Lloyd’s: Shipping must not delay on climate action

(LONDON) — The maritime industry must improve its forecasting to prepare for a range of possible futures, according to classification society Lloyd’s Register.

Lloyd’s Register and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation have called on shipowners and other supply chain stakeholders to increase their ability to deal with significant changes and possible future scenarios – developed in a new report presented at London International Shipping Week on Wednesday.

The report, “Global Maritime Trends 2050,” authored by Economist Impact, is part of a new joint multi-year program between Lloyd’s Register and Lloyd’s Register Foundation.

Significant changes the report identified include:

Some of the world’s largest ports becoming unusable due to sea level rise

• The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates that sea levels are expected to rise by 0.29 meters to 0.51 meters by 2100 in a business-as-usual scenario.
• The report shows that a 40-centimeter rise by 2050 could possibly render the ports of Houston (U.S.) Shanghai (China) and Lazaro Cardenas (Mexico) unusable.

African nations becoming dominant sources of labor supply to the industry

• The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecasted that Africa will have the world’s youngest median age by 2050, at just 25.
• As other regions face increasingly aging populations, Africa will buck the trend. For industries like shipping, this means that new recruits may increasingly come from African countries, potentially supplanting traditional strongholds in Asia.

Women making up 25 percent of seafaring workforce by 2050 due to technological advancements

• In 2021, women accounted for less than 2 percent of the global seafaring workforce, according to the latest BIMCO/ICS Seafarer Workforce Report.
• But a technology-driven energy transition could see this rapidly increase by mid-century.
• By 2050, the need for more tech-savvy ship managers could enable more women to take on managing positions on land and at sea, as increasingly autonomous ships and systems call for oversight and monitoring rather than intensive manual labor.

The report analyzed likely future scenarios for shipping in 2050, based on the speed of technology adoption and the level of global collaboration, to help the industry forecast risks, opportunities and required investment. It was presented at an event at The Gherkin during London International Shipping Week.

Nick Brown, CEO of Lloyd’s Register, said that the report and the wider program which will help benchmark some of the findings represented an excellent opportunity to prepare for change and take action.

“Other industries are much better at forecasting,” Brown said. “The financial sector, for example, has a deep understanding of potential future scenarios and how to prepare for them, but shipping lags behind. From tackling the energy transition to sourcing the next generation of seafarers, we’ve allowed uncertainty to delay action for too long. Now we’ve created a way for the industry to get a much better idea of the future. It’s time for them to get on board.”

“Shipping is deeply intertwined with geopolitical and macroeconomic challenges. Ships deliver 80 percent of the world’s trade and disruptions are felt acutely across the globe,” said Ruth Boumphrey, CEO, Lloyd’s Register Foundation. “Amid global supply chain uncertainties, the urgent need to decarbonize, the integration of new technologies, concerns about human rights and safety at sea, and the future of labor supplies, it’s crucial that those in the shipping industry do everything in their power to anticipate, mitigate, and overcome these challenges without causing harm elsewhere.”

The Global Maritime Trends 2050 research program will include a series of “deep dive” reports in which Lloyd’s Register and the Lloyd’s Register Foundation will commission expert organizations to examine what is needed to create a safe and sustainable maritime sector, in the face of geopolitical, macroeconomic, technological and other societal shifts.

Click here to download the report.

– Lloyd’s Register

By Professional Mariner Staff