These are extraordinary times, but the world’s ships need to keep moving. Thanks to the continued efforts of all, both at sea and ashore, this industry continues to transport the world’s commodities and goods and underpin everyone’s lives. Baltic members play a significant role in this.
The Baltic Exchange is taking precautionary steps in London and Singapore to ensure a normal service and support our members. Our daily benchmark services continue to remain unaffected and published as normal throughout the working week. The impact of disruptive events such as this are well rehearsed and planned for. The Baltic’s risk mitigation measures are detailed in our Guide to Market Benchmarks which includes a business continuity and disaster recovery plan.
But the Baltic is not just about assessments: it is a community which meets and networks regularly as well as supports many charities. The Baltic Exchange’s own calendar is of course heavily affected.
The well supported annual Lord Mayor’s Big Curry is the most recent event to have been cancelled. This is a big blow to fund raising for the Her Majesty’s forces veterans selected for the three year 2019-2021 Pain Management Programme. There are 18 veterans midway through the programme and a further cohort have just begun treatment.. I’m pleased to see that various sponsors including the Baltic Exchange have decided to maintain their contribution for year 2019-2020. On behalf of the LMBC committee we are asking ticket purchasers to make their purchase to the 2020 Lunch a donation. This means that the costs incurred so far are defrayed, but more importantly, helps fund veterans through the 2020-2021 programme.
The Baltic Exchange was also forced to cancel the annual Baltic Irish Night only two days ahead of the date. With so many signed up it was a decision taken with heavy heart, but in hindsight a correct one. I would like to personally thank the members of the organising committee for their hard work and as always, for giving up their free time. It’s just a shame that we couldn’t thank them in the usual way on the rousing night!
The reactivated Baltic Wine Tasting scheduled for 2 April has also been postponed, but at least the bottles can remain laid down and will maybe improve with age.
The Chairman’s Cocktail Party on 13 May remains on the calendar, but we will be heeding Government advice particularly with Ministers, MP’s and Mayoral invitees. We will be making further announcements in the coming weeks.
Posidonia is of course shipping’s jewel in the crown event. This has already been rescheduled to October, which affects many of our members globally.
These are indeed testing times, particularly so for an industry that traditionally networks and requires frequent travel, but shipping is and will always be needed to keep the world moving. Despite a disruptive working environment for all of our members, the Baltic Exchange will continue providing the indices and assessments which so many depend on.
I wish you all the best in these troubled times.