In May 2011 we launched a Case for Action which explored the social, environmental and economic challenges the industry faces and how best to react to them. Leading businesses, including fleet operators, their suppliers, customers and financiers, have looked ahead to 2040 and drawn up a Case for Action to create a flourishing industry with much higher social and environmental standards.

The Case for Action was based on interviews with experts from across the maritime sector, it is not an attempt to predict the future but to raise awareness and start the debate surrounding how the operating environment of the shipping sector needs to change.

We identified 7 global trends, the global economy, ocean governance, demand for transparency, the future of energy, sustainability regulation, advancing technology and adapting to climate change all of which will profoundly affect the maritime sector over the next 30 years. The interaction of these global trends and three key challenges for the industry were examined, this along with numerous activities set the agenda for the second phase of the SSI, which produced our Vision for a sustainable shipping industry in 2040.

The interaction of the seven global trends and the three key challenges are demonstrated below in the diagram and briefly explained below but for more information please see the full report here or click on the diagram.

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Challenge 1 – Navigating a changing economic context

Continued growth of free trade and strong global governance cannot be guaranteed. A decline in global trade would lead to greater competition and magnify competitive advantages. Companies should be prepared for this and work with the IMO on progressive regulation to anticipate future challenges.
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Challenge 2 – Increased scrutiny, high expectations

Shipping is likely to face increased scrutiny of its social and environmental performance, mirroring trends seen in other industries. Companies which can demonstrate a strong record on working conditions, fuel efficiency, prosecutions and similar factors are likely to be favoured bv customers and suppliers, including ports, financiers and insurers.
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Challenge 3 – The future of energy and climate change

Volatile and rising oil prices will push up costs significantly while climate change is increasing pressure on shipping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Companies can gain competitive advantage by investing in energy efficiency and the transition to new fuels.

A Case for More Action

In 2013 the SSI published a progress report called ‘A Case for More Action’ which describes both the individual and collective practical outputs and outlines how they can be used by the wider industry. The full report is available here.