ShipCon 2022 – A successful Voyage from Cradle to Grave

On September the 8th 2022, around one hundred YoungShippers entered the Clarion Hotel in Bergen to register for this year's ShipCon. The theme for this year’s conference was “A Voyage from Cradle to Grave” and was hosted by YoungShip Bergen. Following through the doors, past the snacks and coffee, the attendants chatted, met new acquaintances, and caught up with old ones, before eagerly taking their seats - waiting for the biggest YoungShip event of the year to take off.


Marianne Møgster, Chair at Bergen Shipowners’ Association took to the stage and opened ShipCon whilst giving an inspirational speech about the major changes our industry is facing and how many opportunities we have! And with that, Marianne had officially opened ShipCon 2022.


Øystein Thøgersen, Rector and Professor at NHH, was the first speaker to take the stage and gave the audience an introduction to the shipping market from a macroeconomic perspective. Current challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and recent hostility in Taiwan are all crises that affect us and will need our responses. In addition, there is a persistent jump in inflation around the globe due to energy prices, freight rates, bottlenecks, and the effect of the war in Ukraine. Despite all the negative current events, there is strong economic growth, and Mr. Thøgersen had a cheerful outlook towards the future – at least in the long run.


After a short break, Øyvind Axe, Partner and Knut Magnussen, Senior Lawyer both at Wikborg Rein held a presentation on the contracts of shipbuilding, the very beginning of a voyage from cradle to grave. Their presentation took the YoungShippers through the life cycle of a shipbuilding contract from the pre-negotiation phase to post-delivery, whilst identifying key principles for each phase. They summarised their presentation with what typically goes wrong and when you need to call your lawyer.


Following the lawyers were Bjørn Sjaastad, Chair at Utkilen and Mowinckel and Stig Tenold, Professor of Economic History at NHH. They talked about shipping investments from a Bergen perspective.


After lunch, Frode Eriksen, Key Account Manager at DNV gave an insight to IMO regulations, and how and why new rules are implemented, showing well-known disasters such as the Titanic, Herald of the Free Enterprise, Exxon Valdez and Estonia, and the regulation that came into force in the aftermath. Eriksen also presented how the IMO is organised and the timeline for developing new regulations. Following Frode Eriksen was Casper Meland, CEO Marine Benefits who talked about the importance of taking proper care of the crew of the vessels and their families, and how crew welfare impacts the safety of the vessel and the frequency of marine accidents. Meland went through some questionnaires that seafarers had answered during the COVID pandemic, discussing the seriousness and implications of their experiences of being stuck at sea, but also how to take care of the crew. In summary, Meland concluded that seafarers are key workers!


Next up was Capt. Marcus Seidl of Statsraad Lehmkuhl who talked about the history of Statsraad Lehmkuhl and about his times on board. Statsraad Lehmkuhl is currently on a voyage around the globe where they also do research on the ocean and of the air as they sail. Mr. Seidl had many pictures to share, both from the past and from recent years and the current One Ocean Expedition, and the YoungShippers paid close attention.


When a disaster hits, it is good to have good insurers helping you, as Helga Hodne and Simon Prestø-He showed us in their presentation about how NHC works. They talked about decision making when a crisis happens, showing videos of recent catastrophes. Continuing, they showed which resources NHC uses to ensure safe handling when a disaster hits. Hodne and Prestø-He did very well on enlightening the YoungShippers on how they collaborate with various stakeholders, and how marine insurance works in practice. 


A frightening catastrophe that might occur is piracy and kidnapping of crew, which Richard Neylon, Partner, HFW London, talked about. He took us through the processes kidnapping usually go though, and the tough decision-making process shipowners and their support network will have to face, and how to communicate with pirates. Mr Neylon showed the audience how piracy has changed over the past years, in both geographic locations and character.


After a short break filled with more coffee, snacks, and mingling, Paul Christian Rieber, CEO, GC Rieber, took the stage. Paul Christian talked about innovation and how the business has changed over time in order to stay competitive. A business that started out with wooden fishing vessels in the 1930’s is now a company that is involved with property, shipping, minerals and more. Focusing on change and how to not only survive, but to stay competitive, Paul Christian shared how GC Rieber supports innovative ideas, new start-ups, and local communities.


Next up, was Sara Kjelby, Commercial Specialist, and Andreas Gallefoss, Maritime Trainee from DOF, who showed us how DOF is utilizing a diverse fleet. With background and experience from the oil and gas industry, DOF offer a range of various maritime operations, varying from mooring, to cable laying, survey, and project management. With these experiences, DOF is now involved with installation of offshore wind and the installation of windmills at sea. Sara and Andreas showed the YoungShippers the similarities of the journey of oil drilling installations and offshore wind installations.


To wrap up the first day of Ship Con 2022 Rikke Platou, Manager from AVO Consulting, talked about future success with innovation and teamwork. She highlighted the importance of working conditions and how to achieve a successful team.


What a first day! The minds of our YoungShippers were defiantly enlightened and there was much to discuss into the evening. First on the afternoon agenda was a boat trip out to CCB Ågotnes were two offshore drilling units where anchored, followed by a stop at Hanøytangen where additional rigs were. The boat trip was filled with good conversations, and even better company. Following the boat trip was dinner at Grieg, where we were served excellent food together with entertainment from NHHs’ student choir. During the dinner, the Young Corporation Award was handed out. This years’ winner was Grieg Group for how they promote their young workers and for their trainee programs. The evening continued with mingling, dancing, and a great lot of fun!


The following morning, the YoungShippers yet again entered Clarion Hotel for day two of ShipCon 2022 ready to fill their heads with more knowledge and information. First up was Syb Hoedemaker, Managing Director from Maritime Battery Forum. He talked about how batteries can affect fuel consumptions and Norway’s’ involvement in the Forum, and sustainability.


After hearing about batteries, utilisation of a fleet and how generations change the business, it was about time to hear from a bank on how to finance such transitions. Pia Helland from DNB gave a presentation on financing the energy transition.


When talking about energy transition it is natural to also talk about Decarbonization in shipping, because that is primarily why we are changing how we do business today. Erik Hjortland, VP technology from Odfjell SE gave a good presentation on decarbonization in Deep Sea Shipping.


Following that note, was Gunnar Gamlem, Project Leader at Sintef Ocean. He gave a presentation on alternative fuels and machinery for zero emission vessels. Highlighting energy demand and consumption with an approach to greener shipping. He also gave our YoungShippers an insight to regulatory drivers for fuel changes, such as the EU energy taxation directive. Furthermore, he showed us how different fuels had different efficiencies and power range. And finally, various energy transition strategies,


After a delicious hamburger for lunch, Jørgen Laake and Inki Brown from PwC walked up the stage to talk about ESG in shipping. They gave our YoungShippers a good clarification on what sustainability really, what the UN sustainability goals entails, and how and which new expectation shipowners are facing from various stakeholders such as regulators, investors, employees, and their customers. Even though working with ESG might seem overwhelming, Jørgen and Inki gave us a few tips on where to start.


Our day is soon over, and so it our voyage from cradle to grave. The only subject left is the funerals for ships. Therefore, Vilde Hageselle and Andreas Justad, Grieg Green, gave an interesting presentation on recycling of vessels, and how ship recycling should and should not be done. They highlighted the challenges that follows “beaching,” and the importance of safe recycling, both for the environment, but most importantly for the workers on recycling yards.


To wrap up two amazing days of ShipCon 2022, Tom-Christer Nilsen from Bergen Næringsråd took to the stage and gave the YoungShippers some of Bergens’ more amusing shipping history and the impact shipping has had on Bergen.


Thank you all for attending ShipCon 2022 and thank you so much to our sponsors for making it possible! We will see you next year in Helsinki!

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