This time of the year is always a good opportunity to consider lessons learned and set new year’s resolutions for a new start. Our special column Industry Voices: ‘Goodbye 2020, hello 2021’ aims to provide an overview of this challenging year and set new targets for 2021 to move forward.
In this context, we have asked Capt Panagiotis Nikiteas, HSQE Manager / DPA / CSO at Maran Dry Management Inc., to make an assessment of 2020 from his perspective and share his message for the new year across the global community. Among others, he highlights that we should keep in mind that when we return to normality, not to forget the useful tools and processes that lock-downs and restrictions brought into light.
If I had a magic wand, I would spell for society and stakeholders, from banks and investors to linesmen and port officials, to treat seafarers with respect and dignity.
SAFETY4SEA: Focusing on your area of expertise, what were the most important industry development(s) within 2020?
Capt. Panagiotis Nikiteas: The failure of Flag States and involved organizations to address the issue of hundreds of thousands of seafarers who remain stuck at sea. The courage, professionalism and true seamanship by all seagoing personnel, who despite being overlooked , they ensured that trade remains uninterrupted. Adaptation of a wide spectrum of the onboard and ashore business and operations to counter the constrains imposed by the pandemic.Expanding use of e-technology in all sectors, from communication and data-sharing to remote surveys. Finalization of a self-assessment scheme for the dry bulk industry.The tightening of the global fuel sulphur cap and the dramatic increase of scrubbers installation to over 4300 ocean going vessels.
S4S: Focusing on your area of expertise, what do you think that will be the biggest challenge(s) for the industry in 2021?
Capt. P.N.: Return to normality without “forgetting” the useful tools and processes that lock-downs and restrictions brought into light. Continue and expand the use of e-technologies, including automation and VR.The adaptation and compliance with the mew mandatory regulations to cut the carbon intensity of existing ships. Have the self-assessment scheme for the dry bulk industry up and running and management companies to adopt it. Increased number of physical and cyber security incidents. Attract the new generation to join the seafaring profession.
S4S: What would be the 2021 resolutions for your company/organisation?
Capt. P.N.: Improve wellbeing for all ashore and onboard, their families and friends. Remain healthy, safe and secure. Engage best practices to continue fostering sustainable growth. Further promote diversity in the workforce. Lead developments. Be innovative. Become better in skills, knowledge and attitudes. Expand fleet and invest in novel ideas.
S4S: What is your overall forecast for shipping industry in 2021 and what would you like to share and/or wish and/or ask other industry stakeholders?
Capt. P.N.: Maritime trade might go down, it might go up, it might be affected by unprecedented and unforeseen calamities, some sectors may work well, some others may not. This is our business and we are actually enjoying this uncertainty that creates opportunities for those who have vision. If I had a magic wand, I would spell for society and stakeholders, from banks and investors to linesmen and port officials, to treat seafarers with respect and dignity. I would spell for fair trading. I would spell industry to accept change in designs and behaviours and not return like a spring to the previous state once the imposed forces are removed.
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and do not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.