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CMA Shipping 2016 – A Captain’s View

By Capt. Errol Gonsalves, The Marcura Group

This is the ‘’must attend’’ classic event in the North American Shipping Calendar.

Shipping 2016, organized by CMA, had more footfall this year than previous years; certainly a sentiment shared by many of the attendees.

Did the low markets keep people away? Did the dire forecast for some sectors of the industry dampen spirits? If you hadn’t attended the three days where the ‘’Who’s Who’’ of shipping (plus the rest of us) congregated to network and discuss the challenges in various aspects of shipping, you would be forgiven in thinking otherwise.

The mood was upbeat albeit partly due to other ‘spirits’ flowing from various exhibitors.

Nevertheless, the event provided an excellent annual opportunity for more than 2500 industry leaders, including Ship owners and Managers, to have business discussions, network and share that bonhomie for which shipping is renowned.

The purpose of this post is not to cover the topics discussed nor the doomsday forecasts but to highlight an important aspect of the conference: the Exposition where exhibitors of all hues showcased their innovative products all the way from Japan, Norway, the United Kingdom and even the United Arab Emirates.

The great economist, E.F. Schumacher, wrote that classic book ‘’ Small is Beautiful’’. Notwithstanding the 2,500 industry leaders, the event certainly felt, beautifully intimate and highly effective, with plethora of content, from shipboard navigational and other equipment suppliers to solutions in respect of the ballast water, weather analytics supported by  complementary & analytical services from niche providers who have utilized the power of the internet to come up with remarkable solutions.

A walk around the exhibits was truly eye-opening. All the buzz words were there: big data, AIS, port and voyage analytics!

We certainly look forward to even more footfall in 2017, we have booked already!

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