Nor-Shipping 2023: A Sunny Maritime Event for an Industry in Transition
Old colleagues and new faces popped up throughout the 2023 edition of Nor-Shipping, one of the key events in the commercial shipping trade show calendar. This year, organisers worked overtime to create an event worthy of its name.
US climate envoy and former presidential candidate John Kerry spoke at Nor-Shipping, calling on the International Maritime Organization to adopt a zero emissions target for 2050. Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre toured the halls, examining the technology of shipping’s future.
The shipping world is undergoing a transition as fundamental as the switch from sail to steam. But unlike that age, the challenge for ship owners, builders and suppliers is to figure out what the fuel of the future will be. Wind, ammonia, methane, LNG, battery-electric, and green hydrogen are all part of the potential mix, but the costs around these solutions are changing.
At the TradeWinds Ocean Stage, the results of a survey of 128 shipowners with US$500 billion in annual revenue revealed that 73% of owners said that reducing emissions to “net zero” was a high priority, yet only 27% had a concrete plan for decarbonising.
Walking through the show, big displays and small all revealed smart solutions to the vexing questions of reducing emissions in the face of continuing regulatory pressure.
Kongsberg Maritime offers a host of solutions for owners and builders, and the company’s stand was a hive of activity throughout the show. The Norwegian ship technology giant announced several new designs and deals during the show. Kongsberg clients and media VIPs took in demonstrations of the latest technology in ship information integration, new ship designs in platform service vessels and anchor handling vessels, and a new container feeder ship design that can incorporate different future fuels, allowing owners to hedge their bets on the outcome if the future fuels debate.
Collecting and using data is big business in shipping, as owners squeeze their vessels for efficiency, both to meet emissions requirements and to save costs.
US robotics service company Armach Robotics, Inc. had its technology on display which it uses to deliver EverClean™, their innovative robotic hull cleaning service. Their use of robotics with a highly accurate navigation system not only enables operational efficiencies, but in the process provides a real-time, real-world look at the condition of the hulls. Each of its robots is equipped with a camera and sensors that provide ship owners with the most minute data on the state of the hull, allowing for less time in dry dock and more time shipping goods.
Oslo was blessed with hot sunny days and long warm evenings in which numerous parties were held by exhibitors and by show organisers. It was a fitting event for an industry that faces a challenging and fascinating future.