Date: February 1, 2013
From a practical guide on avoiding collisions to calls for improved sustainability reporting, we’ve been keeping track of the news that reflect the important and interesting issues affecting the maritime industry. Here are a few recent stories.
North P&I Club issues guide to avoiding collisions – The North of England P&I Club has published a new guide for watchkeepers entitled ‘Collisions: How to avoid them’. Designed for use on ship’s bridges, the guide provides a reminder of the most important ‘rules of the road’ as set out in the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea 1972 (COLREGS). It emphasises the importance of deck officers applying the navigation rules set out in the COLREGS and describes the 12 regulations that North believes are most often misinterpreted, including look-outs, action to avoid collisions, crossing situations and conduct of vessel in restricted visibility. As well as setting out the basics of the COLREGS, it also uses case studies of recent collisions to illustrate their importance. The guide is being circulated to all North’s members and entered ships. Non-members can buy a copy from marine bookshops or the Club’s distributor.
Date: January 31, 2013
The start of 2013 has brought with it a flurry of predictions and aspirations for the year ahead, reflecting both pessimism about the ongoing financial woes facing shipping companies, as well as a more optimist perspective on the opportunities that always emerge during times of change. We take a look at some of the key themes expected to dominate the shipping world during 2013.
Collaboration and consolidation in a tough market
Leading shipping bank DNB offered a few crumbs of comfort as the shipping industry entered its sixth year of downturn. It anticipates a recovery in bulk rates in 2013, led by slower growth in the size of the global bulk fleet, which will start to redress the problems of over-capacity. Chemical and product tanker sectors are also set to recover, according to DNB, but the crude tanker and container sectors are expected to remain flat during the year ahead.
In the face of such ongoing financial instability, Fairplay editor Richard Clayton calls for shipping to be returned to maritime friendly companies that truly care about keeping vessels safe and the oceans free from pollution. Whilst bank finance will be as hard to obtain as ever and market rates will continue to be determined by the surge in newbuild tonnage, he sees potential benefits from greater collaboration between shipping companies during 2013. Elsewhere, others argue that certain sectors, such as container shipping, will require not just co-operation, but true consolidation in order to restore market stability in the year ahead.
Date: October 26, 2012
From improved seafarer training to new data collection software, we’ve been keeping an eye on the industry’s most interesting stories from the past week. Here’s a quick selection:
European Parliament improves seafarers training and working conditions –Safety4Sea reported that the European Parliament endorsed the IMO’s crucial improvements to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarer’s (STCWS), this week. This means that European Union law will now fall into line with the IMO’s recently revised standards on training and safety. The European Council also gave the EU Commission the authority to collect data on personnel operating in EU waters, in order to obtain a better picture of the seafarer profession in Europe.
Date: October 12, 2012
From super-fast internet to maritime e-learning, we’ve been keeping an eye on the industry’s most interesting stories. Here’s a selection of articles from the past week:
LaserLight to offer superfast Internet– A US-based company LaserLight is planning to launch the world’s first commercial satellite communications constellation based entirely on laser technology. gCaptain reported that LaserLight intends to connect its Optical Satellite System (OSS) with the global fibre network both terrestrial and undersea, providing connectivity which has previously been unattainable. However, LaserLight anticipates the first OSS will not be launched until 2017. The satellites needed to support the technology will be among the first satellites ever to exist without reliance on the radio frequency spectrum, since they are entirely based on optical wave technology – laser.
Date: October 5, 2012
From technology protection rights to the world’s largest port community system, we’ve been keeping an eye on the industry’s most interesting stories. Here’s a selection of articles from the past week:
Growing concern about IP rights for environmental technologies – The International Maritime Organization is reportedly about to enter a fierce debate over the protection of intellectual properties for environmentally-friendly technologies. The debate has been sparked by a paper submitted by several developing countries to the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee. The paper points to expert opinion claiming that excessive levels of IP rights might stifle innovation and access to knowledge but calls for a balance between protection of IP rights and promotion of public services. Lloyd’s List reported that China is among the countries supporting the paper that would allow developing nations to access energy-efficient ship technologies.
Date: September 21, 2012
From free Wi-Fi for seafarers to improved ECDIS courses, we’ve been keeping an eye on the industry’s most interesting stories. Here’s a selection of articles from the past week:
Maersk Line’s social media strategy – Maersk Line is reviewing the company’s social media activity, reported Safety4Sea. The study is aiming to find the value of social media in different parts of the organisation and find out if the use should be changed in order to make the returns as high as possible. Maersk Line has just won two awards at the European Digital Communications Awards for securing 420,000 fans on Facebook as well as gathering significant presence on eight other platforms, in just 11 months.
Date: August 10, 2012
From ECDIS training to boosting women’s involvement in the shipping industry, we’ve been keeping an eye on the week’s most interesting stories:
Mentors and role models could boost female maritime participation – According to the IMO, female seafarers are an underdeveloped resource. Figures from 2009 showing that only around two per cent of the total seafarer workforce were female. However, according to Maritime Professional’s blog, female mentors and role models could provide the answer. Capt. Lou Mitchell, a lecturer at a UK Marine College and a mentor of the International Maritime Mentoring Community, comments that her own career path would have been different had she been able to turn to a mentor for career advice – admitting she would have become a Chief Mate instead of a Marine Superintendent in the towage industry, if she had known the option was available.
Date: August 3, 2012
From international maritime training exercises to the green ship of the future, we’ve been keeping an eye on the industry’s most interesting stories. Here’s a selection of articles from the past week:
ECDIS training not up to standard – According to Lloyd’s List, there is mounting concern that navigation cadets are not receiving the necessary training for electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS). ECDIS units are becoming mandatory on board all vessels covered by the Safety of Life at Sea Convention of the International Maritime Organization, and all navigators must be fully trained on ECDIS. The article asks how, with training taking place at maritime colleges and on independent courses all around the world, the maritime industry can be sure that all seafarers are adequately prepared?
Date: July 27, 2012
From fuel costs and consumption to low sulphur fuel availability; we’ve been keeping an eye on all of the most interesting stories from the maritime industry. Here’s a selection of articles from the past week:
Smart ships can reduce fuel consumption by 20 per cent – Fuel is one of the highest single costs for ships. Safety4Sea has reported that ABB, a Swiss engineering conglomerate, is developing a complete suite of software products that will reduce fuel consumption by 20 per cent. This is significant when you consider that reducing fuel consumption by just one per cent would result in an annual saving of £300,000 for a large container ship. The company is close to making these energy savings a reality through its development of software products that will monitor, control and optimise all energy consumption process during vessel operation.
Date: July 26, 2012
The Admiralty team has recently returned from Asia where our ECDIS experts presented the ‘Are you ready for the new ECDIS regulations?’ workshops.
Captain Paul Hailwood spoke to 85 delegates in Taipei who seemed well informed of the mandatory carriage of ECDIS and its requirements. However, feedback from the workshops suggested that Taiwanese shipping companies are still in the early stages of their transition to digital navigation, in comparison to their European counterparts. Many attendees were particularly interested in hearing about the cost effectiveness of implementing ECDIS on board; a key concern for the region’s maritime industry.