The European Tugowners Association was a supporting organization to the TugTechnology 2021 Conference, which took place in London on the 25-26 of October. The presence of ETA full and associate members was quite prominent, not only as participants but also participating in the debates that addressed the future of the sector.
This edition of TugTechnology aimed at involving tugowners more. The Conference was opened by ETA Secretary General Anna Maria Darmanin and a panel debate of tugowners who were Lise Demant (Svitzer), Jorge Rosety (Boluda Corporación Marítima) and Leendert Muller (Multraship).
Our Anna Maria addressed the current issues affecting the sector and focused on the negative impact of shipping alliances and competition policies and the decarbonisation of the sector. Concerning the first issue, the ETA Secretary General affirmed that shipping alliances are no longer necessary to obtain the societal and economic benefits for which they were allowed by the EU. “Now that consolidation within the shipping sector is practically over, the focus is shifting towards vertical integration. The shipping sector has been entering into the logistics sector. And vertical integration within ports is also now affecting the tug sector in a more direct manner”, added Ms Darmanin.
When addressing the towage sector´s decarbonisation Anna Maria Darmanin called for more support to early adaptors, but furthermore, she underlined as well, the importance of developing long term green solutions that give shipowners the “confidence that they are investing in the right technology that ensures a fair and reasonable return on the investment within the time horizons being set”.
Moreover, Ms Demant and Messrs Rosety and Muller focused their debate on autonomous tugs, artificial intelligence, decarbonization and recruitment. They also answered to the questions posed by the audience.
During the event 2 ETA members were awarded with the ITS prizes in different categories, Svitzer received the Tugowner of the Year award for the rapid scaling of its fleet and market share in Australia, Brazil, Europe and South East Asia. Furthermore, Mr Vicente Boluda Fos, Chairman of Boluda Corporación Marítima received the Lifetime Achievement award for his successful years at the helm of the company, leading it to become one of the most important global towage firms, with presence in 5 continents.
We would like to congratulate Riviera Maritime Media for successfully organizing this event and bringing together the towage sector once more after difficult times.