Date: March 15, 2013
From the importance of fuel efficiency to the merits of a maritime career, here are the stories that interested us this week.
Fuel efficiency tops list of shipping concerns –Fuel efficiency has emerged as the leading strategy for shipping companies to meet the challenges posed by tough market conditions, according to a new survey from law firm Norton Rose. As Lloyd’s List reports, 69% of shipping businesses believe that the industry should concentrate on developing more cost-effective means of managing fuel consumption in order to cope with the challenging economic conditions that Norton Rose describes as the “new normal”, with 42% identifying increased financial restraint as the most significant change to their business over the past two years. The survey – Norton Rose’s fourth annual survey of the transport industry – also identifies London as the key financial centre for the shipping industry, with 40% of respondents choosing London as their most favoured financing hub, although the growing competition from New York and Asia was also noted.
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: November 23, 2012
From ECDIS familiarisation to awareness of impending SEEMP regulations, we’ve been keeping track of the news that reflect the important issues affecting the maritime industry. Here are a few stories from the past week.
ECDIS Familiarisation - representatives from across the maritime industry gathered in London this week for the ECDIS Revolution conference, which was sponsored by Admiralty. The importance of ECDIS familiarisation emerged as a critical theme from this two-day event. A cross-industry group, organised and coordinated by The Nautical Institute has produced a range of guidance to clarify the requirements for competency in relation to ECDIS. ECDIS Familiarisation is defined as the process required to become familiar with any onboard ECDIS (including back-up) in order to assure and demonstrate competency in relation to a specific ship’s ECDIS installation, prior to taking charge of a navigation watch. The guidance includes a series of recommendations and an ECDIS Familiarisation Checklist, covering Initial Preparation; Basic Operations; Charts; Navigational Tools and Functions; Route Planning and Route Monitoring.
Date: November 9, 2012
From maritime internet usage to improving maritime training we’ve been keeping an eye on the industry’s most interesting stories from the past week. Here’s a quick selection:
Maritime internet usage increasing - Maritime companies are continuing to increase their use of the internet in their business activities, according to survey results published by ShipServ this week. Digital Ship reported that the findings of ShipServ’s 2012 Internet and Social Media Use in Shipping Survey indicate that now over 25% of the companies surveyed do all of their sourcing and buying over the internet – an increase of 10% since 2011. The results also show that the popularity of social media platforms in the industry is increasing with LinkedIn being the most popular.
Date: November 5, 2012
Amid all the talk of High Throughput Satellites and next-generation bandwidth availability for ship-shore communications it’s very easy to forget that for seafarers, access to email, SMS and the internet can still be a luxury.
It was a point driven home earlier this year by Mark Woodhead of Headland Media who pointed out at an industry communications conference that if the average business person only turned on their phone or logged into email twice a day, their experience would already be better than that of the average crewman.
Date: November 2, 2012
From green ports in China to the evolution of ECDIS we’ve been keeping an eye on the industry’s most interesting stories from the past week. Here’s a quick selection:
Developing green ports in China – Safety4Sea posted a video showing off China’s efforts to make its ports more ‘green’. Chongqing, a major city in Southwest China, has become the country’s leader in port productivity in the last few years. Energy saving processes and safety-orientated work practices have enabled the city to almost halve energy consumption of the city’s ships. Other cities are now taking note and following Chongqing’s example and turning to ‘green’ practices.
Date: October 10, 2012
Admiralty joined forces with the London branch of the Nautical Institute last week to host a celebration of World Hydrography Day, alongside a seminar debating a pressing issue in the shipping industry: Generation Y. The title, ‘Generation Y – professional navigators: the challenge of acquiring and combining traditional and technological skills’ well illustrated the nature of the challenge that the industry faces.
As we have noted on the blog before Generation Y seafarers live in a different world to the incumbent generation, having steady access to technology and social media both on and offshore, and they will soon be navigating some of the ships that their superiors currently command.
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: October 5, 2012
Dr Hideo Nishida of the Japan Hydrographic Association has been awarded the UKHO’s annual Alexander Dalrymple Award for his outstanding contribution to hydrography.
Dr Nishida has had a long and illustrious career with the Japan Coastguard, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the Japan Hydrographic & Oceanographic Department (JHOD). In particular, his work in reaction to natural disasters, during the tsunami and earthquake that hit Japan on 11 March 2011, was commended. The speedy and professional response of JHOD, under his leadership, was undoubtedly a major contributor to Japan’s remarkable recovery from this awful event.
Date: October 1, 2012
It is said that when the late, great Steve Jobs set out to develop the iPad, he described what he wanted to the development team, swore them to secrecy, and left them to it. How it worked was less important than the way it looked, felt and functioned, and that consumers wanted one the moment they saw it.
Comparisons to the shipping industry might be stretching the metaphor but recent SMM show in Hamburg produced one or two moments of revelation. Could we soon be installing an ECDIS so intuitive it needs no manual? Will touch screen navigation be the next big thing for navigation? How does the industry manage the massive retro-fit and compatibility challenge?