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Full steam ahead (eventually)

It is difficult for any of us in the maritime industry to predict the long-term consequences of the pandemic, be they political, social or economic. But there is no doubt that the drive to innovate in shipping through technology will continue. 

Some call this "building back better" after a post-pandemic recognition that existential threats, of which climate change is surely one, are a clear and present danger. 

However labelled, it is in all our interests that the industry embraces moves to decarbonise. It must also rise to the challenges of the tech revolution. This will take time and money, both in short supply, but shipping has never had a better chance to lead the way. 

And as always, the other challenge will be for legal and regulatory changes to keep pace.

Shipowners have reported they expect 2020 to be a difficult year, with losses in turnover and reductions in seafarer and onshore jobs. The appetite to spend on technologies appears to be shrinking. But does that really affect the prospects of technological innovation in maritime?

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