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About the WofSPortugal Founder and Owner
I come from a family of fishermen. My father was a chief engineer and already working for the industry by the time I was born; so, I have the privilege to say that I was born and grew within the shipping industry. My infancy was spent onboard tankers, particularly on board the old Fogo, Gerês and Dondo tanker vessels owned by Sociedade Portuguesa de Navios Tanques (SOPONATA); walking on ships’ decks has always been a natural issue. I also recall a small gas carrier named ‘Tokyo Maru’ moored in Cabo Ruivo, at a terminal that no longer exists, the codfish fishing boats in Aveiro, and the passenger-cargo vessels trading to Azores and Madeira Islands loading and unloading cows at Cais da Rocha in Alcantara. At 9, I made my first sea voyage onboard M/V Angra do Heroísmo, a cargo-passenger ship, to Madeira and Azores. Then, as a teenager, onboard M/T Gerês, I travelled to Odessa in Ukraine and Novorossiysk in Russia, in the Black Sea. However, my first big voyage was on board the M/T ‘Marão’ at 12 years old from Leixões to Kharg Island via the Suez Canal and returning by the Cape. This voyage that was supposed to last 45 days resulted in a 90 day-voyage where I could feel the ocean’s freedom. During all these years, I saw Mar da Palha, in the Port of Lisbon, full of cargo vessels at the time when containerisation was still in its infancy, and unaware of the changes that a box would cause in the movement of goods.
In 1985, I earned my elementary nautical studies degree at Escola Náutica Infante D. Henrique (ENIDH) in Paço D’Arcos, Portugal. When I left the nautical school, I was a cadet and deck officer in Portuguese shipping companies. When I got into the nautical school, I was fully aware of the hard work I would encounter. I knew that I would be working in a men’s environment and that I had to prove that I could do the same work that they did. However, I never felt ‘inferior’ for being a woman. Seen from this distance, ships need professionals independently of gender. While the conditions and technologies have changed, the work needs to be done, and seafarers’ work must be respected since they are the men and women taking care of the trade that we buy from our local stores every day. In 1995, when I was ashore teaching, I earned my B.Sc. in Management and Maritime Technologies at ENIDH and realised that I wanted to learn more about the industry. It was then that I came across with Tutorship programme from the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. As to the rest, it all came one thing after another. In October 1997, I obtained my M.Sc. Degree in International Logistics at the Institute of Marine Studies, University of Plymouth, United Kingdom. In July 1998, I had the good news of having passed all the Professional Qualifying Exams (‘Introduction to Shipping’, ‘Law of Carriage of Goods by Sea’, ‘Economics of Sea Transport’, ‘Shipping Practice’, ‘Dry Cargo Chartering’, ‘Liner Trades’ and ‘International Through Transport Management’) of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. One year later, in September 1999, with a grant from Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portugal), I embarked on my PhD. This voyage lasted almost 4 years in Cardiff, under Peter B. Marlow’s supervision, where I researched the “Competitiveness of Short Sea Shipping in Multimodal Logistics Supply Chains”. I successfully obtained my PhD in International Transport/Logistics from the University of Wales – Cardiff in July 2003.
Between 1998 and 2007, I published several articles of a professional nature in Portuguese industry magazines. However, from 2001, I devoted myself to research and development. My research work can be found in well-known international journals (International Journal of Logistics Research and Applications, International Journal of Ocean Systems Management, International Journal of Physical Distribution and Logistics Management, International Journal of Shipping and Transport Logistics, International Journal of Transport Management, Journal of International Logistics and Trade, Marine Policy, Maritime Business Review, Maritime Economics and Logistics, and Maritime Policy and Management). Also, from 2004 to date, I have been organising industry and research conferences. In 2004/2005, I organised with Cargo Edições the 18th International Port Training Conference. Later, also with Cargo Edições, I organised and chaired the 2010 Annual Conference of the International Association of Maritime Economists and the 2012 International Research Conference on Short Sea Shipping. Under the umbrella of ‘World of Shipping Portugal’, I organised and chaired the 2019, 2021 and 2022 World of Shipping Portugal Conferences. Also, within the research and development scope, I have been invited, since 2002, to peer-review academic papers, submitted to well-known international Journals, participate as a member of several Conferences International Scientific Committees, supervise Master Thesis, assess PhD Thesis. In addition, since 2003, I have been an External Expert for the European Commission in transport, evaluating transport-related proposals and reviewing transport-related projects. Finally, in cooperation with Leo Tadeu Robles, I translated into Portuguese the third edition of the “Maritime Economics” book written by Martin Stopford.
Currently, I manage the ‘World of Shipping Portugal’, of which I am the founder and owner, and its training arm the 'World of Shipping Portugal Academy'. In addition, I am an External Expert on Transport Matters for the European Commission, Member of the Research Centre on Modelling and Optimisation of Multifunctional Systems (CIMOSM, ISEL), Maritime Business Review Associate Editor, Journal of International Logistics and Trade Editorial Board Member | Universal Journal of Management Editorial Board Member | Frontiers in Future Transportation Review Editor and Journal of Shipping and Trade Guest Editor. I am also Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers (ICS) and a Member of the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME).
Overall, I do not know if the shipping industry has adopted me or if I have adopted the industry. I know that I am part of the industry and am passionate about it because I cannot see myself outside it. Furthermore, I guess that there are still some important issues to accomplish. The history of humanity shows how vital the industry has been to the development of the world. My only wish is that when I close the door, I can see the industry receiving the respect it deserves and that I have contributed to it, however small this contribution may be. In all this process, I also know one thing: invest in your education, take care of the environment, and never give up on the industry; all this will help the industry keep moving into the future!
Take care, Stay safe, Be well!
Greetings from Lisbon
Ana Casaca
11 March 2023
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