Message from the President: IUMI steadfast in uncertain times

By Frédéric Denèfle IUMI President

The year 2023 will see significant changes in the marine insurance industry. Covid-19 is now behind us, and all world trade zones, including China, are returning to normal. Still, lots of questions are on the table. Will inflation remain at a high rate? Will international trade rise again, as shown in Europe and USA at the beginning of 2022? Will freight rates and shipping activities keep an upbeat pace? The usual questions will be addressed with a particular momentum.

The war in Ukraine has not shown any sign of being resolved, and marine insurers are now facing a turning point where the risk cycle might become heavily influenced by this seemingly unchanging reality.

Consequently, marine insurers cannot have any business relationship with Russia except for what is permitted under the embargoes and sanctions, which are bound to expand again.

IUMI will continue on its course.

At our recent spring conference, our professional community started thinking about the various messages we want to deliver connected with our annual central conference theme: Strength and stability in turbulent seas

Insurers will undoubtedly, watch their customers strategically move to face all future challenges. Our insured community is indeed looking for common-ground solutions, as shown by the new Digital Container Shipping Association, which has decided to merge its effort to go 100% with the electronic bill of lading (eBL) by 2030. This will help bring greater simplicity and efficiency to their business processes.

But business processes are not the only area of innovation. Energy issues are also contemplated by those seeking evolution and decarbonisation.

Biofuel is also a topic of significance. It can reduce energy consumption and recycle products, save on costs and reduce the carbon footprint linked to maritime trade. More and more charterers will consider this option and choose owners keen to develop such technical solutions on board their vessels. This is the most promising evolution.  

Regarding autonomous vessels, a real and tangible legal framework is being shaped to enable those new technologies to be deployed, to supplement the regular crew on duty. 

Indeed, we will have much to consider at the next IUMI conference in Edinburgh to follow our last conference in Chicago, which was such a great success.

So, please stay in touch with IUMI to learn more and understand what is at the forefront of our activities.