BIMCO President Sadan Kaptanoglu: The entire shipping industry is entering a new era
In a recent interview with IAA PortNews Şadan Kaptanoğlu, managing director of HI Kaptanoglu Shipping and President of BIMCO told about activities of BIMCO, the leading global shipping association.
— Mrs. Kaptanoğlu, what are the target issues at BIMCO for 2019-2020 and can you share which are the new initiatives that you plan to introduce?
— The entire shipping industry is entering a new era. It will start with 2020 and, on the environmental front, we will see a lot of challenges. Shipping will be regulated more on the environment, and we must all continue to support this. At BIMCO, we must be in dialogue with our members, and with our non-member friends, because we are all in the same boat. As President, my immediate task will be to steer BIMCO through the industry’s transition to low sulphur fuel and set the direction for BIMCO’s approach to short and longer term measures to bring down the world fleet’s greenhouse gas emissions.
One of my priorities will be to gather as many shipowners around the table as possible, to find ways of steering a course through the world’s environmental challenges. Not only is BIMCO a global organisation representing its 1,900 members from over 120 countries, but it also works closely with many other influential organisations across the different parts of the maritime industry – from owners to operators, from ports to ship builders, from brokers to equipment manufacturers, and from insurers to classification societies. This capability is crucial in developing the right environmental solutions for the shipping industry.
While doing this, we must all ensure a level playing field is retained for shipping.
— Environmental issues has been at the top of the agenda at BIMCO. Which environmental projects would you concentrate on within the next couple of years?
- Environmental issues will remain on top of the agenda at BIMCO. In the short term, on 1 January 2020, the new sulphur regulation will come into force. But that issue will fade away and the next project will be dealing with the challenges of achieving the 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. That will become the primary focus.
Also, the amount of plastics in the ocean is a massive test ahead for the world. With 8 million tonnes of plastics going into the ocean every year and 80% coming from land-based sources, the engagement to solve that problem will have to be very wide in the years to come.
— We understand you just step into new position with BIMCO. However can you describe how would you see the role of Russia in solving environmental issues?
— It is time for everyone, individually, regardless of where we are in the world, and regardless of being in shipping or not, to take responsibility for our environment. A shipowner, a shipping company, a shipping agency, even a shipping employee cannot be an exception. Continuing to help solve the environmental issues facing our planet must be a joint effort for all shipping people everywhere.
— There has been much enthusiasm over digitalization of shipping recently. There is a lot of skepticism as well. What is your view for the nearest future in terms of digitalization and automatization of shipping? Are there nearest projects relating to that in Baltic Sea?
— The shipping industry is moving fast when it comes to digitalization. My view is that development and improvement is generally positive, and that new and smarter ways of operating can contribute to better environmental solutions in the future. A fully automized and unmanned ship in deep waters is however not just around the corner yet.
— We cannot go away with gender issue. You are the first female to be appointed a President at BIMCO, the largest Shipowner's Association, how does it feel?
— It is a great privilege for me to chair the BIMCO Board of Directors in this crucial time of change for shipping, regardless of gender. Being the first woman President is, needless to say, a great honour.
— You are also a member at WISTA Turkey. WISTA is the largest women's Association and has been bringing much efforts to encourage diversity over the maritime industry. From your perspective what was the role of WISTA to help you to reach the Presidency at BIMCO?
— It is very positive to have a strong supporting network, also, or perhaps especially, when it comes to diversity. I believe WISTA is doing tremendous work in putting diversity on the agenda and I am proud to be a part of that.
— The reasons for lack of gender diversity in shipping may differ from country to country. BIMCO has representatives of 120+ countries, creating a perfect platform for this dialogue. Do you have some new initiatives regarding this at BIMCO?
— BIMCO has always been ahead of its time. For me to be elected President, and not only that, for Sabrina Chao to be elected as our president designate, is the biggest proof of how BIMCO embraces change. One woman President could have been seen as a show or project - but two, one after the other, is undisputable evidence of that change. That change is a strong foundation for keeping the diversity dialogue alive for years to come.
— What would be your personal advise to young females willing to start working at the shipping industry?
— The road to where I am today has taken determination and hard work. My advice to young females – and to any female – is to stay determined in what you want, particularly in industries where there is still much room for improvement when it comes to diversity.
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IAA PortNews thanks WISTA Russia for its contribution