Jamaica has been elected to chair the 25-country strong Regional Task Force on Control and Management of Ships’ Ballast Water and Sediments in the wider Caribbean region.
The appointment of the Task Force was the outcome of a week-long meeting in Panama as part of the joint Global Environment Facility (GEF), the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) GloBallast Partnership programme.
Bertrand Smith, Legal Director at the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, who has been elected to chair this task force, said: “The main purpose of the Task Force is to produce a uniform regional policy and legal framework to implement the Ballast Water Management Convention.”
“In 2007 Jamaica was chosen as a lead partnering country in the Caribbean region to be used as a model for implementing the convention.” Mr Smith explained. “So we are well advanced in preparations towards having the necessary policy and legal framework in place to give full effect to the requirements of the Convention and are therefore in a position to assist other countries in our region.”
The Task Force reports to the GloBallast partnership programme. The GloBallast partnership project is an IMO/UNDP project which provides assistance to developing countries and regions to establish the proper policy and legal framework to implement the Ballast Water Management Convention.
Cory Brothers, the international agency and logistics expert, is approaching 2010 optimistically after latest figures reveal it has generated a five-fold increase in profits over the past six months thanks to increased business across the board and particularly through its involvement with the growing offshore windfarm sector.
Cory, which has offices throughout the UK and in Singapore, is part of Braemar Shipping Services plc. Recently announced interim results revealed that Cory Brothers had a turnover of £16 million, for the six months to the end of August, with a £1 million operating profit.
John van Bergen, Managing Director, says: “We have had a good year through the hard work of our team and by making the most of new opportunities. We’re very proactive and we’re good at keeping our ear to the ground.”
The company has adapted – creating subdivisions Cory Energy and Cory Renewables – to react to the recent growth in the renewables and windfarm industry, particularly in the UK’s East Coast area. “It’s an interesting operation bearing in mind that most of this goes on offshore,” John van Bergen observes, “These windmills are huge, absolutely staggering things.”
Cory has benefited from being part of Braemar. Mr van Bergen explains: “Being part of a plc shows we are reliable and secure as well as enabling us to invest,” he says. And he further attributes Cory’s rise to its wide coverage for key ports and its capability to generate business – “We truly believe that Cory is uniquely placed,” he points out. “There is nobody in the UK that has the coverage that we have in the geographical locations we have. We can advise principals on what is strategically the best port for them – geographics come into that but also economics, and we can advise on both. In addition, we have a centre of excellence in relation to letters of credit, which I don’t think that many people do today. We produce accurate, timely documentation which is import in today’s world.”
As 2010 dawns, John van Bergen says Cory Brothers are optimistic for the future. “ We are aiming to extend our overseas network and to get more involved in the energy business,” he says, adding, “I love this business – every day is a fresh, new challenge!”
The 2010 Worldscale tanker flat rates, due to be published this week, have been calculated using round voyage distances taken from tables developed by AtoBviaC, the leading publisher of marine distance tables for the global shipping industry.
Accurate calculation of the distances between load port s and discharge ports is crucial to the consistency of the Worldscale rates and its decision to use AtoBviaC data reflects the trust this worldwide body has in the accuracy of these distances.
More significantly for the tanker trade, all distances used by Worldscale for the 2010 rates will be routed, where applicable, via the Gulf of Aden Transit Corridors.
Established in November 1952 by the London Tanker Brokers’ Panel at the request of British Petroleum and Shell, Worldscale is a unified system of establishing the cost of shipping oil from one port to another by sea. Its table of published rates covers 320,000 voyage permutations from one or more loads to one or more discharge ports. The freight for a given ship and voyage is normally expressed as a percentage of the published rate and reflects the freight market demand at the time of fixing.
Bill Morris, Director of AtoBviaC, said shipowners were relying more and more on realistic distance tables. “The industry needs to know what these distances are, to have confidence in their computation and to have immediate access to the calculation of new distances and routeings whenever they are required,” he said.
“While the route between two ports, appearing as a straight line on a chart or map, may look ideal, it may not necessarily be the correct route a ship should take when you consider issues such as traffic separation schemes and other navigational restrictions,” he says.
AtoBviaC, which is the leading publisher of marine distance tables for the global shipping industry, was formed in 2003 by a group of Master Mariners and software developers whose unique combination of expertise – totalling more than 360 years marine experience between them – combined to produce these accurate and widely-used marine software applications.
Experts from the well-known Norwegian research and consulting group Marintek, working on behalf of the KPI Project led by InterManager, have begun capturing performance data from dozens of ocean-going ships in the latest phase of the process to develop a workable system to produce a meaningful set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the whole shipping industry.
And InterManager, the international trade association for shipmanagers, says it is aiming to increase the number of ships providing data to the project to more than 1,000 during the course of 2010. The data collected, which is held in strict confidence, will be used to validate the standard, verify the data capture feasibility and test the industry benchmark features.
The more companies which take part in the project, the more effective the development of the new system will be. Peter Curtis of Seaspan, a member of InterManager’s Executive Committee, said: “This moves performance management on from a simple excel spreadsheet. The KPI project will enable companies to audit and improve their own internal systems to produce proper and meaningful data collection. And the added bonus for companies who help us is that this gives them a great opportunity to re-examine the effectiveness of their own internal monitoring and measuring systems.”
“This project will be incredibly important for this industry,” predicted George Hoyt, Chairman of InterManager’s KPI Committee. “We are at the early stages of capturing this information and our task for the year ahead is to extract meaningful amounts of data,” he said.
Earlier this year the leaders of most of the largest shipping industry organisations attended stakeholder meetings and workshops where they expressed a willingness to join with InterManager to continue to develop an industry-accepted system to enable the creation and development of performance standards. In 2010 InterManager plans to hold three further workshops, hosted in Asia and Europe, to enable stakeholders to assist in identifying what data is most useful and appropriate for performance monitoring.
InterManager President, Roberto Giorgi, says: “We believe that the new KPIs, if widely used, can help improve transparency and create more effective communications for the whole shipping industry, in the area of performance.”
InterManager, the international trade association for the shipmanagement industry, has expressed its extreme anger and deep sorrow after a seafarer died at the hands of pirates.
The Chief Officer of the panamax crude oil tanker Cancale Star died and several crew members were injured when the Liberian-flagged vessel was attacked by pirates off the coast of Benin, West Africa. The Ukrainian officer was fatally injured as pirates attempted to board the ship and the crew fought back. The crew regained control of the vessel and captured one pirate who they handed over to authorities at the port of Cotonou, Benin.
InterManager’s members represent some 125,000 crew members onboard more than 3,700 ships. President Roberto Giorgi said: “InterManager expresses its sincere condolences to the family of the Chief Officer who lost his life performing his duty. We wholeheartedly condemn the actions of these pirates and call on the international community to join forces to tackle the increasingly violent piracy off the West African coastline.”
InterManager is backing a call from an InterManager member Tsakos Shipping and Trading SA, for the deployment of UN Naval forces and the introduction of safe transit corridors in Nigerian waters to prevent further losses of life.
Roberto Giorgi’s company, V.Ships, experienced Nigerian piracy at first hand one month ago when a crew managed bulk carrier was attacked by pirates with semiautomatic weapons and some crew members were injured. He said: “The issue of piracy is not only related to Somalia and the Gulf of Aden but affects many areas around the world and has done for many years. These attacks in West Africa are quite common and are often much more brutal than in Somalia.
Mr Giorgi called for stronger international legislation to defeat the escalating global threat of piracy. “We need stricter international rules which are applied and implemented equally and effectively throughout the world,” he said, calling on all government authorities to be more proactive in preventing piracy on its shores.”
The Maritime Authority of Jamaica says its re-election to the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) Council will benefit the country’s plans to develop as a shipping centre.
Jamaica was re-elected to category C of the IMO Council for the next biennium 2009-2011. The elections were held at the 26th IMO Assembly, which took place on November 27 at the IMO’s headquarters in London.
This is Jamaica’s second consecutive successful bid for a seat on the highest decision-making body of the United Nations specialised agency with responsibility for maritime safety, security and the protection of the marine environment.
Transport and Works Minister, Hon. Mike Henry, who headed the Jamaican delegation to the elections, said: “This was a significant victory for Jamaica. This achievement once again shows that Jamaica has a credible ranking in the maritime world and will again serve to raise our profile at a time when the Government is looking at establishing Jamaica as a shipping centre for the provision of a number of new services to build on the success of Kingston Container Terminals, cruise tourism, the Caribbean Maritime Institute, the Jamaica Ship Registry, bunkering and logistics services, to name but a few.”
As a flag, port and coastal state, Jamaica’s responsibilities span the national, regional and international dimensions. “Jamaica now has an obligation to represent not only local interests, but also those of the region and other developing countries as well,” explained the Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica (MAJ), Rear Admiral Peter Brady, who was among the delegation. “Category C represents those States that have special interests in maritime activities and whose election to the Council ensures the representation of all major geographic areas of the world,” he added.
Jamaica’s successful bid was made possible through the work of a team which had the benefit of joint Government and private sector support from the shipping industry, including the Shipping Association of Jamaica, Jamaica Producers Limited, Port Side Towing Limited and Lannaman and Morris.