Admissions - Connecticut Maritime Association Conference: Shipping 2013 - A Confluence of Global Maritime Business
This year the Connecticut Maritime Association (CMA) conference was held on March 18th, 19th and 20th at the Hilton hotel in Stamford, CT. It is the largest maritime conference in the United States where ship owners, representatives of maritime related companies, and experts on maritime topics from all over the world meet annually to network and discuss current issues in the industry.
Attending the CMA conference is a great experience for those who are working or studying in the maritime field. For International Maritime Business cadets, this is an excellent opportunity to learn about different maritime companies as well to see how truly international this field is. The conference consisted of an exhibition of more than 130 companies, various seminars and debates, a cocktail reception and a job fair towards the end of the event. Among all the companies, the following fields were most represented: ship construction and design, ship salvage services, logistics, insurance, brokerage and maritime IT.
This was my first time attending the CMA conference. I went with a group of thirty five other IMBU cadets, nine of which were exchange students from Shanghai and Dalian. My assignment for the day was to accompany the Chinese cadets. I enjoyed having the opportunity to interact and bond with the exchange students outside of the classroom setting. On the long bus ride to Stamford I sat with the students from China and told them more about myself and my background. Being born in Belarus, I was better able to connect with them, since I understand what it is like to be immersed in an unfamiliar culture. By the time we arrived at Stamford, I could see that they were becoming more comfortable with me and talkative.
At the conference, we spoke to representatives of maritime related organizations and businesses who told us about the types of services they offer, the job openings that they have, as well as the qualities they look for in their potential employees. We also attended an informative debate session where we learned about current controversial issues in the maritime industry.
The following topics were brought up at the conference:
1) demand and supply of different types of ships in the market;
2) future trade market, discussing the type of goods that will be shipped and how it will affect the industry;
3) efficient use of energy sources by the ships, taking into account topics on pollution;
4) logistics related to ship traffic, the expansion of Panama Canal, and congestion of ports such as Japan, Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe, Eastern Asia and USA;
5) ship scrapping;
6) pros and cons of the shipping career and industry.
After attending the conference I discussed the event with the Chinese exchange students on our bus ride back to Massachusetts. We were talking about the lessons learned at the CMA conference. We understood that the maritime industry is a constantly growing and expanding which has a high demand for maritime business professionals. The industry not only offers high salaries, but also gives an opportunity for one to advance quickly. This is not an industry that belongs to any one country, but is a truly global one. It is no longer enough to just be a specialist in your field of study, it is also important to be exposed to different cultures, languages and information technologies. It does not matter whether one is from Belarus or China or India or the US…..this is one global industry.
Article written by: 2/c Diana Kurek, International Maritime Business Major