The Best Shipping Conference in the World. Probably.


Copenhagen is well known for brewing the best lager in the world. For two days in March as it trended on Twitter, it also had the best shipping conference in the world. Probably. Amy Berry reports on Shipping2030 Europe.

Denmark is famous for brewing Carslberg, advertised as probably the best lager in the world. But for two days in March its capital Copenhagen hosted the best shipping conference in the world. Probably.

Shipping2030 Europe saw a diverse and senior gathering of shipping and maritime leaders, bringing together ship owners, ship managers, equipment manufacturers, regulators, media and disruptive start-ups too.



Kicking off proceedings futurist K D Adamson’s keynote set the tone for the two days with a roller-coaster ride through the megatrends, attitudes and technologies disrupting shipping and maritime. Her message was both an inspirational call to arms to take advantage of the opportunities, but also a warning to the room. She pointed out that as digital transformation moves up the agenda every business is vulnerable to jumping onto technology bandwagons. What every business needs to have is a vision for its digital future, not just a route to technology adoption.

Reinforcing the theme of vision and transformation was Marco Ryan, Chief Digital Officer of Wärtsilä who gave an insight into how venerable companies like Wärtsilä are approaching their digital transformation and why. Marco Ryan was one of a host of Chief Digital Officers present at the conference, causing Chair K D Adamson to remark that only a couple of years ago there were none to be found in the industry.


Shipping2030 also saw the launch of the first ever Waypoint Digital survey, giving the first ever comprehensive data around the current digital infrastructure investment, initiatives and transformation in the shipping and maritime industry. Undertaken jointly by Futurenautics Maritime and Ericsson both Douglas Watson of Ericsson and Roger Adamson, CEO of Futurenautics Maritime took to the stage to outline the key areas for the audience.

As the audience digested the statistic that the average company in the industry believed it was undertaking digital transformation on just USD$100k per year, Douglas and Roger were joined on the stage by Henriette Brent-Petersen, MD of Shipping and Offshore Research at DVB Bank and Ninna Moller-Kristensen of Danish Ship Finance to ask hard questions about where operators could find the money to make bigger investments in digital infrastructure and initiatives.

Across the two days the audience was treated to a series of very lively panels with visionaries at the cutting-edge of moves towards autonomy in the industry, experts in Big Data and analytics and also emerging technology blockchain. From smart regulation and the problems of unstructured and dirty data, to the need for integration with the wider intelligent transportation systems and the key importance of a relentless focus on the customer, the discussions and the questions were wide ranging and searching.



Copenhagen also saw the inaugural Shipping2030 Innovation award presented to KNL Networks for their Cognitive Networked High Frequency Radio solution, which beat out stiff competition from Eniram and Inmarsat to take the top prize.

With Shipping2030 trending on twitter throughout the two day conference the reaction from delegates was overwhelmingly positive, many citing the quality of the content and panels and the energy in the room.

“You know people are engaged when they come back into the room before you even ring the bell at the end of the coffee break,” said Chair K D Adamson. “It was a real pleasure to be a part of the Copenhagen event, where I had a real sense that the people in front of me were actively working to build the future of this industry.”

In what is fast becoming a tradition K D Adamson also took an onstage selfie with the audience, much to everyone’s amusement, proving once again that although she may be one of the best Chairs in the business, her photography still leaves quite a lot to be desired.

The Shipping2030 crew now head to Asia for the next event in Singapore on 5th & 6th September, more information can be found online by clicking here.


Images courtesy © Getty Images/Informa/Futurenautics/Lena Gothberg

This article appeared in the Q2 2017 issue of Futurenautics.

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