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What the Maritime Industry Needs for the Future: Creating Order out of Chaos

February 28, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm

What the Maritime Industry Needs for the Future: Creating Order out of Chaos


February 28, 2019     |     WGMA Offices     |     Houston, TX

The title of this year’s Houston conference, “What the Maritime Industry Needs for the Future:  Creating Order out of Chaos” was an ambitious platform—especially to be accomplished in only 5 hours!  Fortunately, the extremely well qualified speakers did not disappoint.  In fact, not only did they help shed light on how to reduce chaos, they enlightened the delegate body with their observations on the future, industry’s vulnerabilities, how to plug the leaks in maritime, what ports are doing for environmental management, and an examination of options for IMO2020!  The nearly 80 delegates at West Gulf Maritime Association’s offices received insight from the Coast Guard, sparred with some of the speakers, and walked away knowing more than they did before they came.

We are grateful to our sponsors:  WGMA, ABS, The American Club, Blank Rome, DNVGL, Fairfield Chemical Carriers, GTT North America, HudsonAnalytix, Lightering LLC, Navios Maritime Acquisitions, Rightship, Scorpio, Smith Salvage and our partners The Nautical Institute, The Samunder Club of Houston, SHIPPINGInsight and WISTA USA.


(click on agenda topic to view or download presentations)

1200Welcome:  Niels Aalund, Sr. Vice President Maritime Affairs, WGMA

 Lunch- sponsored by WGMA

1300Setting the Stage- Opening Keynotes

·         Finding Stability in a Moving Seascape:
Joe Hughes, Chairman & CEO of Shipowners Claims Bureau (The American Club), Chairman of NAMEPA

·         What the Next Decade Portends:
Professor Maria BurnsDirector, Logistics & Transportation Policy Program; University of Houston

·         What Industry Should Expect:
RADM John Nadeau, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, U.S. Coast Guard

·         Pitfalls to Avoid:
Keith Letourneau, Partner, Blank Rome LLP

·         Challenges for Shipowners:
Clayton Wrenn, President & Managing Director, Lightering LLC

1415Keynote:  Maritime’s Vulnerabilities

Gareth Burton, Vice President- Technology, ABS

1430Plugging the Leaks in Maritime

Moderator:  Doug Martin, President & General Manager, SMIT Salvage Americas

·         Port Waste Reception Facilities:
Galia Kaplan, Marine Transportation Specialist, U.S. Coast Guard

·         A Different Perspective on the 2020 Fuel Scenario:
Dr. R. VisChairman and CEO, Viswa Group

·        Cybersecurity:
Cynthia Hudson, CEO, HudsonAnalytix

·        What’s on the Horizon for Digitalization/Blockchain:
Darren Shelton, Quality Systems Director, Moran Shipping Agencies

·         AWO Safety Initiatives and Updates on Subchapter M:
Brian Bailey, Director- Safety & Environmental Stewardship, The American Waterways Operators

1530What Ports are Doing for Environmental Management (video)
Ryan Dixon, Lead Environmental Compliance Coordinator, Port of Houston Authority
1545Mid-Afternoon Break- sponsored by DNV GL
1615What’s in Your Stack? -Emission Mitigation Strategies

Moderator:  Jan Hagen Andersen, Business Development Director, DNV GL Americas

·         Community impacts:
Dr. Grace Tee-Lewis, Health Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund

·         Ready for Sulphur 2020?
J.K. Roy Choudhury; Sr. Director, Strategic Projects; Crowley Shipping

·         Preparing for 2023- CO2 strategies:
Anuj Chopra, Vice President- Americas, RightShip

·         Alternative Fuels:

Larry Navin, Director of Government & Public Affairs- Americas/Europe, Methanol Institute

RADM Kevin Cook, Maritime Consultant, GTT North America

1700Wrap-up:   Niels Aalund, Sr. Vice President Maritime Affairs, WGMA

Networking Reception- sponsored by WGMA



Our Sponsors

Fairfield Chemical Carriers is committed to being the chemical tanker operator of choice in its selected markets; to providing its customers with top quality and reliable service – creative, proactive, and always client focused; to maintaining the highest standards for safety and efficiency in the operation of its fleet; and, above, all, to conducting all its activities professionally, ethically and in a socially responsible manner.




The American Club’s mission is to provide its Members with a broad and financially secure range of P&I and related insurance services which most effectively meet the imperatives of their day-to-day business and which are delivered in an attentive, efficient, courteous and fo­cused manner.




Navios Maritime (NYSE: NM) (“Navios”) is a global, vertically integrated seaborne shipping and logistics company focused on the transport and transshipment of drybulk commodities including iron ore, coal and grain. Navios was created in 1954 by US Steel to transport iron ore to the US and Europe. Since then, Navios has diversified geographically and expanded the scope of its business activities such that Navios currently controls 48 vessels totaling approximately 5.1 million deadweight tons.

Navios South American Logistics Inc. –subsidiary of “Navios”- consists of a transshipment port/storage facility in Uruguay, an upriver port facility in Paraguay and a well-established barge and cabotage business for wet and dry products.

The Navios Group of companies includes Navios Maritime Partners, LP (NYSE: NMM) and Navios Maritime Acquisition Corporation (NYSE: NNA). As a total, Navios Group controls 107 vessels (owned and long term charted-in) and about 11.4 million deadweight tons (73 dry bulk vessels = 7.6 million dwt and 34 tanker vessels = 3.6 million dwt).



Scorpio Group is a global provider of marine transportation services.  Scorpio Tankers Inc. and Scorpio Bulkers Inc. own product tankers and bulk carriers respectively.  Scorpio Services Holding provides services to Group companies and third parties including pooling and technical management.  Scorpio has its principal offices in Monaco and New York.


Blank Rome Maritime is one of America’s largest law firms. With more than 500 attorneys serving clients across the globe, Blank Rome is an international law firm representing businesses and organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-up entities. Blank Rome helps its clients in all aspects of their businesses. The Firm’s practices cover areas including business tax; commercial and corporate litigation; employment benefits and labor; financial services; bankruptcy and financial restructuring; government relations; health law; intellectual property; maritime, international trade and procurement; matrimonial; privately held and emerging companies; product liability; public companies and capital formation; public finance; real estate; trusts and estates; and white collar, internal and government investigations. Blank Rome also represents pro bono clients in a wide variety of cases and matters.


Since 1968, the West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA) represents the interests of over 200 members comprised of steamship owners, operators, agents along with stevedoring, and terminal companies located in all Texas ports and the Port of Lake Charles, Louisiana.   The West Gulf Maritime Association negotiates and administers various multiemployer collective bargaining agreements with the ILA in West Gulf ports.  The Association also liaises with various governmental entities throughout the West Gulf.  Further, it provides a Daily Industry Update Report useful in providing members with important maritime information.  The West Gulf Maritime Association is an active advocate for the maritime industry.


ABS is at the forefront of marine and offshore energy innovation. In a constantly evolving industry, ABS assists owners and operators with tackling the most pressing technical, operational and regulatory challenges so the marine and offshore industries can operate with greater levels of safety, security and responsibility.



DNV GL is the world’s leading classification society and a recognized advisor for the maritime industry. We enhance safety, quality, energy efficiency and environmental performance of the global shipping industry – across all vessel types and offshore structures. We invest heavily in research and development to find solutions, together with the industry, that address strategic, operational or regulatory challenges. With origins stretching back to 1864 and operations in more than 100 countries, our experts are dedicated to helping customers make the world safer, smarter and greener.


GTT (Gaztransport & Technigaz) is an engineering company which designs cryogenic membrane containment systems dedicated to the transport and storage of liquefied gases, in particular LNG. For over 50 years, GTT has developed technological expertise in the liquefied gas industry, building trusting relationships and lasting partnerships with the different stakeholders (shipyards, shipowners, gas companies, terminal operators and classification societies). The company provides them with established, secure and efficient technologies for containment of liquefied gas at low temperatures.  The company is currently expanding its offer to new and promising markets, providing customised technological and engineering solutions for small and mid-scale vessels, as well as new applications for the LNG market, such as the use of LNG as a propulsion fuel and the associated logistic chain. GTT develops innovative solutions to ease bunkering operations as well as to optimise the LNG volume and the space occupied, resulting in a minimum loss of cargo capacity. The company offers highly competitive storage and handling solutions which cover the whole logistic chain, from the LNG liquefaction and export terminal in a producer country to the tank of an LNG fuelled ship.


HudsonAnalytix helps you navigate business competitively. We keep trade flowing while protecting your people, your investment and our environment. We are an international marine consultancy guiding the world’s leading maritime companies. Our comprehensive services, global knowledge and depth of expertise enable us to help our clients meet their regulatory, commercial and operational needs efficiently, effectively and profitably.



SMIT Salvage is able to provide assistance to ships in distress (emergency response (OPA-90), wreck removal, environmental care and consultancy) anywhere in the world and at any time. It does this by operating out of four locations which are strategically situated in relation to the main international shipping routes: Rotterdam, Houston, Cape Town and Singapore.  In addition, Boskalis offers a wide variety of marine services and contracting for the offshore energy sector including subsea, heavy transport, lifting and installation (through Boskalis Offshore and Dockwise) and towage and salvage (through SMIT).  Boskalis operates over 1,100 marine units in around 75 countries across six continents.



RightShip is the world’s leading maritime risk management and environmental assessment organisation, with offices in London, Melbourne and Houston.  With our predictive online ship vetting platform, RightShip Qi, coupled with the maritime expertise of our vetting team, we help our customers to manage marine risk by identifying and eliminating substandard ships from their supply chain, while improving overall maritime safety standards in the industry.  Signifying the importance of a transition to a low-carbon economy, RightShip’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rating (GHG Rating) has been widely adopted by the maritime industry to measure and recognise the relative CO2 output of individual vessels.  The GHG Rating provides a systematic and transparent framework for comparing the relative efficiency of ships, enabling users to select vessels with a lower CO2 footprint and fuel bill.  RightShip is a proud carbon-neutral organisation, and in 2017 released their Carbon Accounting tool, giving organisations the ability to measure and manage the carbon emissions associated with their shipping activity.


The SHIPPINGInsight platform provides the maritime community with state-of-the-art technology and thought leadership to support the industry as it experiences profound transformation.  The centerpiece is a signature event held in October focusing on fleet optimization and innovation. This event provides a forum for shipowners and solution providers to exchange ideas and discuss challenges in facing the transformation of the industry. More than 250 delegates from 15 countries attended the 2018 event, including 63 shipping company executives.





February 28, 2019
12:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:




WGMA Offices
1717 Turning Basin Dr, Suite 200
Houston, TX 77029 United States
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