Experts from Italy and around the world gathered in Naples on October 15 and 16 to debate the most pressing issues affecting the shipping industry today. From Mediterranean migration and regulation to finance and risk management, the conference saw two days of unique peer-to-peer interaction.
The event also considered the future of shipping – in both Western and Eastern markets – as well as immediate prospects, recent legal developments and what the future holds for the next generation.
Keynote speakers considered how shipping must respond to the changes acting upon it, both structural or external.
IMO Secretary-General Emeritus Efthimios Mitropoulos acknowledged the current challenges but predicted that once these had passed, “shipping will, like the mystical phoenix, arise from its ashes anew”.
Måns Jacobsson, former director of the IOPC Funds discussed the implementation of international shipping treaties and warned that uniformity has yet to be achieved, despite the industry’s desire for it.
Mediterranean migration was never far from the agenda and discussed by numerous speakers including Diletta Lauro and professor Roberto D’Alimonte. Confitarma President Emanuele Grimaldi rejected the concept of compensation for owners forced to divert for rescue “shipping cannot be a substitute for a proper search and rescue effort as this implies merchant shipping is a permanent part of a solution, which it cannot be”.
Conference organiser Francesco Lauro suggested the concept of a ‘White Knight’ fund for the depressed dry bulk and container markets. Prosperous owners could he said, extend a helping hand to struggling companies in return for a stake with high upside potential.
Held for the first time over two full days, Shipping & The Law 2015 also included sessions on ship finance, law, insurance, technology and innovation and future trends. Other notable speakers included ECSA President Thomas Rehder, SSA President Esben Poulsson, ICS Vice Chairman John C Lyras and RINA CEO Ugo Salerno.
John Lyras was critical of a regulatory regime that enacted laws before the technology was in place to implement them. Regulation should be global or not apply at all, he maintained, saying that West “is shooting itself in the foot, so to speak, by continuing to adopt them on a unilateral basis”.
Shipping & The Law brings together some of the most notable personalities of the industry from ship owning, shipbuilding, finance and insurance and other maritime experts.
Among the personalities who participating this year were Lorenzo Banchero, Giuseppe Bottiglieri, Peppino D’Amato, Federico Deodato, Mauro Iguera, Roberto Martinoli, George Tsavliris, Mario Mattioli and John Xylas.
The Conference was held in the octagonal chapel of Pio Monte della Misericordia where delegates admired ‘The Seven Acts of Mercy’, one of the most magnificent masterpieces of the Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi Da Caravaggio.
Art Historian John T Spike presented a commentary on the painting, alluding to its central theme of ministering to the needs of others. This allegory of charity he said, was still relevant to an era of mass migration by people fleeing conflict.