As he prepares to step down at RightShip, Warwick Norman, the ship vetting platform’s CEO and founder, discussed with Maritime CEO his achievements and where he thinks the shipping industry is headed in an exclusive valedictory interview.
“Having seen the preventable losses of bulk carriers in the iron ore trades and the heavy loss of lives associated with that, something had to change,” Norman, a former seafarer, says from his office in Melbourne. “I think my greatest achievement was being part of a movement that improved safety standards across the bulk carrier fleet; and alongside that, the change in behaviour of the industry with regards to safety standards.”
Norman’s hectic travel schedule promoting RightShip this century has kept him away from home a great deal. Retirement promises a chance to spend more time on home soil.
“I am looking forward to spending more time with my wife, who has gallantly put up with my travel over the last 16 years,” he says. He still has plenty of energy and ideas however and says he continue his involvement in the industry around the areas that continue to “give back” and improve the safety and welfare of those that work on the front line.
More recently Norman has been doing some interesting work with the Seafarers Foundation to prevent seafarers being exploited when exchanging their cash allowances. He also intends to keep working with the MEPAs and various maritime welfare organisations.
As he steps back from the frontline, this advocate of quality tonnage has one outstanding wish for shipping.
“In terms of the big picture,” he says, “I hope that as an industry we can find a global solution to permanently remove the mechanisms that allow substandard shipping. Global trade should not have to exploit seafarers to survive.”
Norman has been CEO of RightShip since it was founded in 2001. He began his seagoing career with ASP Ship Management, sailing from cadet to the rank of Master, and advancing to become ship manager and marine superintendent for the fleet of tankers managed by Shell, BP, Mobil and Esso.