North America maritime industry leaders discuss technology advances and latest developments in digitalisation and sustainability strategies

Source: press release, 3 October 2022

Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO, addresses the ABS North America Regional Committee in Houston at the ABS Headquarters
Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO, addresses the ABS North America Regional Committee in Houston at the ABS Headquarters (photo: ABS)

ABS brought together maritime industry leaders to discuss the latest advances in sustainability and digital classification at the annual ABS North America Regional Committee Meeting.

“As the industry embraces a new language of shipping, ABS is leading the way in technology, sustainability and digital innovation. In this era where regulations and standards need to move at the same pace as technological breakthroughs, our committees are more important than ever. To keep up with this pace, it is critical that we regularly tap into our collective knowledge base to support the innovations our clients require while maintaining a strong focus on safety,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO.

ABS leaders presented updates on the industry outlook and market trends along with opportunities in the United States regarding clean energy and decarbonisation. Facilitated by ABS leaders, committee members also participated in breakout sessions to explore hot topics such as current and future IMO regulations, alternative fuels and digital class.

Rear Admiral Wayne R. Arguin Jr., U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) provided a regulatory update.

He said, “Increased demand in shipping, congestion in ports and a focus on meeting decarbonisation goals, are driving the need for a new regulatory framework that is less prescriptive and more outcome based. As we develop requirements, we must make sure we are accounting for new risks associated with connected and cyber-enabled operations, alternative and renewable fuels and infrastructure and ever-evolving technologies. All of this must be underpinned by quality data that is shareable and transparent to support safer and more sustainable shipping.”

“From supply chain constraints to geo-political challenges over the past few years, the shipping industry has continued to be defined by its resiliency. That same resiliency is what will help us tackle the challenges ahead and deliver a lower emissions future. As we continue to evolve and technological advancements progress, these gatherings become even more critical to spur collaboration for innovative solutions while ensuring we maintain our focus on safety,” said Andre Kostelnik, Chairman of the ABS North America Regional Committee and President and CEO of SeaRiver Maritime, Inc.

The committee meetings are a forum for ABS members, including owners, operators, charterers, and industry representatives from flag Administrations, owner associations, and the shipbuilding and insurance sectors, to come together with ABS leaders and discuss industry issues and developments. These forums are an important part of an ongoing dialogue with the industry to address technical, operational and regulatory challenges.