HAMBURG. Working together with the federal government in tackling the major challenges facing the German shipping industry. This is how Gaby Bornheim, the new president of the Association of German Shipowners (VDR), describes her most pressing task. “Shipping is exceedingly important for Germany, as are well-functioning maritime trade routes. We will provide the impetus to run a German ocean shipping industry that is both climate-friendly and competitive, with excellently trained and future-oriented staff on land and at sea,” said the managing director of Peter Döhle Schiffahrts-KG following her election in December. She is the first woman at the helm of VDR in the 114-year history of this interest group. She replaced Captain Alfred Hartmann, who headed the Association from 2015 but did not stand for reelection. The VDR has around 220 members and represents the largest part of the German commercial fleet.