INTERTANKO Managing Director Kathi Stanzel opened this week’s Seatrade Tanker Industry Conference with a keynote address picking up the conference theme of ‘Preparing for the Next Cycle’. Topics included tanker owners’ current concerns and challenges. On the current oversupply of tonnage, Stanzel pointed to the role of the banks, the shipyards and the brokers in contributing to the situation alongside the owners themselves.
She emphasised other factors that have been causing market distortions, such as lack of vetting consistency and lack of spot market transparency. She also made it clear that the current market conditions were having a serious detrimental effect on the industry’s overall sustainability.
On preparing for the next cycle, Stanzel warned that people should not think that this cycle is going to be any different from previous cycles – in other words driven by supply, demand and freight rates, and the interactions of the four shipping markets – freight, s&p, newbuilding and demolition.
Stanzel also highlighted the core strategic focus areas that INTERTANKO as an association has identified in the current climate.
She then moderated the two morning sessions on Ship Finance and Sustainability and the State of the Tanker Market which saw several representatives from Member and Associate Member companies taking the podium, including Frans van de Bospoort (DVB Bank), Anders Engholm (Hafnia Management), Ovijit Roy (Gulf Energy Maritime), Martin Springer (Bernhard Schulte), Harry Vafias (StealthGas) and Mark Williams (Braemar Seascope).
During the afternoon session on ‘Operational Burdens, Paperwork and Politics’, Michael Wilson, Chairman of INTERTANKO’s Vetting Committee and President of Laurin Maritime (America) spoke on the crucial vetting issues of inspection pooling and consistency, stressing the importance of properly functioning systems for owners and their crews.