29 September 2016: With a 35-year history steeped in maritime safety and communications, Inmarsat recognises the importance of the global shipping industry and is proud to celebrate the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) World Maritime Day.
The 2016 theme for the annual event is “Shipping: Indispensable to the World” and highlights the vital part that the industry plays in transporting the commodities, fuel, foodstuffs, goods and products on which we all depend.
The day also focuses on the IMO’s role as the global regulatory body for international shipping.
IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim said: “A world without shipping is a world that is simply unimaginable. Almost everyone on this planet owes a debt of gratitude to this unsung industry – even if very few of them realise it.
“Shipping and related maritime activities are essential components of future sustainable growth for the Earth’s seven billion-plus inhabitants – and this gives IMO’s work a significance that reaches far beyond the industry itself.
“It is thanks to the global fleet of ships and an international workforce of over one million seafarers that the import and export of over 10 billion tonnes of goods to sustain the modern world can take place.”
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), around 80 per cent of global trade by volume and over 70 per cent of global trade by value are carried by sea and are handled by ports worldwide.
There are more than 50,000 commercial vessels trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations and manned by more than a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.
As the world’s leading provider of satellite communications to merchant shipping, Inmarsat recognises the essential contribution that these vessels and their crews make.
Set up by the IMO to provide satellite safety services to ships at sea, we are proud to protect seafarers every day. Last year alone, over 600 distress alerts were broadcast over Inmarsat C.
Our always-on voice and data service FleetBroadband has been helping shipping companies to run more efficient operations since 2007. There are important benefits for crew too, who are able to stay in touch with family and friends through voice calls, social media, email and video chat while away at sea; and can be entertained with our on-demand video service Fleet Media, which delivers hundreds of hours of movies. TV, sports and news.
Now Fleet Xpress, our next generation maritime service, is bringing the industry all the advantages of big data connectivity with high-speed, seamless, reliable global coverage to improve operational efficiency and support crew welfare.
Ronald Spithout, President of Inmarsat Maritime, said: “World Maritime Day is an important date in the calendar as it shines a spotlight on this vital global industry.
“Maritime transport is indeed indispensable to the world, and in turn Inmarsat is indispensable to global shipping. Satellite connectivity helps the industry be the most efficient, cost effective and sustainable method of moving essential goods around the world.”
World Maritime Day will be celebrated at IMO headquarters in London with a debate on global shipping’s future challenges. Other events and activities focusing on the theme will be held throughout the year.