A sustainable maritime sector that benefits everyone. That was the title of the talk by Pia Berglund, CEO of the Swedish Shipowners’ Association, who said that social conditions must be taken into account as well as the environment and finance.
Her starting point was that the Swedish maritime sector is good, but could be even better. Sweden is among the best according to international indexes and lists such as the Paris MOU, which publishes results each year from port state controls around the world. In 2014 Sweden was in fifth place.
”The only reason we are not even higher is that our ships are relatively old,” said Pia Berglund.
She continued, saying that Sweden’s high rankings do not mean that we can sit back and relax. Continued work towards high quality is always necessary for the survival of the sector.
”After the MLC (Maritime Labour Convention) came into force, we have seen a number of ships caught in port state controls for not paying salaries to their employees. It is shipowners like this we are competing with. We can never be the cheapest, and so we must be the best instead,” she said.
Pia Berglund also let us know that the Swedish maritime sector will be more transparent. She said that the industry has traditionally kept a low profile in public, but it is now time to take more space. ”We must step up on the stage and tell everybody why we are so important. I believe in transparency, showing what we know, what we need to improve and maybe even where we need help.