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Time to ensure shipping is not out of sight, out of mind

Shipping has kept the world moving while the rest of the world was stopped in its tracks, and yet too often the industry remains out of sight, out of mind. It is more essential than ever that shipping’s stories are told to the global audience

In working around the challenges imposed by the current remote working requirements, digital efficiencies are being found daily and collaboration is being forced upon an industry that previously only accepted the potential of digitalisation as a theoretical opportunity to be taken and assessed by others. The Lloyd’s List Awards this year will be an opportunity to showcase how the industry has adapted, innovated and advanced in the face of adversity

WHEN the world came to a standstill, the shipping industry carried on. Planes were grounded, trucks stopped moving, economies were shuttered, and yet the food, medicine, PPE, energy and just about everything else that keeps the world going was delivered thanks to shipping’s resilience and reliability.

That story barely registered in the mainstream media.

The seafarers that should have been recognised as essential workers and revered as heroes for keeping the world moving were ignored by governments, creating a hidden humanitarian crisis at sea.

That situation continues to get worse, not better and few journalists beyond the industry’s press are asking questions. And yet the industry has continued to adapt, collaborate and innovate in response and kept the global economy from collapse as a result.

Shipping had a serious image problem long before the economic tsunami of coronavirus, but it has exposed the lack of agency within the industry to leverage its role as the backbone of the global economy. 

Too often shipping remains out of sight, out of mind and while we impotently bemoan this sea blindness internally, too few of us are prepared to put our heads above the parapet and speak out.

Shipping has positive stories to tell. It is more essential than ever that we tell those stories.

The adaptability and sheer determination of companies and seafarers to keep the world moving is a theme that has run through Lloyd’s List’s reporting this year, which is why we are using the Lloyd’s List Awards to create a platform for those stories to be told. 

We have set aside the traditional awards portfolio for 2020 to recognise the exceptional circumstances in which the maritime industry has found itself as a result of the pandemic.

A revised list of categories and criteria has been created to recognise not only high standards in maritime, but also the resilience and innovation shown by the industry in the face of unprecedented adversity.

These are challenging times, but there are positives to take from this global shock.

The Lloyd’s List Awards are an opportunity to showcase those advances and start to raise the profile of shipping as the world’s essential industry.

The awards themselves, of course, will adapt to the circumstances we find ourselves in.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the likelihood many winners and sponsors may not be able to attend the Lloyd’s List Awards in London in December, we have created a unique, week-long programme to recognise shipping’s resilience and innovation in 2020, culminating in a networking dinner.

Lloyd’s List will announce winners during the week, through a multi-platform content programme comprising articles, podcasts, discussions with judges, “fireside” chats with senior executives to explore their wins and interviews with sponsors.

The programme of content will culminate in a socially distanced networking dinner at the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London on December 8, providing a safe and enjoyable evening for those who can travel, to network with peers and celebrate the end of the most difficult and disruptive year most of us have ever encountered.

Details about the specially adapted categories and the international panel of industry judges who will be deciding the winners this year can be found here.

The shipping industry is crying out for genuine leaders, innovators and stories to guide the way through a period of seismic change.

The Lloyd’s List Awards are more necessary than ever, precisely because they reward successful endeavour in the face of seemingly intractable problems.

So we urge you to wear your laurels with pride. Modesty is falsely applied in a world casting about for answers to tough questions and shipping needs you to showcase your story.

Enter the Lloyd’s List Awards today and show the way forward.

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