SOHAR: The port of Sohar, Oman – CSAV's new Gulf box destination – says this year's International Maritime Organisation (IMO) World Maritime Day is recognition of technology progress in sustaining global supply chains.
According to Sohar port CEO Andre Toet, while some of the IMO conventions have yet to be ratified, the timing is right for worldwide cooperation on such issues as the shipping industry's carbon footprint, waste management and crew safety.
IMO secretary-general Koji Sekimizu said there had been genuine progress towards ratification, entry into force and implementation of all IMO conventions but added that even those that command almost universal coverage, such as the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), "only have teeth if they are backed up by an effective implementation infrastructure at the national level".
U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon acknowledged the work of the IMO saying: "At a time when the world is beset by conflict and crisis, it is easy to forget that, day in and day out, the international shipping industry works quietly and efficiently to keep the wheels of global trade in motion and ensure the timely delivery of the goods and commodities."
Commenting on MARPOL, Toet said that while the largest container ships have a much-reduced carbon footprint, they still account for a very small percentage of the world's commercial fleet: "At the same time, we still no very little about how the upcoming mandate to cut sulphur oxide in fuel to 0.1 percent will be implemented, and the impact that it will have on commercial shipping. This presents a challenge, but the technology at our disposal means it is something that we can overcome," he added.
Toet noted that the R&D effort to introduce LNG on a commercially viable scale will be vital in reducing the weight and fuel requirements of ships and be "good for the environment as vessels numbers continue to grow".