19 April 2017
Towards a port tax for automated terminals? premium
One of the biggest political issues of the coming decades is the future of work. Technological advances are such that more than half of the existing jobs could be automated. Automation might create new jobs, but these will very likely not offset the lost jobs. This has far reaching consequences: uncorrected, automation will erode tax […]
13 April 2017
Disruption in shipping; regulators wake up! premium
What could disruptive innovation in container shipping look like? Surely a timely question. We have only started, but 2017 is already full of all kinds of disruptions; why would container shipping remain unaffected? There are obviously different approaches to this question; mine is the interplay of business strategy and government policy. The dominant business strategy […]
26 February 2017
EU maritime year: window for strategic reorientation? premium
2017 will be a special year, in case you have not noticed. Each day brings the news of new political surprises that could potentially disrupt the global world order. If the last month is any indicator, 2017 promises to be the year in which everything needs to be reconsidered and nothing can be taken for […]
14 February 2017
Shipping and emissions trading: in or out? premium
Tomorrow the European Parliament will vote in a plenary session on the possible inclusion of shipping into the EU-ETS. For some MEPs this may sound like a technical issue, best resolved in close cooperation with industry lobbyists. However, what is at stake is something more fundamental: the social responsibility of a corporatist economic system. Put […]
4 February 2017
The sad story of a small island state premium
This is the story of a small island state. Think pristine beaches, massive unemployment and very high thyroid cancer rates. A country you might have never heard of were it not for its ship registry, one of the largest in the world. An international registry that is successful and well-respected, yet all but acts as […]
19 January 2017
Make American shipping great again? premium
Eight months ago I wrote a piece on what the maritime transport agenda of Donald Trump could look like. It raised some interest in Argentina, but not in the US: shipping was not exactly heavily discussed during the election campaign. With the inauguration of Trump one day away, it is time for an update. At […]
4 January 2017
Demand-driven port development? Be careful what you wish for premium
Some statements are too banal to be repeated; yet, repeated they are. How often we hear in yet another conference on the dire prospects of shipping that “the market should decide” – as if these market decisions would be the solution rather than the main cause of shipping’s current problems. A variant of the unconditional faith in […]
22 December 2016
Ports up their game to trump climate change inertia premium
The owl of Minerva only flies at night, but it already seems fairly evident that global policy-making will be radically different from 21st January 2017. In many fields, new arrangements are needed that rely less on the current architecture of global institutions supported by nation-states willfully delegating part of their authority and implementing measures that […]
8 December 2016
Shipping’s carbon emissions: will China outsmart us all? premium
Shipping’s climate roadmap is essentially a time-buying device. It buys time for countries that want to avoid anything stringent soon, for bureaucrats that want to be sure of the feasibility of measures before proposing a target they might not attain – and for countries that are positioning themselves to be the future global thought leader […]