Shipping is undergoing a “maritime renaissance” brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic according to vessel classification society DNV GL’s maritime director Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen.
DNV GL pointed to unpredictable markets a complex regulatory regime and a “turbo-charged” digital regime that have caused “tectonic shifts” in the fabric of the maritime sector.
The class society believes that LNG will prove to be the transitional fuel for the next one or two generations of vessel newbuildings, but the gas is a bridging technology that can “facilitate” that transition.
“Innovation is the fuel of the maritime renaissance,” declared Ørbeck-Nilssen, adding that new fuels are not available yet and that the industry cannot “wait for the ideal solution.”
Ørbeck-Nilssen urged the industry to be open to new ideas, to “release the potential of this and the next decades through artificial intelligence and digital collaboration, which is crucial for innovation to develop.
In addition, DNV GL has called upon the authorities to do more to help crew that are stranded aboard ships through the Coronavirus outbreak.
DNV GL’s maritime director cited International Chamber of Shipping figures that some 150,000 crew are waiting to be relieved from some 65,000 vessels.
Ørbeck-Nilssen said the crew exchange situation was both “short-term and very urgent,” while Luca Crisciotti, the CEO of the class society’s business assurance division argued that “Prevent is the key word, we must prevent incidents rather that mitigating events after they have occurred.”
Crisciotti told the meeting that Covid-19 requires a “rapid, robust and collaborative response,” through a collaborative structure that is “effective today and builds resilience tomorrow.