Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
On 8 April in Singapore, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) signed a joint memorandum of understanding (see illustration).
This new MOU codifies the extensive level of co-operation that already exists between these important international trade associations and provides a framework for their closer co-operation. The three associations collectively represent over 90% of the world merchant fleet. The agreement recognises their respective memberships of national shipowners’ associations and the unique and special relationship which their members enjoy with their national governments.
The MOU confirms the roles of ICS, ASA and ECSA as the principal global and regional associations, representing shipowners and operators – in all shipping sectors and trades – with those global and regional organisations, regulators and other bodies which impact and affect the interests of international shipping.
In the words of ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson (pictured, left): ‘Shipping is a global industry requiring global rules. It is only natural that as the representatives of the world’s national shipowner associations that we should further cement our relationships to ensure that we work as effectively as possible in support of a global regulatory framework for shipping and in opposition to unwelcome regional or unilateral initiatives that may impede the efficiency of maritime trade.
ASA President Bhumindr Harinsuit (pictured, centre) added: ‘It is vital that the interests of Asian shipping, which controls an increasingly large proportion of the world fleet, are properly represented at the global level, especially with the increasing importance of Asian economies to overall demand for shipping services. It is of utmost importance that shipowners outside our region are fully aware of local developments that may affect their operations.’
And to which ECSA President Panagiotis Laskaridis (pictured, right) commented: ‘The maritime policies of the European Union have a significant impact on regulatory developments at fora such as the UN IMO, with major implications for ship operators in Europe and globally. Cooperation with ICS and ASA allows us to enhance our joint efforts to represent the best interests of shipowners, whether at bodies such as IMO or when dealing with the EU institutions.’
A copy of the ICS / ASA / ECSA MOU can be seen here: http://www.ics-shipping.org/docs/default-source/documents---link-access/mou-between-asa-ecsa-and-ics---final-agreed-text.pdf?sfvrsn=2
At its 2019 AGM held in the Faroe Islands in week ending 15 June representatives of the world’s national shipowners’ associations reviewed the priorities of the global shipowners’ association, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
Sadly, the ICS Annual General Meeting was overshadowed by the attacks against two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman and the very serious threat this presents to the lives of seafarers and maritime trade.
Action on CO2 Reduction
ICS agreed a suite of actions in support of the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) strategy to decarbonise international shipping in line with the United Nations 1.5 degree climate change goal.
Speaking from the Faroe Islands, ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson (illustrated) said: ‘It is imperative that IMO Member States adopt a new global regulation to mandate further short term CO2 reduction measures at the next session of the Marine Environment Protection Committee in 2020. This should deliver further CO2 reductions by 2023 to help us meet the IMO target set for 2030. We will work with a broad coalition of governments to produce a comprehensive proposal that can be submitted to IMO in September this year.’
Pan-European multimodal service provider Samskip have indicated experience gained up to 31 March 2019 find it fully prepared for a North Sea container traffic surge, as attitudes harden in the run up to October’s revised UK Brexit deadline. (An illustration of Samskip’s traffic is provided here with thanks ©)
Europe’s largest multimodal transport group by freight volume reports that it expects UK exporters and importers to start switching away from trailers and towards containerisation, repeating a trend established in the run-up to the original deadline for Brexit of 31 March this year.
David Besseling, Samskip UK Trade Manager commented: ‘We saw a significant push in container volumes up to March 2019, especially into Hull, as decision-makers facing uncertainty opted for the reliability and proven procedures of container shipping. Concerns over supply chain security are fast re-emerging.’
Besseling reflected that stockpiling contributed to the earlier traffic surge, but added that the experience also confirmed robustness in new Hull-Ghent and Hull-Amsterdam links established by Samskip at the end of 2018. The services add to existing high-frequency connections between Rotterdam, Tilbury, Hull and Grangemouth.