Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

NAMEPA and WGMA “Winds of Change in Shipping”Conference

Posted on | February 19, 2014 | No Comments

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association and the West Gulf Maritime Association hosted a conference on the “Winds of Change in Shipping” in Houston today.

Clay Maitland, founding chair of NAMEPA welcomed the participants.

“NAMEPA is six years old now,” Maitland said noting that he and Carleen Lyden-Kluss, and others, established the organization to promote awareness within the maritime industry of the environmental requirements and regulations that the industry faces.

Maitland thanked the WGMA for co-hosting the conference and introduced Paul “Chip” Jaenichen, the acting maritime administrator for the United States Department of Transportation.

“I’d like to talk this morning about the ever-changing state of shipping,” Jaenichen said.  “I think we all know that change is coming.”

His list of changes included geo-political and environmental issues such as drought conditions, freight rate volatility, fluctuation in timing and volume of shipping cycles and regulatory changes.

“As I see it, there are two types of change,” Jaenichen continued.  “There’s change that happens to you and there’s change that you can influence.  And I think if you’ve got more of the latter than the former, we’ll be better off.”

Topics at the daylong conference included the world economy, regulatory enforcement, ship finance, issues related to LNG and education and training.

WGMA Senior Vice President Niels Aalund, a host of the meeting, had to step out of the meeting for a conference call related to dense fog that is hampering shipping.

“This is a very important meeting,” Aalund said in a brief interview with Guidry News Service.  “We believe in collaboration.  The outstanding group of speakers here today, great talent, the programs have been right on and the Q & A only adds to the overall benefit of this conference.”

Aalund said the prolonged dense fog prompted the activation of the Port Coordination Team.

“The West Gulf Maritime Association represents the agents, laborers and stevedores,” he said explaining that the various port stakeholders discuss short term needs during the fog event.  “When our dynamic and potent port backs up we have a number of ships to move very quickly.”

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association and the West Gulf Maritime Association conference was held at the Houstonian Hotel.

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