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.
At its Nor-Shipping press conference in Oslo on 3 June DNV GL Maritime CEO Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen (illustrated here, image kindly provided by DNV GL) emphasised the classification society’s dedication to maritime safety. Although shipping losses have declined over the last decade, challenging markets, demanding environmental regulations, and new technologies threatened to pull the industry’s focus away from marine safety, he said.
He added: ‘At a time when shipping is rapidly transforming, I believe it is crucial to put our primary focus on safety, making sure it is at the core of all changes – whether it is ways of working, technology, or regulations.
He noted there were tectonic shifts within the maritime industry on three fronts: (a) in the market, which are increasingly unpredictable; (b) in regulations, headed by the upcoming 2020 global sulphur limits; and (c) in technology, driven by the constant evolution in digitalization.
The tectonic shifts were creating their own safety challenges, Ørbeck-Nilssen said: (i) from growing ship sizes, (ii) fire risks due to new cargo types such as cars with Li-ion batteries, to (iii) environmental regulations with unintended consequences, as well as (iv) the increased risk of cyber-attack due to vessel automation and ship-to-shore connectedness.
Ørbeck-Nilssen continued by indicating that the industry needed to be both aware of these challenges, but also to embrace the opportunities they created. However, a safety net was needed to unlock these opportunities, which was where class and DNV GL could be instrumental.
He explained: ‘I have five proposals that I believe could benefit our industry and improve safety at sea. Firstly, to develop holistic regulations with safety at the core – this is a challenge to the IMO and the classification societies when they are developing rules. Secondly, to improve the safety culture within shipping companies. Thirdly, to apply barrier management lessons from other industries. The fourth proposal is to increase transparency on incident findings. And finally, to unlock data silos for deeper insights into incidents and near-misses.’
There were already many substantial examples of how DNV GL had been working on projects that built on these proposals, he said: ‘We have been working with Carnival on a holistic safety management system, which integrates the human, organizational and technical dimensions of safety to help develop a more efficient incident investigation process. Also in the cruise industry, we have developed barrier models for critical areas, such as fire in machinery or escape and evacuate. And we have carried out more than 200 surveys where we have put class and statutory findings into context by presenting the results in a barrier dashboard on the industry data platform Veracity.’
As a classification society, DNV GL was also providing safety-related research and technical expertise that was leading to informed debates and better decisions. To continue Ørbeck-Nilssen added: ‘In a recent joint development project, we tested the properties of the new Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants (EALs) after a series of stern tube bearing failures were reported. Based on the results, we updated our design rules, to add a viscosity influence parameter as a safety margin.’
Furthermore, DNV GL has been sharing its expertise on critical issues such as cargo liquefaction. ØBeck-Nilssen noted: ‘In 2015, we published our first guideline for the design and operation of vessels with bulk cargo that may liquefy. This was created to raise the awareness of the risks of liquefaction and to offer mitigating actions for crews, owners and operators. We have been working on this over the past years and have published an updated version at Nor-Shipping.’
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.