The KVNR recently started an online campaign to clarify the essential role of maritime shipping for society. Koster: “Maritime shipping is the logistic backbone of world trade. Especially when you are aware that approximately 90% of all products worldwide are transported by sea. People simply do not realise that maritime shipping really cannot be missed.” That role and the impact of maritime shipping brings with it
all kinds of challenges. “And we need to explain those challenges in more detail, as they are not self-explanatory. Possibly the most important challenge is that of increasing sustainability. The Dutch maritime industry is a trendsetter when it comes to rendering the fleet ‘green’. This not only concerns our compliance with strict legislation and regulations, but particularly also making the most of opportunities offered by technology, digitisation and innovation, for example. Co-financing is required in order to speed up the process, as detailed in the recently presented Maritime Master plan for 2030, a joint publication by the maritime sectors”, says Koster.
"Shipowners need to keep a healthy balance between achieving a strong international competitive position on
the one hand, while on the other protecting the climate and our living environment. In other words, shipowners want to innovate and become more sustainable."
Annet Koster, Director of the Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners (KVNR)
The Dutch maritime sector is resourceful, but is forced to maintain a continuous balancing act. Koster explains: “Shipowners need to keep a healthy balance between achieving a strong international competitive position on the one hand, while on the other protecting the climate and our living environment. In other words, shipowners want to innovate and become more sustainable. Yet shipping transport needs to remain economically attractive.”
The next decade will be all about maritime innovation and pilots being implemented to test improved and new technologies. Dutch shipowners are making considerable investments in technology in order to render their existing and new ships more efficient, cleaner and smarter. Ships are equipped with sensors to discover how they can be made even more sustainable. There are plenty of experiments with alternative forms of energy or new low-energy ship designs. “That already makes maritime shipping the cleanest form of modern goods transport, but the existing ships are still not climate neutral, and need to be deployed more efficiently. For newbuild ships, the focus is shifting towards them being emission-free. We are on course for the climate targets, but at the same time cannot rest on our laurels”, says Koster.
Dutch shipowners and the government have shown that we intend to lead the international field. The national Green Deal for maritime shipping, inland shipping and ports entered into with the government in 2019, even targets a 70% reduction in CO2 emissions. It really is all hands on deck if we are to achieve that. “At the juncture where we now find ourselves, a pioneering sector such as maritime shipping needs to take massive steps towards the future through technology, digitisation and innovation. We need to use all available know-how and people. I’m proud to be able to make my own contribution on behalf of the KVNR. I truly hope that our campaign will mobilise people, particularly those outside the maritime sector, to take a fresh new look at maritime shipping”, Koster concludes.
Wagenborg is a member of the KVNR and fully supports the recent online campaign to clarify the essential role of maritime shipping for society.
Check it out on www.zeescheepvaart.nl (in Dutch)