Business of Shipping – Nor-Shipping 2019

Nor-Shipping 2019 Opening Ceremony at the Oslo City Hall
Nor-Shipping 2019 Opening Ceremony at the Oslo City Hall. Credit: Nor-Shipping

By Ira Breskin in Oslo, Norway – Executives from maritime industry service providers interviewed at the Nor-Shipping conference in Oslo last week universally promoted intelligently designed and targeted new offerings to the maritime industry.

For example, classification society/consultancy DNV GL promoted its Veracity web-based portal that can display and analyze a myriad of operating data. Firm technical executives also presented data that showed the inherent, though infrequent risk of using environmentally acceptable lubricants (EALs) in stern tubes under stress conditions. Shipowners use these ELAs to replace less costly mineral oil in order to better comply with more stringent discharge limits governed by Vessel General Permits.

Separately, Wartsila, the Finnish-based technology firm, introduced a new, digital version of Operim, a monitoring and analytics software/hardware product that optimizes temperature control of gas cargo. This product ultimately reduces operating expenses, said Nicholas Martin, director of digital offerings.

Finally, Wilhelmsen Ship Management of Singapore announced it had purchased a 50 percent stake in NorSea Wind, a firm that helps manage the maintenance and operation of offshore wind turbines. No purchase price was disclosed. Essentially, Wilhelmsen seeks to be a first mover in consolidating this nascent, disparate service niche. In fact, virtually all the acquired firms’ business is in northern Europe, where offshore wind energy production is somewhat mature. That contrasts with the United States, which has only one operating offshore wind farm, located in waters off coastal Rhode Island.

The “NorSea Wind (acquisition) offers an exciting opportunity for WSM (one of the larger firms offering crew and technical ship management) to strengthen our service offering within the wind energy market,” said Carl Schou, Wilhelmsen Ship Management pesident and CEO. He is a retired master mariner.

Held every other year in Oslo, Nor-Shipping continues to be one of maritime industry’s leading trade fairs, attracting some of the industry’s top talent, most influential stakeholders, and hundreds of companies from around the world. This year, there were over 900 exhibitors representing 47 different countries.

Business of Shipping is a new column from Ira Breskin, senior lecturer at State University of New York Maritime College in the Bronx, NY. Ira is the author of The Business of Shipping (9th edition, 2018), a primer that explains shipping economics, operations and regulations.