Cruise & Ferry Review - Spring/Summer 2023

88 COMMENTARY Following some major advances in 2022, making further progress in securing the economic and environmental viability of the global ferry sector remains the fundamental aim of Interferry and its evergrowing membership this year. In my column in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of CFR, I forecast signs of a break in the Covid cloud hanging over the travel market. I also revealed plans for a landmark initiative that would put battery-charged propulsion centre stage in the drive to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. So, where do we stand now? The summer season is always key to boosting turnover in the passenger ferry business. Happily, there is good reason to be cautiously upbeat about the current outlook. I say this even though geopolitical situations like the war in Ukraine will inhibit growth in certain regions and impact energy costs, inflation and interest rates worldwide. However, the general trend – supported by a string of newbuild deliveries – suggests traffic is poised to build on 2022 performance, which saw a marked recovery from the Covid-induced slump. Volumes approached or even surpassed the pre-pandemic levels set in 2019, with various operators recording a significant revival in tourism that added crucial income to revenue from residents. Meanwhile a milestone on the environmental front came in May 2022 when Interferry launched a global campaign seeking government and port authority investment in shore power supply infrastructure. A quantum leap in electricity grid capacity is vital to support the ferry sector’s industry-leading transition to battery-based power trains. An initial joint promotional agreement was Joining forces for a sustainable future Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan describes the partnership and dialogue strategy the global trade association has adopted to enable it to pursue challenging opportunities MIKE CORRIGAN A Canadian former energy industry executive, Mike Corrigan joined Interferry in 2017 after 14 years with BC Ferries – among the world’s largest ferry operators – where he was president and CEO from 2012. Interferry will return to Australia for the 2023 conference, hosting the event at Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart in Hobart, Tasmania