Asia Pacific Maritime 2018 to address present-day issues and chart new paths

The 15th Asia Pacific Maritime (APM), Southeast Asia’s most established maritime, workboat and offshore exhibition and conference will be held at Marina Bay Sands in Singapore from 14th to 16th March next year. The biennial event will expect to play host to more than 1,500 international exhibiting companies from 60 countries, and over 15,000 trade visitors from Asia.

Although signs of slow recovery in the global maritime sector this year brought relief to an industry that has been depressed in recent years, some industry leaders are holding onto cautious optimism that the global maritime industry will start to ease in 2018, encouraged by indicators such as the recovering energy sector. The digitalisation wave also signals renewed opportunities for players to explore and implement innovative ways to operate with maximum efficiency and effectiveness.

In the face of these industry changes, APM introduces the inaugural APM Leaders’ Forum (14th March 2018) in celebration of its 15th edition. Marking the start of the three-day conference, sessions will see industry masterminds discuss and debate the outlook, opportunities and threats in 2018, digital disruptors, digitalisation, women in maritime, the new normal in the industry and shipbuilding in Asia.

2018 will also see APM presenting its strongest line-up of keynote and conference speakers, with over 40 key shakers and movers in the maritime, workboat and offshore industry. They will lead thought-provoking dialogues as they deep dive into hot issues affecting the maritime industry.

“Over the last 30 years, APM has become a crucial business platform connecting the global maritime world to Asia. Not only to do business, but to enable discussions on regional developments and major industry shifts, by bringing together business leaders and experts in their respective fields to share their knowledge, insights and forecast that will help industry players reshape their business strategies, navigate new frontiers and discover new business opportunities, which is especially important in this market climate,” said Yeow Hui Leng, Senior Project Director, Asia Pacific Maritime.

The first session to kick off the inaugural APM Leaders’ Forum will explore what 2018 has in store for the maritime industry.

Distinguished industry leaders and shipowners such as Hassan Basma, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, HBA Offshore; Peter Sand, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO; Su Yin Anand, Co-founder & Director, Young Professionals in Shipping Network; and Capt Vinay Singh, Managing Director, Anglo-Eastern Ship Management (India) and Director, Maritime Association of Ship Owners, Ship Managers & Agents (MASSA) will helm the panel, to shed light on the prospects, opportunities and challenges in the new year.

These include the future of LNG growth, harnessing the power of big data and new smart shipping technologies, maritime talent, and ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention by the International Maritime Organization. The session will also uncover how ship owners can stay profitable amid changing market dynamics, the pressing concerns of cyber security in today’s digital era and Asia’s future for oil and gas trade flows.

Recognising that the stakes today are much higher compared to just a few years ago, Capt Vinay Singh said: “The shipping industry has been going through a rough phase for the last few years. Not only will we see more mergers and acquisitions in 2018, stricter international regulations, environmental concerns, and increasing pressure to reduce operating costs will continue to affect the challenging landscape, until we start seeing signs of recovery. But the biggest disruptive change could be the launch of unmanned ships in the near future, which will put pressure on existing ship owners to cut costs to stay competitive.”

With the global maritime shipping industry at the tipping point of digitalisation, the inaugural APM Leaders’ Forum will also delve into one of the industry’s hottest areas.

“The shipping industry has just entered the digital era but we are already witnessing fast-paced adoption. Remote access, next-generation performance monitoring, big data analytics, forecasting and condition-based maintenance are significantly improving operations and ship management,” said Capt Mohit Batra, Regional Director of Commercial Shipping, Eniram – A Wärtsilä Company.

He added: “At the same time, online retailers such as Alibaba, Amazon, Walmart are also starting to disrupt the shipping space as they strive to take greater control over logistics and transportation.”

Capt Batra will be speaking at this ground-breaking session alongside Morten Lind-Olsen, Chief Executive Officer, Dualog; KD Adamson, Futurist & CEO, Futurenautics; Kenneth Lim, Chief Technology Officer, Maritime Port Authority, Singapore; as well as Lim Sim Keat, Managing Director (Transport & Logistics), IMC Industrial Group as they discuss the latest digital disruptors – from autonomous shipping to big data and new IT innovations, the dynamic changes they will bring to the maritime industry, and how the value chain will be redefined.

For the industry to benefit from digitalisation, certain challenges will need to be addressed.

“To date, only slightly more than half the ships out there have internet access, and that needs to change. The digital infrastructure and technology clusters that are a part of that digital narrative are of crucial importance to shipping. However, the complexity of deep-sea connectivity has acted as a brake on the adoption of enterprise technologies which companies in other industries have been steadily implementing,” said Ms Adamson.

“That said, the industry is ripe for disruption by lean, customer-focused companies who can see big problems and solve them via new technologies and models. There is so much room for collaboration and new types of value creation.”

Acknowledged as the world’s foremost shipping and maritime domain futurist, Ms Adamson will be joined by other female industry veterans at the helm of the maritime industry to drive the conversation on the role and contribution of women in the maritime sector, particularly in Asia.

This all-women powerhouse includes Elaine Ong, Chief Financial Officer, BW LPG; Magdalene Chew, Director & President, Asia Legal LLC & Women International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA); Martha Lamp Sandvik, Shipbroker, Lorentzen & Stemoco AS; Monal Srivastava, Regional Head of Human Capital, Admin (Subcontinent Region), DP World; Sigrid M Schrødter Teig, Chief Process Officer, Western Bulk; and Su Yin Anand, Co-founder & Director, Young Professionals in Shipping Network.

Through an open discourse on the critical barriers in an industry where women make up only four per cent of the world’s maritime workforce, this session aims to promote innovative thinking, and boost the progress and representation of women in senior management in the maritime industry.

Another valuable perspective at next year’s APM conference will come from the prominent presence of ship owners as they share their views across a wide range of issues impacting the global maritime industry.

This includes influential figures such as Bui Viet Hoai, Deputy General Director, Vietnam National Shipping Lines (VINALINES) and Vice Chairman, Vietnam Shipowners’ Association; Capt. Michael Elwert, Group Chief Executive Officer, Elektrans; Elaine Ong, Chief Financial Officer, BW LPG; Gernot Ruppelt, Senior Vice President, Chartering and Business Development at Ardmore Shipping Corporation; Hassan Basma, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, HBA Offshore; Lim Sim Keat, Managing Director (Transport & Logistics) at IMC Industrial Group; Peter Sand, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO; Sigrid M Schrødter Teig, Chief Process Officer, Western Bulk; and Venkatraman Sheshashayee, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director, Miclyn Express Offshore (MEO).

More information about APM 2018 is available on https://www.apmaritime.com.