Transition time: ShipInsight Conference will keep me on my toes

Paul Gunton

Paul Gunton · 06 February 2020


In just three weeks’ time, the second ShipInsight conference will be underway, concentrating on the theme ‘A global transition’. I will be moderating it and am looking forward to an interesting and unpredictable two days.

Unpredictable, because we will be repeating the discussion-based format that proved a success last year. Panellists have been restricted to just three slides each and the bulk of the time will be given over to discussion and debate led from the floor. It can be a bumpy ride, both for me at podium and the panellists alongside me, not knowing which direction the discussion will go next. I will have to be on my toes.


If it is anything like last year’s event, I am looking forward to surprising revelations, inspired insights, thoughtful analysis and a few laughs. There will be no boring speeches; no ‘death by PowerPoint’.

The choice of ‘transition’ as this year’s title reflects not just the obvious transition from old fuels to new. That is part of it, but we stand at the start of a transition to a whole new way of moving cargo around the globe under the gaze of regulators, environmentalists and high-street shoppers.

When we planned the event, we also had in mind the transition towards IMO’s ambitious GHG initiatives and towards data-driven ship operations. The transition towards remote-controlled and unmanned ships and towards next-generation communications and navigation technologies.


But while that is all going on, shipowners’ and operators’ underlying goals will not change: efficiency, cost, safety and complying with regulations, of which a number come to mind. As well as IMO’s sulphur cap, other key moments this year include the end-March deadline for ships of 5,000gt and above trading globally to report emissions data to the IMO’s Data Collection System. EEDI Phase 2 will enter into force this year and the US Environmental Protection Agency must establish vessel discharge standards under the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act. Numerous SOLAS amendments will also take effect this year, including amendments to the IMDG Code.

Against this background, this year’s conference will focus on eight topics, each of which is relevant to ensuring a smooth transition to the new business environment ahead. Grouping them into two sets of four across the two days sharpens that focus and provides unrivalled opportunities to benefit from the experience and expertise of our panellists.

Editor Malcolm Latarche will be available for any technical questions

On Day 1, delegates will consider how the Sulphur Cap is working out in practice, learn how to improve ship efficiency, discuss their ballast management strategies and explore whether zero carbon is feasible. On Day 2, they will discover how the data revolution can help them and review their future navigation choices. Their day will end by planning a route towards digitalisation and AI and looking forward to future technologies.

For me, this will be a real opportunity to learn more about these important transitions and how the industry’s leading thinkers approach their decision-making. It could be the same for you.

It will certainly be an inspiring and enjoyable two days and I look forward to meeting you there.

  • The second ShipInsight annual conference will be held in London on 26-27 February 2020 in a venue close to IMO’s headquarters. Programme details are being updated as panellists are confirmed. Day 1 will focus on fuel choices and other technical topics; Day 2 on communications, navigation, digitalisation and future technologies.
  • To make the conference particularly relevant, it will be possible to book for either or both days. Reserve your place online now to be sure of taking part.
  • There are a number of VIP and discounted tickets. Contact Adam Foster directly for more information.
The Journal

Published every February the journal is now recognised as the highest quality publication that covers all aspects of maritime technology and regulation and a must read for the industry.

More Details