In his keynote speech today at the London International Shipping Week (LISW21) conference, held at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), Soren Toft, CEO, MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company, discussed the current economic environment, the pressure the whole supply chain is facing and how the industry is evolving to ensure growth in a disrupted world.
Emphasising shipping’s role as the backbone of global trade with huge influence on the global economy, Soren explored the current state of the market, how we reached this point, and how international shipping can continue to evolve to deliver world trade in a reliable, smart and sustainable manner.
“We need to keep explaining the real story that shipping is a force for good that has made trade affordable for decades and created prosperity around the world,” Soren said. “Producers who in the past could only serve a local market now have the entire world at their feet.”
Soren underlined that the shipping sector needs to improve reliable service for customers, digitise operations for efficiency and create digital solutions to meet customer demands, as well as continuing to invest in decarbonising global trade.
Referring to commitments by MSC and other shipping lines to reach net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, Soren reiterated MSC’s support for a global market-based measure, potentially incorporating carbon pricing, that could help catalyse the urgently required development at scale of zero-emission marine fuel solutions from energy companies. MSC also supports the proposed creation of a global multi-billion-dollar decarbonisation fund, overseen by the UN IMO, to provide financial capital for R&D.
After the keynote speech, Soren participated in a panel with other distinguished speakers, including the UN IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim and International Labour Organization Director-General Guy Rider to discuss disruptions in global trade and the critical challenges and emerging opportunities that the industry is facing moving forward.
Supporting our seafarers and investing in infrastructure and information-sharing were among the themes cropping up during the panel. During his remarks Soren expressed gratitude to all the people working in shipping and logistics who have done a remarkable job in keeping economies supporting the livelihoods and needs of others.