Entitled ‘Shipping Conference – Bringing together the Shipping Industry and Plymouth Students’, the student organised conference brought to Plymouth University an interesting and diverse range of speakers from London, Oslo and Plymouth.
Andreas Hjelle, Chairman of the recently formed Shipping Society provided the introduction and welcomed students, guests and speakers to the Conference.
The first topic ‘the Commercial Side of Tanker Shipping’ was addressed by Bill Box, Senior Manager of Intertanko. Bill commenced his career as a shipbroker, and developed his interest in shipping as News Editor of ‘Seatrade’. In 2003 he joined Intertanko as Senior Manager Communications and External Relations. He described that the role of Intertanko is to provide leadership to the tanker Industry in serving the world with the ‘safe, environmentally sound and efficient seaborne transportation of oil, gas and chemical products’.
Beatrice L’Orsa Mortenson Team Leader of United European Car Carriers (UECC) focussed on the Baltic and Norwegian trades, spoke to the title ‘The RO RO Industry’. Beatrice who studied for a BSc in Maritime Business and Law at Plymouth University between 2002 and 2005 commenced her career as a broker with Braemar before taking up a position with UECC in 2011. She described the challenges and excitement of her work as an operational team leader in a leading company involved in the provision of short sea car transportation within Europe.
Following Lunch, Han Ozturk, PYNDA Chairman provided a short presentation covering the background, and development of the Alumni Association which aims to ‘encourage continuing friendship between marine and maritime graduates of the University of Plymouth’ . There is a compatibility with the Shipping Society which can be fostered and grown.
‘The LNG Industry’ was the title of the talk made by Michael Newman, Educated at Deakin University Australia Michael had seen service in the Royal Australian Navy prior to being employed as a broker for Braemar Seascope, Norgas Carriers and is presently with Fearnleys LNG. He provided a history of the development of the carriage of LNG by sea, mentioning bespoke trades to spot market activity. The challenges faced by the LNG industry are extensive with opportunities seen in the Floating Storage and Regassification Units (FSRU) and the development of worldwide LNG bunkering facilities.
The final speaker was Charles Patterson of Davies Johnson LLP, now part of Thomas Miller Law, who initially spoke about the changes in legal work in recent years including. greater intervention of regulations, the increased presence in the cruise ship and super yacht sector and issues of personnel injury in the fishing industry
As a holder of a Maritime Degree from Plymouth University Charles worked for 5 years on square rigged ships and superyachts before undertaking a law degree at the University of the West of England. He was admitted as a solicitor in 2003 and undertakes a wide variety of legal work including charterparty disputes, Bill of Lading issues and yacht disputes. Charles provided an interesting comment on the recent case of the ‘DC Merwentstone’ which was concerned with ‘collateral fraud’.
The Conference concluded with Dr Sarah Tuck thanking the student team responsible for organising the a superb shipping conference which had brought an interesting section of the shipping industry and students of Plymouth University together.
Contributed by Paul G Wright MNM FNI