Ferry Business - Autumn/Winter 2022

7 5 European Sea Ports Organisation secretary general Isabelle Ryckbost and Mike Corrigan at their Brussels meeting in May 2022, where they agreed a joint OPS action plan and further influential alliances are in the pipeline. Notably, Cruise Lines International Association president and CEO Kelly Craighead indicated support for a joint statement of intent when we met as speakers at the World Ports Conference in Vancouver, also in May. I now plan to seek similar support from other shipping association partners whose goals are aligned with ours. Craighead will be a keynote speaker at our own conference, examining the parallel universe that exists between the ferry and cruise businesses, both of which have to confront the challenges of crewing their vessels and meeting zero emissions goals. Sessions held under the Power theme will explore the details of making OPS a reality, fuelling the future – including green hydrogen production – as well as propulsion efficiency and battery technology. Meanwhile, sessions for the People theme will include presentations about engaging young people in a maritime career, workforce outlooks and trends, and dual courses of study. In addition, working on the assumption that not all our working requirements can be met by hiring enough skilled people, we will also discuss how automation can fill any gaps. Each of the two days in the speakers’ programme will also feature three presentations on green vessel projects, with designers, builders and operators outlining leading-edge developments ranging from fast urban transport electric ferries to large hydrogen fuel cellpowered passenger vessels. Both days will also conclude with our popular panel sessions. On the first day, the roundtable discussion on conference topics will involve key ferry leaders representing the diversity of our association. The panel on day two will focus on innovation, bringing together a wide range of activists for transformational change in what promises to be a highly thought-provoking session. There is no doubt that the ferry community, like other sectors of the maritime industry, is facing an unprecedented wave of human and technological challenges. But equally – as I’m sure our conference will testify – there is also no doubt that our proven ingenuity and determination will win the day. Power to the people! CFR “ Ferry operators are leading pioneers in the transition to decarbonisation, but we can’t do it alone”