Best Kept Secret
sure that many readers can remember their first interview
for a position in the Maritime world. For anyone who had,
or has, a desire to develop a maritime career, it is a pivotal
though it was back in 1985, prior the worldwide web, iphone,
email and such amazing electronic connectivity and being accessible
to everyone, I can still remember it with crystal clarity.
a small 3 line advertisement for an 'Oil Trader' in one of
the mainline English newspapers (I still have the original
bit of paper somewhere!). When I, ever so politely, called
to declare my interest and enquire about the advertisement,
I was told it was for a position as a "Bunker Trader"
with a premier Japanese trading house.
left me in somewhat of a quandary because, in spite of my
nautical heritage via my maternal grandfather (the Royal Navy
- you might have read his memoirs serialized in this newsletter),
and my father (the ship agent), I had never heard of "bunkers".
the dutiful and interested interviewee, off I went to the
English National library, thinking that this would be the
one place sure to have all the information on "bunkers",
I was sadly mistaken. After the first few references to "coal"
I realized that the library must not be quite up to date on
modern methods of supply, decided to "wing it",
and thankfully was successful, being still in the "Bunker"
business 30 years later.
looking back at this particular moment in my career, it seems,
even to this very day and on another continent, to be symptomatic
of a wider ignorance of the fundamental importance of the
maritime industry to the national economy. Ask yourself, outside
of your contacts and friends actively involved in our industry,
how many are aware of its importance to our nation? It's huge
contribution to the running of our great nation?
hear glib suggestions involving trade embargoes or sanctions,
and I am sure that many us - at least having some experience
in the industry of how such actions will backfire and damage
our own economy - cringe when such pronouncements hit the
has to look at the (very) recent strike on the US West Coast
to see just what a huge impact an interruption in the chain
of supply has on the economy.
many people in our nation are aware of the importance of our
maritime industry? Your guess is as good as mine, but I can't
tell you how many times I have had to explain to complete
newcomers just how vessels get the fuel for their engines.
It isn't magic, but it does take a serious amount of understanding,
and is so very necessary.
CMA we have close links with many of the Maritime Colleges,
not only through their Alumni already gainfully employed in
the industry, but also via the scholarships being awarded
via the CMA Education Foundation.
come to our conference (www.shipping2015.com) later this month,
23-25 March, you can attest to the strength our connections,
not only at the awards ceremony for the scholarships, but
also at every level of our industry, both Nationally and Internationally,
just how, at the CMA, we are working to ensure that this industry
of ours is brought into as many households as possible and
to dispel the aura of being Americas best kept secret.
forward to see you at the conference.