OCEAN's Vice Chair, Carl Forsman, reflects on what's at stake in 2024 for ship supply

Stockholm, Sweden, 01.02.2024, 15:29 Uhr

Carl Forsman

What will 2024 bring for ship supply?

OCEAN's Vice Chair, Carl Forsman, reflects on what's at stake in 2024 for ship supply

OCEAN's Vice Chair, Carl Forsman, offers his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities that the ship supply industry faces in the year 2024.

At OCEAN, we represent the collective voice of ship suppliers across Europe, dedicated to ensuring the ongoing delivery of qualitative, safe and fair ship supplies to vessels docking at European ports.

Our mission unfolds at the intersection of hands-on service and navigating complex regulatory landscapes. The past year was filled with significant milestones for our organization, including our board meeting in Paris, the establishment of our new Sustainability Working Group, and the unforgettable experience many of us had at the ISSA Convention in Dubai. I'm glad to say that 2024 promises to be equally, if not more, filled with promising opportunities, though it will not be devoid of its hurdles. Let's explore what the next ten months have in store for us, highlighting both the prospects and the challenges ahead.

OCEAN continues to fight for our interests.

2023 witnessed a myriad of challenges within our industry, and this year promises a similar landscape, marked by new hurdles as well as ongoing efforts to navigate existing legislative frameworks. Our attention will be drawn towards addressing regulations stemming from the ambitious EU Green Deal, lobbying for the preservation of crucial simplifications amidst the UCC Reform, monitoring the impact of the UK's newly implemented SPS regulations, and ensuring that our industry operates without contravening EU sanctions on Russia.

Needless to say, OCEAN's agenda is brimming with critical tasks!

Red Sea crisis

It all began in October last year, and the repercussions of the Houthi movement's attacks on commercial ships are anticipated to resonate throughout this year. Naturally, this predicament has compelled numerous leading entities in the maritime sector to change routes, presenting challenges for Europe, which relies on a supply chain that makes extensive use of the Suez Canal.

While, as ship suppliers, the immediate impact of this situation may not seem pressing, the risk of port congestion, unpredictability, extended lead times from Asia, and heightened costs associated with importing goods are bound to create significant challenges for many within our community.

Adapting promptly to these developments will be crucial for us, should the situation linger unresolved.

OCEAN Board Meeting, Antwerp, 16th – 17th of May.

The upcoming board meeting later this spring stands out as potentially one of the year's most pivotal gatherings, and it's an event I'm particularly excited about! There's a significant agenda ahead of us, making it essential for us to come together, solidify our unity across European Ship Supply, and collaboratively strive for a thriving future.

I'm delighted to share that Mr. Proios, the Chair of KBBS, has graciously extended an invitation to us to convene in the stunning city of Antwerp, coinciding beautifully with Belgium's tenure of the EU presidency.

I strongly encourage your participation if you're able to join us!


Welcome (back) to Europe, ISSA!

This year, we're thrilled to welcome our international ship supply community colleagues in Europe for the ISSA 66 Convention, set against the backdrop of the beautiful city of Seville, Spain. This presents an ideal chance to connect with new suppliers, partners, customers, and peers within the industry. Additionally, this event holds particular significance for us Europeans, marking the first convention presided over by Rafael Fernandez since his election last year.

Looking forward to seeing everyone there!


As we transition from 2023 and set our sights on what lies ahead, it's clear that certain challenges will persist. The ongoing implications of sanctions against Russia and the ramifications of the Red Sea crisis will require our continued vigilance. Moreover, we must keep pace with the EU's ambitious and rapid regulatory changes to ensure our industry remains in step.

However, the year also promises numerous opportunities for us to gather, engage in dialogue, network, strategize, and take collective action. I'm optimistic about what this year holds, and I hope you share in this sentiment. Looking forward to crossing paths with you!