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It is with great excitement that we launch the 30th edition of Seatrade Awards. On June 29th 2018, we will be welcoming over 300 maritime industry professionals to The Landmark London, to celebrate the very best of international maritime success.
With 29 editions, comes a whole lot of history, development and recognition. Hear what Seatrade Chairman, Mr Chris Hayman, has to say about this fantastic milestone.
WHAT MAKES SEATRADE AWARDS STAND OUT?
"Seatrade Awards is the oldest award scheme of its kind. We hope and believe that we have maintained the principles and objectives that were set out all those years ago in our first conversation with the IMO Secretary General, Dr CP Strivastava. Since its inception, we have continued to mould the programme in line with the evolution of the industry. And, it's with great pleasure that we welcome an elite host of judges to the event each year."
THIS YEAR WE CELEBRATE THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF SEATRADE AWARDS. WHAT THOUGHTS AND EMOTIONS COME TO MIND WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT THAT?
"30 years is quite a long time and a huge amount has changed in the industry since the days of the 1980s when we first came up with the idea of an awards programme for the shipping industry. There has been huge technological change in that period of time, mass regulatory change and the way in which the industry is regarded has also changed - for the better. What we hope we have been able to do is make a contribution to that process, through the award scheme by identifying excellence across the industry. In cases where people have made efforts to address the industry’s ongoing fundamental challenges of: safety, environment, efficiency and innovation, and working towards constantly improving relationships with the workforce."
WHAT MADE SEATRADE LAUNCH THE AWARDS?
"Going back to the 1980s, the way in which the industry was reported by the general media was not that great. At that time, the only occasions on which the shipping industry achieved headlines in the general media was after there was some kind of incident that inevitably coloured the general perception of the job that the shipping industry does. So, Seatrade Founder, Themistocles Vokos, myself and our team talked about identifying those people within the industry who were making real efforts to improve standards across the board. This was in the hope that we could convey to a wider audience that there were and are, very large numbers of people who take those challenges very seriously and are working extremely hard to address them, with resulting improvement in standards. We then took the idea to the then IMO Secretary General, Dr CP Strivastava, because we felt that if our award programme were to be respected it needed to have the support of the maritime industry’s international regulator, the IMO, and the leading associations within the industry. Dr CP Strivastava liked the idea very much and agreed to become Chairman of the judges for this new initiative of Seatrade awards. We then approached the leading associations at the time and invited the chair of these organisations to join the panel of judges, and we witnessed a humbling wide spread of support.And so the first awards dinner was held in 1989 – we decided that if the awards were to be established at a high level and taken seriously by the industry, then we needed to find the venue that would reflect what we were trying to achieve. So, we opted for the iconic, Guildhall, a venerable venue with hundreds of years of history in the city of London, which has been, over the centuries, a major centre for the maritime industry. Invited to the gala dinner each year was a series of leading industry names and a VIP guest. VIP guests have included members of the royal family - it was with great honour we welcomed Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, and Princess Anne, a number of times. We also had the pleasure of hosting for politicians and leading figures, including Edward Heath and Theresa May.
The awards focused in the first years on safety, the environment, efficiency and innovation, we later added 'the human element' to honour individuals and organisations who were adding excellence to the maritime industry in one way or another."IN WHAT DIFFERENT WAYS HAS SEATRADE AWARDS GROWN/DEVELOPED OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS?"We have tried to adapt and change the focus of the awards in line with developments in the industry. Over the years, we have added different awards to address particular issues and challenges. For example, a few years ago, we added an award to address the questions of maritime piracy. This was a very high profile challenge for industry and we used that as a means of recognising individuals and organisations who had made a real impact in addressing this terrible phenomenon. In addition, we have worked closely with the IMO to develop an award surrounding their theme of the year. What has also changed is the venue – moving out of the city of London, and also the format - moving from a dinner to a lunch, in recognition of the way business people in the industry may prefer to conduct their affairs.The process has matured, and we witnessed a warm welcome to the new format in 2017.I think we’ve also recognised that in an industry that’s consolidating, the impact of some of the industry’s global performers has been very notable and so a number of years back, we introduced the Global Performer award which recognises some of the industry’s leading organisations that have made a global impact in their sector. Global performers include the likes of Sovcomflot and many more.Most recently (last year), we launched three new awards that focus on the way digital technology is affecting the industry, and some of the other challenges such as the fuel challenge. Follow this link to find out ore about the three new award categories that fall under the 'Intelligent Shipping' umbrella.While the Seatrade Awards started in London, we have taken the idea to Asia, and to the Middle East and Indian subcontinent in recognition of the globalisation of the industry and the emergence and identification of those regions as key centres of maritime activity. However, our global award programme remains in London."