Global trade association Interferry has launched a call for papers addressing the ‘Power and People’ themes of its 46th annual conference taking place in Seattle, USA, this October.

Under the Power theme, presentations are invited on any sustainable, future-proof vessel powering options and the related challenges – notably the regulatory targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions of some 50% by 2030 and a ‘net zero’ scenario by 2050. With electrification emerging as the ferry industry’s key driver towards these goals, special focus will be given to papers on the development of Onshore Power Supply (OPS) in ports and terminals.

The People sessions aim to explore issues facing operators regarding staffing and succession planning, with particular attention to training and retention at a time when the maritime sector, like all industries, is facing an acute shortage of skilled labour.

“Environmentally-friendly power solutions and people-friendly work environments are increasingly crucial to the industry’s sustainability and success,” says Interferry CEO Mike Corrigan. “The OPS issue is of special interest to us this year, when we will be lobbying governments, energy companies and port authorities for rapid expansion of the shoreside electricity grid – an essential requirement to support the ever-growing uptake of fully-electric and hybrid ferry propulsion.

“We anticipate equally topical input on the human element. How do we attract, train, motivate and retain qualified employees? Numerous barriers need to be overcome. We want to hear about solutions that encourage a diversified mix of people to work in collaboration, develop their skills, feel valued and seek to establish long-term careers in the ferry industry.”

Papers from outside as well as within the industry will be welcome in order to deliver far-reaching business and political insights. Potential speakers are asked to send a 300-word abstract and relevant links if they have made any similarly themed presentations, together with a brief biography, portrait photo and social media details such as a LinkedIn profile. Applications should be sent to business manager with a copy to by May 13.  Those selected will be notified by June 17.

Demand for a presentation slot always outstrips supply at the ferry community’s longest-established event, which this year takes place at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center on Seattle’s waterfront. The conference sessions on October 3-4 are at the heart of a five-day agenda running from October 1-5 that also includes a comprehensive networking and social program.

The 2022 event is being co-hosted by Seattle-based operators Washington State Ferries and FRS Clipper.

Up to date conference information can be found on the conference website at

Please note that Interferry members and conference sponsors will be given first-priority for speaking slots, subject to the merits of their respective submissions. Furthermore, since Interferry is a not-for-profit organisation, selected speakers are responsible for their own conference registration costs.