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My cluster: personal insights inside New York

In our latest insights inside our maritime clusters we head off to New York and hear from Carleen Lyden Walker, IMO Goodwill Ambassador and the force behind SHIPPINGInsight. If she can’t get you to love New York (the city so good, they named it twice) then no-one can.

New York, New York.  The Big Apple.  Gotham City.  The City that Never Sleeps.  Images of New York include skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty., Wall Street, Broadway, and more.  It has had its share of victories, celebrated with ticker tape parades in the “Canyon of Heroes”, as well as its tragedies—the image of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers burning, then falling, on 9/11 will forever live in our memories.  From a Native American outpost colonized by the Dutch in 1624 (called Nieuw Amsterdam) to the second largest city in the world, New York is the world’s largest financial and media center, amongst other titles of size and growth.

It is also home to the 3rd largest port in the United States, and a nexus for all things maritime.  When you combine all the maritime cluster resources you would expect, along with financial assets, you truly have the “Capital for Shipping” (the tag line for cluster advocates NYMAR- New York Maritime Inc.)

In addition to its natural benefits as a deep-water port, the New York Tri-State area attracts a workforce that thrives, and drives, change and innovation.  With its large population that pulsates with energy, New York is an early adopter of new approaches to complex problems, and a center for gathering the necessary players together to address them!

New York meets all the criteria for a cluster:  over 400 shipping companies, banking and other finance opportunities, large legal community, active arbitration center, P & I Clubs, Classification Societies, ship brokers, insurance brokers, maritime academies, and more.  It is also a global hub for maritime gatherings such as Marine Money, SHIPPINGInsight 20/20, and CMA Shipping Conference.  Even in times of COVID-19, these entities are recognized as “must attend” for the world’s maritime community.

Being the world’s center of gravity for finance, New York spawns not only new approaches but new thinking.  With a focus on reducing emissions, New York was one of the first to adopt electric terminal hostlers and is currently supporting efforts to build “America’s marine highway” by developing a trailer ferry service and an innovative bunkering solution taking trucks off the road.  It is also home to NYSHEX, the New York Shipping Exchange (NYSHEX) which supports the transformation of container shipping by solving inefficiencies associated with booking downfalls and shipment rollings.

New York is also a pipeline for workforce development with the New York Harbor School feeding graduates directly into the business or providing a pathway to maritime colleges.  The NYHS has been particularly successful lifting underserved students into a career that was beyond their expectations, creating a new generation of contributors to the economic landscape.

Every community needs leaders, and New York is no exception.  Between NYMAR, the Connecticut Maritime Association, the Marine Society, Maritime Association of the Port of New York, and the New York Shipping Association, the industry stays connected and engaged as advocates for the industry and the service it provides to the region.

We recently observed the 19th anniversary of 9/11- an event that resonated around the world.  With the destruction of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, and the resulting death and chaos, the story of maritime’s contribution to rescuing survivors from Manhattan by watercraft will not be forgotten.  The maritime industry’s collective response to the crash of a passenger aircraft on the Hudson River will always be known as “The Miracle on the Hudson”.  While New York is the “City that Never Sleeps”, neither does the maritime industry which continues to grow and prosper.

Carleen Lyden Walker,
Chief Evolution Officer, SHIPPINGInsight
CEO, Morgan Marketing & Communications
Co-Founder/Executive Director NAMEPA
Founder, CARIBMEPA
Founder, Consortium for International Maritime Heritage



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