How To De-Risk Innovation and Change in Shipping

InterManager Secretary-General Kuba Szymanski recently joined ship managers in a Webinar Discussion on How To De-Risk Innovation and Change in Shipping, organised by Fathom World.


Mr Szymanski joined other ship managers to hear presentations from Dick Welsh from the Isle of Man Ship Registry and Neils Leikvang at DNV GL, before discussing innovation in shipping.


Kuba Szymanski shares his thoughts following the debate.


In order to be successful in speeding up innovation we would need to approach the whole issue ground up, said Dick Welsh from Isle of Man Ship Registry and I absolutely agree with him. It has to be recognised that seafarers have to be involved in the process in order to ensure full buy-in, but also to create technological change which will work.


Many organisations are ready to accept and provide digital certificates, log books and other essential documentation. But the question remains, are port authorities ready to accept them?


In the last few months we are seeing a genuine rush from many shipping companies, in particular ones based in Singapore to be the first to use digital solutions for their bureaucratic issues. Many of them like to be beta customers or in plain English – Guinea pigs, who are not afraid to have new systems tested and tried on them.


We need to accept the fact that new generation is technologically savvy and does not need as much time to accept and use technology as we do, those who empower at present. I suspect that those who either listen to the youngsters first or would be able to step down and let youngsters run the show might be the early winners, but the true winners will be those would be able to step down but still offer themselves as mentors and experts with hands on experience.


Today’s shipping world is seeing accelerating changes but forgets to acquire practical, hands on experience. I would love to live long enough to see a no blame culture with true black box thinking in full swing in our lovely industry. Once this is achieved we will really speed up genuine changes.



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