Bimco has elected Nikolaus Schues president with a brief to focus on optimisation and digitalisation.

The world’s largest shipping association elected the owner and chief executive of German shipping company F Laeisz at its general meeting in Hong Kong on Thursday.

Schues becomes the 46th president, taking over from Sabrina Chao of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings, whose two-year term has ended.

He is the first German to hold the position at the Denmark-based organisation since 2011.

“I am honoured to be elected president of an organisation that represents over 60% of the world’s tonnage at a time when the task of decarbonising our industry is becoming increasingly urgent,” Schues said.

One of his key priorities is for Bimco to be a strong force for the digitalisation and optimisation of shipping.

“I believe it is crucial that we focus on the solutions that can help us advance today, and not fall into the trap of focusing exclusively on the right fuels of tomorrow,” he said.

“Our industry has digital solutions ready to go, which can cut our carbon footprint now. I see tremendous potential in helping the industry implement such solutions and making shipping greener in the process.”

F Laeisz celebrates its 200th anniversary next year. Schues joined the company in 1993.

Busy man

He is a busy man, being also a member of the presidential committee of the German Shipowners’ Association, deputy chairman of the UK P&I Club, a member of the Norwegian Hull Club committee and a director at Schutzverein Deutscher Rheder.

Since being nominated for the top role at Bimco in 2020, he has sat on the board to prepare for the position.

Chao will remain on the board for two years as immediate past president.

At the Hong Kong meeting, Paul Pathy, CEO of Canadian shipowner Fednav International, was elected president designate.