Nor-Shipping 2019 – An arena full of possibilities

By Michael Rogers

Spectacular show – Nor-Shipping 2019 was heralded as ‘the best ever’
Spectacular show – Nor-Shipping 2019 was heralded as ‘the best ever’ (photo: Nor-Shipping)

It’s been an inspiring week at Nor-Shipping here in Oslo.

From the opening at Oslo city hall Monday evening, through to the final hours of the exhibition on Friday afternoon, Nor-Shipping has once again proven to be the major maritime event that provides an open, friendly forum where the shipping and maritime industry can meet to forge connections and build networks.

All in all, more than 30,000 delegates from over 75 countries were in attendance at this year’s Nor-Shipping. A real meeting of the minds, event attendees not only represented shipowners and operators, but included a broad range of service and equipment suppliers and innovators.

Young Entrepreneur Award 2019 winners – Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo, the CEO and CFO of Brim Explorer
Young Entrepreneur Award 2019 winners – Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo, the CEO and CFO of Brim Explorer (photos: Nor-Shipping)

Awards
During the Opening Ceremony, the 2019 Nor-Shipping Young Entrepreneur Award was presented to Agnes Árnadóttir and Espen Larsen-Hakkebo, the CEO and CFO of Brim Explorer. Presented by Norway’s Minister of Trade, Torbjørn Røed Isaksen, the Young Entrepreneur Award acknowledges an individual, or a team, under the age of 40 who has distinguished themselves as a frontrunner in the Next Generation of shipping professionals.

Torbjørn Røed Isaksen also introduced the winner of the Nor-Shipping 2019 Next Generation Ship Award, Sovcomflot’s Gagarin Prospect, the world’s first Aframax tanker designed to run on LNG.

Exhibition
Just beyond the main entrance to the Nor-Shipping Exhibition was the Blue Economy Hall – a place in which smaller companies and start-ups with technological and digital solutions exhibited “tomorrow’s business solutions today”.

‘Gagarin Prospect’ – winner of the NExt Generation Ship Award 2019
‘Gagarin Prospect’ – winner of the NExt Generation Ship Award 2019 (photo: Sovcomflot)

And the future-focused mindset didn’t stop at the first hall. Throughout all five halls, it was easy to spot technologies designed to increase fuel and operational efficiencies while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.

In addition to new designs that increase fuel efficiency to help the maritime industry comply with upcoming environmental requirements, electric propulsion solutions and energy storage innovations will do even more to lower emissions, while potentially lowering maintenance and operations costs.

Digitalisation was also a hot topic this year, from data tracking to machine learning and artificial intelligence, the potential for the industry to exploit gathered data is increasing exponentially. The expectation is that at almost any level, from components to vessels to fleets, the ability to proactively analyse assets will decrease lost time and improve performance and safety.

Gathering data is only the first step. Communications via satellite ensure that the information is relayed where and when it’s needed. And it’s not just data that’s needed for operations – broadband Internet access and entertainment that cruise passengers have come to take for granted have now become “must haves” for crews who work offshore.

The future’s looking brighter
Overall, in addition to an inspiring week, it was good to see that this year’s Nor-Shipping reflected the positive outlook that’s currently being felt by the maritime industry.