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.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has been celebrating its major anniversaries during 2018, with focus on the achievements of past decades as well as the challenges of the future, as the Organization seeks to promote safe, secure, environmentally sound, efficient and sustainable shipping.
The Convention establishing IMO was adopted on 6 March 1948 and it entered into force ten years later, on 17 March 1958, when the 21stState ratified the treaty. IMO’s first meeting was held in London on 6 January 1959, at Church House in Westminster, central London.
IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim in his annual World Maritime Day Message said: ‘IMO’s heritage for 70 years has been to drive improvements in shipping to achieve a better world today. Our challenge for the years to come remains – to work in collaboration with all stakeholders to create better shipping – for a better future.’
On 27 September, IMO and the global maritime community celebrate the annual World Maritime Day, under the theme: IMO 70: Our Heritage – Better Shipping for a Better Future.
Shipping transports more than 80% of global trade to people and communities all over the world. IMO has adopted more than 50 international instruments, which cover all aspects of international shipping – including ship design, construction, equipment, crewing, navigation, operation and disposal.
Secretary-General Lim added: ‘Since its beginning, IMO has worked to ensure that people all over the world can continue to benefit from shipping in a manner that meets the needs of the global economy, and also changing expectations about safety, environmental protection, social responsibility and so on.’
Individual governments are encouraged to mark World Maritime Day, on a date of their choosing but usually in the last week of September.
World Maritime Day is an official United Nations day. Every year, it provides an opportunity to focus attention on the importance of shipping and other maritime activities and to emphasize a particular aspect of IMO's work. Each World Maritime Day has its own theme.
The Secretary General’s World Maritime Day video message is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=_TlR9X_nKo8
It was reported on 5 December that MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has received deck machinery orders for four escort and four harbour tugboats from Cheoy Lee Shipyards Ltd in Hong Kong. MacGregor winches have been specifically designed to maximise vessel performance by minimising equipment weight, it is understood. These orders were booked into Cargotec’s fourth quarter 2018 order intake, with equipment deliveries planned on a rolling schedule commencing in the second quarter of 2019 through to the end of the third quarter.
Evolution not revolution. Autonomous and remote-controlled ships are being trialled but seafarers, for now, remain indispensable to safe shipping. These were key messages apparent from a special session held on 3 December of IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee, which is celebrating its 100th session. This was reported on 6 December by IMO which kindly provided illustrations.
Delegates were first treated to a song commemorating IMO’s 70th anniversary since the Convention establishing IMO was adopted in 1948) as well as the MSC 100 session.