The message for members at the recent annual ABS Advisory Council Meeting was that the maritime industry continues to be shaped by extensive uncertainty, influenced by a changing regulatory framework and evolving boundary conditions of safety, fuel availability and scalability and ship-to-port infrastructure.
The event included presentations from the Commandant of the US Coast Guard (USCG) and the Administrator of the US Maritime Administration (MARAD). Council members heard how ABS has secured the number one position in global orderbook share and grown the fleet to 285m gt, with more than 11,400 assets. ABS said it continues to be a leading voice in the industry with trusted insights into a range of emerging technologies while recording industry-leading port state and fleet safety performance.
Christopher J Wiernicki, ABS Chairman and CEO, said: “Our findings show there is a significant amount of work to be done between now and 2050 if we hope to hit net zero, but crucially, our research shows it can be done, and maps out a pathway for the industry to get there.”
As part of a comprehensive global marine and offshore outlook, Wiernicki shared insights into the current energy security challenge vs. the longer-term energy transition, the global race to drive down the cost of alternative fuels, the role of retrofitted carbon capture and energy efficiency technologies, ABS’ activities in support of the U.S. government’s clean energy initiatives and green shipping corridors, and the importance of new relationships between government to government, government to industry, owners to charterers and ships to ports in meeting net-zero ambitions.
Adm Linda Fagan, USCG, said: “The Coast Guard and ABS have a history of collaboration and partnership that has served us well in ensuring maritime governance, safety and security will continue to be front and centre going forward.”
MARAD’s Ann Phillips said: “MARAD is modernising our nation’s maritime transportation network with a particular focus on recruiting, training and retaining mariners along with key investment plans for our ports, waterways and infrastructure. We thank ABS for its safety leadership as the industry navigates the challenges and opportunities of decarbonising and introducing new technologies and future fuels.”
Council Members were given a global shipbuilding overview and heard the latest on the revised IMO GHG reduction strategy and associated regulatory framework along with the importance of developing a playbook for short-, mid- and long-term compliance strategies.