Britannia announces a further USD10m Capital Distribution and no General Increase for 2019/20

At its Members’ Representative Committee and Board Meetings on 16 October in Hamburg, Britannia P&I Club announced that for 2019/20 there would be no General Increase to its advance call for P&I Members. In addition, Britannia continues to set its release calls for open policy years at nil.

A further USD10m capital distribution was also announced to P&I mutual Members based on premium for ships on risk at midnight BST 16 October 2018.

Likewise, there will be no General Increase for 2019/20 to its advance call on FD&D. To further support its FD&D Members, from 2019/20 Britannia will cap at USD150,000 individual Members’ one-third contribution towards the cost of any FD&D claim.

“Britannia’s strong capital position means that, since October 2016, we have been able to return USD75m in deferred call waivers and capital distributions to Members, while seeking no General Increase in P&I for the past three years or FD&D for the past five years,” said Nigel Palmer OBE, Chairman of Britannia.

“In the same period, we have enhanced our service offering in Asia whilst establishing a presence in Greece and Denmark. This underlines the Club’s commitment to its Members by continuing to provide the highest quality service.”

“Standard & Poor’s have recently reconfirmed Britannia’s strong financial performance and positive capital position with an A (stable) rating. Prudent yet proactive financial management by the Managers has enabled both Members and the Association to benefit from positive returns” said Jo Rodgers, CFO of Tindall Riley (Britannia) Limited.

 

Seafarers’ Mental Health is Focus of New Training Programme Offered Free to Mariners Worldwide

KVH Videotel introduced a new training package, “Seafarers Mental Health and Wellbeing,” yesterday during the 5th Annual International Shipowning & Shipmanagement Summit in London, and announced that the package will be available free of charge throughout the industry due to the critical importance of the topic. The programme was produced in association with the International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and comprises a short video, facilitator notes, and information booklets from ISWAN on mental health issues at sea. To obtain “Seafarers Mental Health and Wellbeing,” please visit videotel.com/seafarerwellbeing.

“Seafarers face unique working conditions which can put them under tremendous stress, with fewer opportunities for relief than they would be likely to find on land,” says Mark Woodhead, KVH senior vice president for EMEA. “This programme not only presents information from industry experts but also lets seafarers themselves tell their own story in interviews and short statements, describing the path to achieving happiness.”

If left unaddressed, seafarer’s stress can result in danger to one’s self by way of lowered morale, increased human error, lifestyle illnesses, decreased productivity, burnout, and mental health issues. “Seafarers Mental Health and Wellbeing” focuses on what seafarers can do to cope with the challenges but also to take advantage of the many opportunities onboard. It underlines the importance of rest, diet, team activities, and maintaining good relationships. Talking to a trusted person onboard ship may help, and there is also help available outside the ship such as the 24/7 multilingual helpline and chat service at SeafarerHelp.org, as well as the work of port-based organisations such as Mission to Seafarers.

ISWAN’s brochures are being distributed as part of this training package, available as downloads from the dedicated KVH Videotel website. In addition, KVH Videotel is providing brief facilitator notes to assist those who will use this programme to run training sessions on vessels.

Read more

ICS Publishes New Edition of Industry Guidance on Garbage Management Plans

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has recently published a new edition of its ‘Guidance for the Preparation and Implementation of Garbage Management Plans as Required by MARPOL Annex V’. This second edition is intended to help shipping companies comply with the latest requirements of the IMO regulation regarding treatment and disposal of garbage from ships.

ICS Deputy Secretary General, Simon Bennett said:

“Following the entry into force of some important amendments to MARPOL Annex V in 2017 and 2018 respectively, it is essential to provide updated advice to shipping companies on the latest requirements for ships to prepare and implement Garbage Management Plans.”

Read more

Britannia Announces Team for Greek Office Opening

Britannia has finalised its Greek office opening plans by announcing the team that has recently taken up residence in Piraeus, Greece.

The office will be tasked with enhancing service delivery to its Greek members and is part of an ongoing expansion of the Club’s regional hub network that will also shortly see the opening of an office in Singapore in addition to the upgrading of its presence in Japan and Hong Kong, as well as the recent opening of an exclusive Correspondent in Copenhagen.

The Greek office, located in the iconic Ionian Building off Akti Miaouli, will be headed by David Harley who recently returned to the London office having established and worked for over 5 years as head of Britannia, Hong Kong.

David has extensive P&I and FD&D claims handling experience and will be assisted by newly appointed Konstantinos Samaritis, who joins from a leading Greek shipowner, having previously worked for both Standard and Skuld Clubs’ Greek operations.

Read more

S&P Global Ratings affirms Britannia’s ratings as ‘A’ (stable)

S&P Global Ratings, the world’s leading independent credit ratings provider, has affirmed its ‘A’ rating on the Britannia P&I Club. It added that the outlook remains stable over the next three years based on its view that the Club’s current capital buffer well exceeds S&P’s ‘AAA’ level requirement.

S&P based its findings on Britannia’s extremely strong level of capitalization and its strong market position in the P&I mutual business, where it has “a track record of quality in its underwriting” and added that the Club “enjoys strong returns”.

The report also notes that with a five-year average net combined ratio (2014-2018) of 88.9%, Britannia’s operating performance has exceeded its long term break-even target and the peer average during this period.

Read more

ICS Announces New Edition of Best Practice Safety Guide for Gas Carrier Operators

The global trade association for ship operators, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has announced that it will soon be publishing a new edition of the ICS Tanker Safety Guide (Liquefied Gas).

The ‘ICS Gas Guide’ is the definitive industry best practice guidance for gas carrier operators, and is a carriage requirement under the national regulations of many flag states.

“It is strongly recommended that a copy of the completely revised third edition is carried on board every ship engaged in the transportation of liquefied gas by sea” said ICS Deputy Secretary General, Simon Bennett. Read more

Prevention at Sea Signs Two MOUs

Lloyd’s Register certified marine risk assessor and maritime software developer, Prevention at Sea, has recently signed two Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs).

The first one has been signed with SQLearn, a leading e-Learning company that provides technological training solutions, and the two companies will collaborate on the development of eLearning training programmes using their combined knowledge of maritime know-how and technology.

This will include the use of the latest training techniques, including the use of Virtual Reality (VR), to engage and enthuse the younger generation entering the industry.

The second MOU has been signed with Katradis Marine Ropes, a specialist in mooring systems, procedures and products.

Katradis has many years’ experience in mooring system and line management best practices and tradition, so combining this with Prevention at Sea’s maritime regulatory knowledge and software expertise will benefit ship operators by enabling the detailed compilation of a ship’s mooring system plan to enable the safer management of its mooring procedures.

Both companies will also explore avenues of cooperation by combining technical knowledge and advances in technology to develop innovative products aiming at bettering the industry and enhancing safety.

Read more

KVH Pledges Support to Maritime UK’s Women in Maritime Campaign

KVH, a leading provider of maritime connectivity and content solutions, is delighted to pledge its support for Women in Maritime, an initiative of industry group Maritime UK. The Women in Maritime campaign aims to promote fairness, equality, and inclusion within the maritime sector, bringing together leaders from across the maritime sector to identify practical steps to increase the number of women in maritime, and crucially within senior roles across its shipping, ports, marine, and business services industries.

The Northern launch of the Women in Maritime campaign took place in Liverpool yesterday, with support by several members of KVH’s Liverpool staff, many of whom have actively mentored and encouraged younger women in their workplace and industry for many years. Says Sue Henney, EMEA marketing director for KVH, who has worked in the maritime industry for 25 years: “The maritime sector is a truly international workplace with a wealth of exciting and diverse opportunities.” Ms. Henney’s colleagues in the Liverpool office include five women with a combined total of nearly 70 years’ experience in the maritime industry.

Maritime businesses have initially been asked to sign a Women in Maritime pledge, and KVH officially signed earlier this week. “KVH is committed to building an employment culture that actively supports and celebrates gender diversity, at all levels, throughout our organisation and our industry,” says Elizabeth Jackson, chief marketing officer for KVH. “We are proud to say that we have an extremely diverse team throughout the business and we support the belief that achieving a balanced workforce in the maritime sector will undoubtedly improve culture, behaviour, outcomes, profitability, and productivity.” 

The initiative aims to reach throughout the maritime industry. “The need for fairness, equality, and inclusion is clearer than ever and the maritime sector must embrace diversity because it’s the right thing to do. Equally there is a strong business case for action,” says Sue Teriplowski, OBE, chair of the Women in Maritime taskforce.

 

ICS Launches Free Guidance on Preparing for 2020 Sulphur Cap

To assist shipping companies prepare for implementation of the UN IMO global sulphur cap for ships’ fuel oil, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has produced – free of charge – some comprehensive guidance on implementation planning, to help ensure compliance across the shipping industry with this regulatory game changer.

The free ICS guidance has been prepared for the vast majority of ships that will comply after 1 January 2020 using fuel oils with a sulphur content of 0.50% m/m or less.

ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten, explained:
“Shipping companies may need to start ordering compliant fuels from as early as the middle of 2019, and they are strongly recommended to commence developing implementation plans as soon as possible.”

Apart from the significant additional cost of compliant fuel, ICS says that implementation of the global cap will be far more complex than for the previous introduction of Emission Control Areas. This is because of the sheer magnitude of the switchover and the much larger quantities and different types of fuel involved, as well as continuing uncertainties about the availability, safety and compatibility of compliant fuels in every port worldwide. Read more

Industry Launches LISW19 with ‘International Trade in a Changing World’ as the Central Theme

LONDON: SEPT 12TH, 2018:  The 12-month countdown to what promises to be the largest and most successful London International Shipping Week so far, has started with the changing face of global trade and the opportunities posed, chosen as the key theme for the week.

LISW19’s overarching theme International Trade in a Changing World will be supported by a series of sub themes: Growing; Innovating; and Partnering. These will provide the backdrop to the flagship LISW19 conference to be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane on Thursday September 12th, 2019. The themes may also be referred to by LISW19 Supporting Organisations and Sponsors wishing to hold their own events during the week.

Over 20,000 international shipping and maritime decision makers are expected to descend on London between September 9th and 13th, 2019 to attend the fourth London International Shipping Week (LISW). Read more

Success of KVH AgilePlans Accelerates Maritime Digitalization

Company’s innovative Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) program is fast-growing choice of global maritime fleets

MIDDLETOWN, RI – September 6, 2018 – Increased demand for the AgilePlansTM subscription-based Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) program from KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI) has been the driving force behind the company’s unprecedented growth in VSAT unit deployments during the first six months of 2018, a timeframe when the maritime industry has been increasing its drive toward digitalization.

KVH recently reported that it successfully shipped almost as many VSAT systems in the first six months of 2018 as it shipped in all of 2017.  Further, KVH VSAT unit shipments from April to June were up 100% compared to the same timeframe last year and shipments are at an all-time record by far compared to any quarter in KVH’s 10-year history in the maritime VSAT business.

Throughout the maritime industry, commercial fleets are transitioning to digitalization to increase operational efficiency and allow for integrated IoT solutions. Vessel operators can leverage faster connectivity to take advantage of real-time data transfers to improve decision making for fuel optimization, route planning, and safety. Providing Internet access to seafarers for crew welfare and onboard training is also important in attracting and retaining today’s more digitally sophisticated crew.

Read more

Singtel, KVH Industries Collaborate to Accelerate Maritime Sector Digitalization Across Asia Pacific

MIDDLETOWN, RI – August 30, 2018 – Singtel and KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), a global satellite and maritime communications provider, today announced a partnership to provide shipping companies a seamless broadband satellite service with KVH’s mini-VSAT BroadbandSM satellite connectivity to help accelerate the digital transformation of the maritime industry across the Asia Pacific region.

This satellite service is designed to facilitate the use of digital solutions in the maritime industry to significantly improve operational efficiency, crew welfare, and onboard safety. Vessels can leverage this fast and reliable connectivity to harness real-time data about engine performance gleaned from onboard sensors to facilitate preventive maintenance and reduce maintenance costs; obtain information on weather patterns and sea currents to determine the ship’s most fuel-efficient route; and provide onshore operations staff regular updates about the status of cargo.

“With 90% of the world’s trade carried by seaborne vessels, it is imperative for the shipping industry to adopt innovative technologies in order to operate more efficiently,” said Ng Kheng Ghee, Head of Satellite at Singtel. “This service provides an accessible high-speed broadband connectivity that enables digital technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud and data analytics to be deployed onboard ships. As the leading maritime communications service provider in the Asia Pacific region, we look forward to this partnership with KVH to help shipping companies in the region deploy digital technologies across their fleets, using advanced satellite communications products and services.”

“The Asia Pacific region boasts some of the busiest ports in the world, and we are thrilled to be working with Singtel,” said Mark Guthrie, KVH’s Vice President for Asia Pacific. “With KVH’s end-to-end connectivity solution, our leadership role in global maritime VSAT, and our already strong base in this region, we look forward to combining forces with Singtel to help serve the many important fleets and ship managers operating here.”

Through this collaboration, Singtel will provide its maritime customers with KVH’s product and service offerings, including AgilePlansTM, a subscription-based connectivity solution for commercial fleets. This all-inclusive, no-commitment offering includes KVH’s global connectivity service, VSAT hardware, and curated content with free installation in selected ports and zero maintenance costs.

Singtel has been building digital solutions for the maritime industry including cybersecurity and IoT capabilities. Singtel collaborates with best in class partners to provide definitive solutions for secured IoT through the use of cutting-edge technology designed to help ship managers monitor and manage their fleet with greater efficiency.

Britannia Opens Exclusive Correspondent Office in Copenhagen

Britannia underlined its commitment to the important Danish P&I market by hosting a reception to mark the official opening and launch of its newly appointed Exclusive Correspondent based in Copenhagen, B Denmark P&I.

The reception was held at B Denmark P&I’s offices in the heart of Copenhagen’s shipping district, Hellerup. In attendance was John Ridgway and Andrew Cutler, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer respectively of Tindall Riley (Britannia) Limited, Managers of The Britannia P&I Club, along with B Denmark P&I Managing Director, Michael Boje-Larsen.

Mr Boje-Larsen is a lawyer with considerable experience in maritime law and has previously worked both for another IG Group P&I Club and in private practice. He has worked for over 20 years in the insurance sector and was seconded to open a competitors Greek office in the early 2000’s, adding a unique set of skills to the team.

Britannia opened the office in Copenhagen to enhance its service delivery and growth potential in Denmark which currently accounts for 16% of its business. The expansion into Denmark also reaffirms previous comments from the Club about having offices in strategic locations to ensure the Membership receives the best service possible in a timely manner.

Read more

“Ships are not Operating in a Regulatory Vacuum” says ICS Chairman, at start of Major UN Negotiation on Future Ocean Governance

At the United Nations in New York, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is representing shipowners at the start of a major negotiation to agree a new legal instrument for the protection of the ocean under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – which will apply to ‘high seas’ areas ‘beyond national jurisdiction’.

Addressing government negotiators in New York today (5 September), ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson, highlighted the need to ensure that this UN initiative will not “unwittingly” impact on the effective future governance of global shipping, potentially interfering with principles such as freedom of navigation, or otherwise cutting across the work of shipping’s global regulator, the London-based UN International Maritime Organization (IMO).

“As a result of the global rules already provided by IMO, ships are not operating in a regulatory vacuum” stressed Esben Poulsson. “A shipowner’s activities are never beyond national jurisdiction, even on the high seas.”

ICS fully supports the objectives of the UN negotiations and the critical need to provide environmental protection for the ocean from activities such as fishing and seabed mining.  However, ICS says these are activities which, unlike commercial shipping, do not enjoy a comprehensive framework of global regulation such as that which has been developed, over a period of 50 years, by the UN IMO and its 174 Member States. Read more

Viking Acquires Leading Lifeboat Manufacturer

The acquisition of lifeboat solution provider Norsafe is another boost for VIKING’s worldwide capabilities, ensuring a unique an unmatched product and service offering in the maritime safety industry.

Maritime safety equipment manufacturer and global service provider VIKING Life-Saving Equipment A/S has announced it has acquired Norsafe, the Norwegian boatbuilder whose lifeboats are used throughout the world. The acquisition is in line with VIKING’s long-running strategy of putting the customer’s needs and priorities first.

Established in 1903, Norsafe produces a full range of free-fall lifeboats and fast rescue boats with davits and have supplied over 28,000 lifeboats to the global ship market over the years. Its advanced lifeboat products are manufactured in accordance with the latest SOLAS requirements and approved by national and certifying authorities for both ships and offshore use. Read more

Half Year Results: Consistent Performance from The Swedish Club

The Swedish Club has reported a combined ratio of 96 % for the first six months of 2018, in line with a policy of balanced growth and consistent performance. The Club is pleased to have now delivered an average combined ratio of below 100 % for ten years, despite a continued soft market for marine pricing and the third consecutive year of a zero general P&I price increase.

This solid underwriting performance balanced out prevailing weak investment conditions: an underwriting result of USD 4.7 million bringing the result to a surplus of USD 0.2 million before the agreed P&I discount of 5 %, effective 20 August 2018.

Free reserves are still on a high level of USD 210 million (after P&I discount effective 20 August 2018), enabling the Club to continue to grow according to plan. The Swedish Club currently insures some 2,700 ships on H&M and has doubled its volume in P&I over the last decade to in excess of 50 million gross tonnes – the inclusion of charterers’ liability bringing this total to over 80 million gross tonnes. Read more

Tindall Riley Team Raise Money by Walking 56 Miles Along the Thames Path

A group of staff from Britannia’s managers, Tindall Riley, walked 56 miles of the Thames Footpath Route to raise money for the Marine Conservation Society with a mission to complete the walk within 24 hours.

13 staff set off from Cookham, Berkshire, at 6pm on 12th July and walked through the night, before being joined by 13 more colleagues at Hampton Court to finish the remaining 25 miles to London Bridge. Nearly all participants completed the challenge within the time limit, with one group of six doing the entire walk in under 20 hours.

The team raised £2,255 via its JustGiving page and with Tindall Riley pledging to match the amount, a total of £4,510 has been raised for this deserving charity which helps protect the planet’s seas, shores and wildlife.

“I would like to congratulate my fellow colleagues who took part in this challenge and raised a huge sum of money for such an admirable cause,” said Andrew Cutler, CEO Britannia.

“Cleaning up our oceans is vital work and is such an appropriate charity for our team to have chosen, particularly as the IMO is rightly focussing on regulations designed to minimise the maritime industry’s negative impact on our oceans,” he continued.

If you would like to find out more about the work that the Marine Conservation Society does, simply access the website: https://www.mcsuk.org/ and get involved as there are plenty of ways that volunteers can help.

KVH Videotel Launches Task-based Competency

New feature is designed to enhance evaluating and documenting seafarer skills as part of Videotel Performance Manager 

KVH Videotel announces a new feature of its innovative Videotel Performance Manager service that provides the ability to structure task-based competency assessments for seafarers on any given subject and monitor progress as they develop their skills. Evaluating and documenting the competency of seafarers and enabling them to perform at the peak of their abilities are of critical importance to ship operators.

Based around the established maritime concept of taskbooks, this new feature allows seafarers to prepare for, and be evaluated against, any competency that should be demonstrated during their time onboard ship. The results are made available to shore staff in interactive reports within Videotel Performance Manager. In conjunction with regulatory training, this information can help identify high-performing staff eligible for promotion or help ensure that all staff are performing to the same recognised standards.

“KVH Videotel is committed to helping seafarers develop and apply their knowledge, and Task-based Competency is a fantastic service for ensuring these skills can be effectively demonstrated, assessed, and recorded,” says Mark Woodhead, KVH’s senior vice president for EMEA. “Developed in partnership with the industry, Task-based Competency provides a flexible platform for customers to digitise their own taskbooks, use industry standard tasks, or work with the catalogue we provide. Task-based Competency is our latest addition to Videotel Performance Manager, and we are delighted that seafarers can access our award-winning training materials as well as monitor their progress and performance in one place.”

Read more

Transpetro Selects KVH VSAT for Brazilian Tanker Connectivity

KVH’s global coverage, data speed, and complete connectivity solution were deciding factors

MIDDLETOWN, RI – July 25, 2018 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), is pleased to announce that Transpetro has chosen KVH VSAT connectivity after conducting a competitive process for selecting new connectivity services for the majority of its tankers. Brazilian-based Transpetro provides transportation for the state-owned Petrobras oil and gas company. Transpetro chose KVH’s TracPhone® V7-HTS satellite communications antenna system with a five-year airtime contract for 45 tankers, a combination of newbuilds and existing tankers. The installations will take place throughout the next 12 months in Brazil, where KVH’s subsidiary, KVH Brazil, has been in operation since 2011.

“We selected KVH for the global coverage and the data speed, which will enable us to improve operational efficiency and provide crew welfare,” says Jose Ricardo Esses, CIO of Transpetro. “Another deciding factor in choosing KVH VSAT was the ease of use in having one provider for the complete connectivity solution.”

KVH’s TracPhone V7-HTS is a 60 cm Ku-band satellite communications antenna designed for the mini-VSAT Broadbandsm network, which utilizes high-throughput satellite (HTS) technology. KVH’s mini-VSAT Broadband network provides global maritime coverage and the TracPhone V7-HTS delivers data speeds up to 10 Mbps download, and 3 Mbps upload. Each TracPhone V7-HTS includes a belowdecks Integrated CommBoxTM Modem (ICM), with built-in capability for onboard network management solutions.

“We are very pleased to be providing a complete connectivity solution for this important fleet in the Brazilian oil and gas industry,” says Ryan Smith, KVH’s director of global channel management. “With its superior data speed and global Ku-band coverage, KVH’s TracPhone V7-HTS is ideal for the tankers.”

Read more

KVH Surpasses 8,000 VSAT Systems Shipped for Global Connectivity

The milestone highlights KVH’s position as maritime VSAT market share leader providing satellite broadband connectivity to yachts and commercial vessels around the world

MIDDLETOWN, RI – July 23, 2018 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), announced that it recently shipped its 8,000th mini-VSAT Broadbandsm system. The TracPhone® V-series satellite communications antenna systems utilize advanced satellite technology, including the latest high throughput satellites (HTS), to meet the growing demand for more onboard broadband connectivity.

“Our newest HTS systems are in high demand throughout the maritime industry, and build on the strength and reputation of our entire product line,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer. “Our global coverage, rugged antenna systems, and innovative subscription-based business model are exactly what the maritime industry needs as it continues to move toward digitalization.”

In “Prospects for Maritime Satellite Communications, 6th Edition” (2018), industry analysts at Euroconsult reported that KVH is the market share leader in maritime VSAT by units, noting that KVH’s share of the maritime industry’s fielded VSAT terminals is nearly double that of its next closest competitor, as of the end of 2017.

Read more