There is a lot of hope on the horizon. That’s what I saw as I traveled between IRI’s North American offices in the last few weeks. The pandemic slowed a lot of the industry’s forward momentum while the world grappled with immediate and urgent concerns, but at IRI, our clients, our team, and our partners are back to proactively addressing the challenges of tomorrow and I have to say, that feels really good.
The challenges of tomorrow look different in March 2022 than they did in March 2020. With renewed zeal the industry is tackling the decarbonization goals for 2025, and thanks to the pandemic, we have new technologies, new partnerships, and new solutions on the horizon to help us achieve those targets. Our team has been amazing during the pandemic, seamlessly transitioning to virtual work and moving processes between our worldwide offices, but we are ready to move forward.
Visiting with our team in Houston, I was struck by the overwhelming energy we had being back together as a full team. There was a sense of momentum that filled the office and an energy to forge a new path in a dynamic market to support our clients as they opened the door to new opportunities. Perhaps it was simply being physically together again as a group that sparked the feeling of energy, or perhaps it was in-person client visits, or the office’s recent visit with the United States Coast Guard. Being together, in person, after so long, seems to be a force multiplier.
Ten years ago, our Long Beach office opened its doors as our first office along the West Coast of North America. Today, Long Beach coordinates inspections with a team positioned up and down the West Coast of the United States, provides technical support, corporate services, and now also has a dedicated person handling Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 related concerns. Just last week I had the pleasure of joining Alison Wilson and her team in the Long Beach office and then traveling north to join Annie Ng who opened our newest West Coast office in Vancouver, British Columbia.
The backup of vessels at the Port of Long Beach has made international news, but as I sat in our office watching the traffic in and out of the port, I recognize that the Port of Long Beach is really a microcosm of the industry as a whole. As an industry we had to address the urgent challenges which arose from the pandemic, but like the vessels that waited at anchorage, we have restarted our engines and are moving forward, shifting our priorities. We are most effective as an industry when we work together, collaborating toward the same goal of advancing the industry to tackle not just the immediate, but the important.
With another new office recently opened in Qingdao to support inspections in Northern China, our team is prioritizing what is important – expanding client services to meet the challenges of tomorrow so that our clients can capitalize on opportunities as they evolve.
There’s a lot of hope on the horizon and behind that hope is our team, addressing the needs of today and prioritizing the challenges of tomorrow.