We know where we are today, we don’t know where we’re going tomorrow and that creates some anxiety, because change is uncomfortable.

It’s the unknown that challenges us emotionally, physically and professionally.

But, according to Ben Franklin: ‘Change is the only constant in life. Ones ability to adapt to those changes will determine your success in life’.

Yet, often we find ourselves in the five stages of grief.

  1. Denial
  2. Anger
  3. Bargaining
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Change is inevitable. Progress is optional.

Shipping connects the globe, we all know that. But, shipping isn’t connected.

We have risks today that we are facing if we do not address change. If we stay with the status quo we are at risk of inefficiency, higher costs, vulnerability, poor communications and lack of a positive image.

We exist at the will of society and we have to take a look at what society thinks of us.

So, inefficiency extracts its price. Fleet and port efficiency translates into cost savings. Are you willing to walk away from the opportunity to save money? You invest a little, you gain a lot.  Digitalization is an opportunity for us to become more efficient as an industry.

Are you willing to risk inquiring higher costs? Miss market opportunities? We have blockchain and there are opportunities and chances to save money. But we have to understand it and embrace it.

As an industry we’re also vulnerable. Amazon and Alibaba are entering our industry in the logistics part of it. They demand efficiency. And if, we as an industry, can’t meet their demands they’re will come in and do it themselves.

The second area of vulnerability, is cyber security. It’s not a question of ‘if’ it’s a question of ‘when’. The IMO is going to be requiring you to have a cyber security plan by 2021. But why wait?  The incidents of cyber-attacks, cyber invasion are happening every day. Take action now.

Then we get to the issue of silos. It creates a poor level of communication. Ships don’t talk to ports, don’t talk to trucks. We have what we call an intermodal trade- but it isn’t communicating!

We are one shipping industry with the opportunity to leverage the size of our industry, the breath and the strength of our industry. So, let’s get rid of the silos and let’s start to integrate as an industry.

Right now, we think we are a noble industry, carrying 90% of the world’s good and energy. But if people think about us, they think of water and oil and dead birds.  If we’re not connected as an industry, we can’t be affective to change that.

What’s the solution? Action changes things. We need to act.

For one, we have the opportunity to incorporate the benefits of digitalization and automation for greater efficiency.

We need to embrace blockchain in order to increase competitiveness. We need to streamline our operations to be more efficient and secure which also builds trust.

We need to eliminate vulnerabilities by doing the best job we can. We need to need to create convergence within companies. The CEO has to understand not only the finance but the operations, and the operations people have to understand the finance.

So, the convergence has to happen within companies and also with sectors. Shipping needs to understand the challenges ports are facing and ports need to understand the challenges shipping is facing.

We have to understand that the ports are under attack by their communities. They have to demonstrate good citizenship to their communities. Collectively, we can work together to build shipping’s profile in the public.

Silos blocking our growth will crumble; growth and prosperity will ensue.


Above text is an edited version of Mrs. Carleen Lyden Walker presentation during the 2019 SMART4SEA Conference.

 View her presentation herebelow:

The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of  SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion  purposes only.

Carleen Lyden Walker, CEO, SHIPPINGInsight

Carleen Lyden Walker is the Chief Evolution Officer of SHIPPINGInsight, leveraging off her experience as a marketing and communications professional in the commercial maritime industry with over 40 years of experience.  She specializes in identifying, developing and implementing strategic programs that position SHIPPINGInsight as the most effective forum for shipowners and solution providers to advance optimization and innovation in the maritime sphere. In 2015, Ms. Lyden Walker was appointed a Goodwill Maritime Ambassador by the International Maritime Organization (IMO). She is a member of WISTA (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association), the Connecticut Maritime Association, WIMAC (Women in Maritime Association, Caribbean) and is a Past-President of the Propeller Club Chapter of the Port of NY/NJ. She was also elected to the Board of Trustees of the Coast Guard Foundation, Tall Ships America Foundation, Billion Oyster Foundation, and the American Caribbean Maritime Foundation.  She sits on the Board of Gibbs & Cox. Ms. Lyden Walker is also CEO of Morgan Marketing & Communications, Co-Founder/Executive Director of NAMEPA, and Founder of the Consortium for International Maritime Heritage.  In 2010 she was awarded the Certificate of Merit by the United States Coast Guard, and in 2014 a Public Service Commendation for her work on World Maritime Day and AMVER, respectively.  She held a USCG Captain’s license.