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From pirates to politicians and from hackers to seafarers: A decade of maritime’s most influential players

The countdown to 2019’s big reveal begins, as Lloyd’s List readies for the 10th edition of our now infamous Top 100 listing. Documenting shipping’s trials and tribulations over the past decade, the rankings have also charted the rise and fall of shipping kingpins, while springing a few surprises along the way

The 10th instalment of Lloyd’s List’s Top 100 most influential people in maritime will be published on December 13

TEN years ago, Lloyd’s List published its inaugural Top 100 ranking of the most influential people in shipping.

Much has changed in the industry over the past decade, in what has been arguably one of the most eventful periods in shipping’s long and illustrious history. 

Lloyd’s List’s rankings have documented it all, charting the shifts in the balance of power and the rise and fall of shipping’s kingpins as they navigated — some better than others — a global financial crisis, geopolitical upheaval, regulatory rulings and numerous other factors that have helped shape shipping today.

While some facets of the industry have been completely transformed and are simply unrecognisable to when we began our annual listing, many of the themes underpinning shipping have remained constant. 

In the first Top 100 issue, Lloyd’s List editor Richard Meade noted four “big issues of the day” — overcapacity, China, oil price and access to finance — that are just as relevant today as they were a decade ago.

Yet shipping in 2019 is a very different beast. It has grown into one that embraces new ideas and ways of thinking. Shipping can no longer be labelled a technology laggard.

The industry has also become acutely aware of its environmental responsibility and is demanding change. 

Of course, Lloyd’s List’s rankings in 2019 will embody this evolving entity, reflecting the movers and shakers driving change and pushing the boundaries.

Naturally, some of the old faces — whose influence cannot be ignored — will also stand guard.

However, expect the unconventional.

In the past, we have noted the contributions of figureheads from the political spectrum, whether US presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump or former Saudi oil and Chinese transport ministers, whose policies and decisions have had major maritime repercussions.

There has also been the odd nod in the past to the pirate and the hacker, plus homage has been paid to the humble seafarers in respect of their admirable frontline duties. 

While everyone may not have agreed with all the ranking decision, it is important to note the Top 100 is entirely subjective.

However, Lloyd’s List has always sought to add clarity to justify our motives.

The Top 100 will, as ever, prompt discussion and ruffle a few feathers. No doubt several of shipping’s biggest egos will take a hit. Others will be suitably soothed.

Either way, it is never one to miss.

The Top 100 will be made available online on Friday December 13.

Meanwhile, our sector Top 10s will help build the anticipation over the next two weeks, starting today with the most influential players from the container port sector.

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