BIMCO, the highest council of the world maritime sector for more than a century, now has its very First Turk Woman President.

Sadan Kaptanoglu will become BIMCO’s first women President duly from June 2019. Ms. Kaptanoglu will focus on the economic, regulatory and environmental issues as well as on the effective implementation of the 2020 sulphur cap.

At the Ordinary General Assembly of BIMCO, the umbrella organization of the marine sector, has elected the member of board of trustees at Piri Reis University, Dr. Şadan Kaptanoğlu as the next term president. BIMCO, an umbrella organization in the marine field, owns a huge percentage of up to 90 percent of the world trade has been leading and determining the development of the sector for the shipowners worldwide for over a century. BIMCO has determined the world maritime trade rules by over 300 agreements, and is also developing and upgrading these agreements. BIMCO in order for the marine industry to reach higher levels around the world, initially prepares the infrastructure for a trouble-free trade between countries, reduces the risks involved with this trade, and tries to prevent dangers.

At the General Assembly Anatassios Papagianopoulus was voted as the new President and Sadan Kaptanoglu was voted as the next term President. Dr. Sadan Kaptanoglu said that BIMCO is an important leader organization for the world’s and Turkey’s marine community. She also added that, From now on for 6 years she will be a representative of the world shipowners as BIMCO’s next president, then the chairman of the board, and fi nally as the former president.

I am experiencing the honor and the excitement of being the first woman and the first Turkish President of this giant organization. We all know the constraints a women experiences in the workforce. I also had to work much harder than men all through my career. Nevertheless, I have received great support from my stakeholders both from my country and also from the marine industry. I am a fortunate person. We have a lot to do, we have lots of loads to carry in the world oceans with Turkish ships.

Our objective will be to take our acquired fame of success gained in many matters in the economic field. Even further with the reforms we will undertake for the promotion of our seafaring. The support of our government’s constructive politics, and the cooperative work of the private sector, the public, the universities and the non-government organizations will be an add on. She also extended her gratitude to the former BIMCO Vice President Esref Cerrahoglu and the international seafarers.

Ms. Kaptanoglu is heading the Kaptanoglu Group, a shipping company of Turkey. She quoted that her priorities will include environmental and economic matters as well. The 2020 Sulphur cap is one of the most compelling issues presently.Though there are other hitches too in the industry that require to be lightened. She added by saying that the industry urges on tackling the climate change. For which she believes that the industry should become greener and efficient.

In the process to achieve these objectives, Ms. Kaptanoglu points out the importance of younger generations. The “cyber age” demands a fresh approach which can only be derived from the young leaders.

While she readily accepts she was born with a “golden spoon” in her mouth, BIMCO’s president designate and Kaptanoglu Shipping chief executive officer (CEO) Sadan Kaptanoglu is under no delusion about the demands that the maritime industry makes of its leaders. When you go into shipping, there are huge assumptions for accomplishments and you simply have to meet these assumptions. These have to be reached from the ground level operations to decision making. The implementation should be done in your personal and business life as well. Shipping is a tough industry and you are expected to see the big picture and be in a position to act if you are a decision-maker.

According to Ms. Sadan, one of the first challenges faced by her was from the industry itself for staying in power genuinely and intending on building a career in shipping. The questions were also raised whether she had the qualifications to be there or not.

For the first decade in the sector, she was assessed at every step whether she is acquainted of the gig or not. It’s all about coping up with the work and having knowledge of the stuffs, irrespective of the gender. Ms. Sadan has certainly earned her industry stripes from generations of her families’ helm. Blossoming up in an environment where shipping is talked about day in and day out she was nurtured to become a “full shipping person.” after having completed her MSc degree in shipping, trade, and finance.

Her efforts and involvement in the maritime world have seen her assume several leadership positions. Currently, she is the chairperson of the Turkish Marine Environment Protection Association (TURMEPA) and VP of the International Marine Environment Protection Association (INTERMEPA). She is also serving on the board of directors of the Turkish Chamber of Shipping and Piri Reis Maritime University.

The ongoing involvement with BIMCO, which will see her become first female president of the 112-year-old organisation when she succeeds Common Progress CEO Anastasios Papagiannopoulos in June 2019.

Views over 2020 Sulphur Cap

An advocate for shipping playing its part in safeguardin g the environment, Ms. Sadan restated that th e 2020 sulphur cap does not just matter to ship owners, but comprises a number of other parties too, like, refineries, ports, and countries – which meant that everyone has to do their part. If at all they fail to do, then we need to actively step in to protect the innocent parties.

I have focused on preserving this earth for future generations, said Ms. Sadan. She also added that it is “too early to talk about 2019 tanker prospects”, she is acting like a ball of fire when talking of the forthcoming years in the shipyards.


BIMCO, was established on 16 February 1905 in Copenhagen under the name of the Baltic and the White Sea Conference. The name of the Council was later changed to the Baltic and International Maritime Council.

The membership of the council when formed was 12, which has gradually with time.

In the present scenario the Council has over 2100 members, amongst them are ship owners, brokers, agents, vessel operators, protection and indemnity clubs, top organizations, banks and insurance companies, from 123 countries. In addition to that, it has ties with 51 national and international organizations.

The council represented 32% of the trade fleet with 93 million DWT (deadweight tonnage) in the 1960s. Presently it rules over 65% of the trade fleet around the world with 550 million DWT.

Turkey joined as a member of BIMCO in 1962 and today more than 84 organizations are a member from Turkey.

Presently the Council has had 43 presidents.


Focusing on the various factors like the economic, regulatory and environmental issues as well as on the effective implementation of the 2020 sulphur cap. The industry should become greener and efficient. The importance of younger generations in the maritime. There is a demand of “cyber age” for a fresh approach which can only be derived from the young leaders. Ms. Sadan hold faiths in diversity in all the aspects, not just along the lines of gender. She is determined to see increasing number of women working actively in the shipping. Setting an example for the men who dominate the sector and for making them understand the value of a different angle or viewpoint.

Hoping for the strong implementation of the ideas and new approaches in the maritime industry. The woman with shipping in her blood is set to sail through the storms!!


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