Capt. S.Y. Kuo
Vice group chairman
Despite the growth of the European Union, the U.S. remains the world's largest consumer market, and the U.S. West Coast is its major gateway. The fact that the ports there have become bottlenecks, rather than funnels, should be a significant concern and a priority issue to solve in the immediate future.
There are various elements that slow cargo movements. Ocean carriers are especially concerned about terminal operations, security requirements that are not necessarily uniform and inadequate inland transportation, rail and truck. The need for expanded port space must be understood and politics and competition aside - all harbors work to make the movement of cargo swift and smooth through a commitment for development, the most efficient use of technology and an effective means of maintaining economic growth in international trade.
Development also brings up the subject of environmental concerns. A healthy competitive industry can commit to improve its environmental performance. The shipping industry has been committed to continuous improvement of its environmental concerns worldwide and welcomes the concept of sustainable development with the need to protect the environment. The maritime industry is one of the largest and highly technical entities engaged in world trade. It will continue to influence the health of the world economy as long as it can maintain trade performance and global competitiveness.
It is vital that those who develop and enforce environmental policy consider the conditions of the parties that are required to comply. Rules should be established as part of a team effort so that workable solutions in reasonable periods of time can ensure responsibility. We all want to leave the world a cleaner place than how we found it.