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New regulations impact is key issue for shipping, awards judges say

Unpreparedness may affect the sector's recovery, says one judge, while others cite more specific issues related to the global sulphur cap, digitilisation and attracting talent.

The deadline for all entries is June 22

NEW regulations and their potential effect on shipping and its nascent recovery are among the key issues facing the sector.

That's the view of the judges for the Lloyd’s List Asia Pacific Awards, which are being held on September 27 in Singapore.

The challenge is also about how shipowners deal with the new regulations, Bill Guo, executive director of the ICBC Financial Leasing, said.

“If the industry and shipowners are not well prepared, it might impact the soft shipping market and consequently, the recent recovery might be stopped,” Bill Guo, executive director of the ICBC Financial Leasing, said.

Among the key regulations is the global sulphur cap of 0.5% which comes into effect in 2020. The challenge for several shipping players is to find solutions on how to comply with the sulphur cap.

“The most sensible solution would be for the refineries to remove the sulphur and provide clean fuel instead of having small plant installed on the ship to do the job,” BIMCO’s general manager in Singapore Maite Bolivar Klarup said.

The industry has to choose from several options to comply with the new regulation, including low sulphur fuel, scrubbers, and alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas. Choosing which one to adopt and at what cost will be a key consideration.

“Each shipowner is trying to find the best way to comply with the global sulphur cap, with the strategy of keeping the cost as viable and commercial as possible,” she added.

Recognising the importance of fuel, not just in cost but increasing regulatory compliance against a backdrop of concerns about the environmental effect of emissions, Lloyd’s List will unveil the new Fuel Supplier of the Year Award.

And amid the growing buzz surrounding digitalisation, the human element needs attention.

To support digital transformation, the challenge also lies in developing a future-ready maritime workforce.

“We will have to keep our current workforce abreast of new developments, ensure that they are multi-skilled and well-equipped with a global mindset,” Kenneth Chia, executive director of Singapore Maritime Foundation, said.

To ensure the shipping community can tap into the best and brightest talent, SMF will have to look beyond maritime and nautical studies graduates to attract students from non-maritime courses, and encourage partners to review their hiring practices, he added.

Other new categories such as the Shipyard Deal of the Year, and Port Infrastructure Development of the Year join other established awards that recognise achievements in fields such as shipmanagement, logistics along with container shipping, dry bulk and maritime law.

Entries will be judged by an independent panel of distinguished industry leaders from across Asia, including Mr Guo, Ms Klarup and Mr Chia. They will be looking for excellence, innovation and role models in a traditional industry in the throes of unprecedented change.

The full list of categories and more information is available here. The deadline for all entries in all categories is June 22.

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