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WORLD MARITIME DAY 2016 – “SHIPPING: INDISPENSABLE TO THE WORLD”

And the date has been set… the Shipping Industry is to celebrate the World Maritime Day on the 29 September 2016. This year’s theme, “Shipping: Indispensable to the World”, has been inspired from stories of our everyday lives as the IMO tells.

Once upon a time…..a TV arrived in a containership; the grain that made the bread in that sandwich came in a bulk carrier; the coffee probably came by sea, too. Even the electricity powering the TV set and lighting up the room was probably generated using fuel that came in a giant oil tanker.

And the story never ends… DID YOU KNOW THAT:

  • As highlighted by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), around 70-80% of global trade by volume and by value are carried by sea and are handled by ports worldwide;
  • In 2015, around 90,000 vessels constituted the world’s commercial fleet consisted, with a total carrying capacity of some 1.75 billion dwt. This fleet is registered in more than 150 nations and is manned by more than a million seafarers of virtually every nationality;
  • Grain carried by a single ship is enough to feed nearly 4 million people for a month; another ship can carry enough oil to heat an entire city for a year, and others can carry the same amount of finished goods as nearly 20,000 heavy trucks on the road.
  • In 2014, according to UNCTAD, the industry shipped 9.84 billion tonnes of cargo for an estimated 52,572 billion tonne-miles of trade – a truly staggering statistic;
  • According to UNCTAD the operation of merchant ships contributes about US$380 billion in freight rates within the global economy, equivalent to about 5% of the total world trade.

What is more than true is that shipping affects us all. Wherever you are, if you look around you, you are certainly going to see something that has been transported by sea. This is a story that needs to be told and this is the reason for this year’s Maritime day’s theme. Maritime transport can be fairly considered as the backbone of international trade and the global economy. Globalization is a fact; the economy is developing, the world population is doubling and the countries need to follow up. Shipping has always been, and will remain, servant of the world’s economy.

Additionally, in terms of environment protection, shipping can fairly be considered as driver of “green growth”, given its impressive environmental performance. Due to IMO’s strict controls on discharges and emissions and regulatory regime, both accidental and operational pollution from ships has steadily diminished over many decades.

Overall, as highlighted by IMO’s notice it is unfortunate that despite the standards of living in the industrialized and developed world, and the jobs and livelihoods of billions in the world depending on ships and shipping, yet most of the people remain blissfully unaware of how much they rely on it and how much it shapes their lives. With that in mind, shipping has to tell its story: the story of an industry that, in terms of efficiency, safety, environmental impact and its contribution to global trade is unmatched by any other transport sector; the story of shipping – which is, truly, indispensable to the world.