially among the regulatory bodies,” Radziwill told the exclusive shipowner gathering. The GoodBulk boss renewed calls for slow steaming regulations, saying he still had not heard a good argument why slow steaming should not be adopted.

On IMO 2020 – the global sulphur cap that starts in just 68 days – d’Amico said: “ I still do not understand why we did not all go for gasoil on January 1.” The Italian shipping veteran went on to say: “We are terrified to wait to see what will come after the scrubber and we will pay for this.”

Taylor Maritime’s Buttery said the amount of money spent on scrubbers to date – in excess of $12bn – was a “great shame” as the cash could have been better spent on R&D into green technologies.

“We need more defined rules and timetables,” said Fumarola, citing the decision to postpone ballast water regulations as an example of regulatory intransigence.

“There should be clearness, correct timetables but also lobbying to make sure that the regulations go the right way,” Fumarola said.

A full report from the dry bulk session at the Maritime CEO Forum in Monaco will appear in the next issue of Maritime CEO magazine. The next forum is to be held in Hong Kong on November 18.

The Maritime CEO Forum in Monaco was sponsored by Arrow Shipbroking, Cambridge Academy of Transport, C Transport Maritime, Dualog, Liberian Registry, Lloyd’s Register, Marlink, PwC, and SeaQuest.


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  1. You don’t need to be a CEO or to be invited to Monaco to know this- an Indian colleague told me 20 years ago: “Common sense is something that is not commonly available in shipping, or anywhere else”.
    This is one of the main reasons why another topic of conversation – the ever-reducing interest of bankers to finance shipping- has been reported. Banks and investors don’t understand shipping and cannot figure out the ups and downs of its results. As a result, they don’t trust shipping and feel safer with more predictable and better regulated industry sectors.

  2. The Common Sense in the Maritime Industry is:
    Every new Regulation in the Maritime Industry prompts both financial losses and new business opportunities depending on which side of the Industry you are based upon.
    The Proficient Sense in Maritime business is:
    “Stand on the right side and spend wisely for profit”.
    The CEO’s panel noted the common sense, but missed the proficient sense, which reflects on their level of leadership and inspiration over the level of dexterity and efficiency of the existing Human Capital of their Companies.

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