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

ICS Encouraged by IMO Progress on 2020 Global Sulphur Cap Implementation Issues

In a statement today, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) says it is encouraged by efforts made by IMO Member States to resolve some pressing practical challenges ahead of the global implementation of the 0.5% sulphur in fuel cap on 1 January 2020.

Speaking after an important IMO working group meeting last week, to which the industry submitted a number of constructive proposals to help ensure smooth and consistent implementation, ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe remarked:

“Although there is still much work to be done, last week’s IMO discussions were positive.  Most important is that governments have acknowledged the safety concerns raised by industry about the use of compliant fuels including possible incompatibility. We are pleased that Member States have accepted their obligations under MARPOL to ensure that fuel is suitable for use and will not pose a safety risk to the ship or the crew, and that IMO has now agreed that these critical issues should be urgently addressed by the next IMO Maritime Safety Committee in December 2017.” Read more

Thome Group Celebrates 55 Years in Business

July 2018 is a significant milestone in the history of the Thome Group because it was 55 years ago this month that the company was first incorporated in Singapore.

The expansion of the business from its humble beginnings as an agent, broker and charterer to mainly Norwegian ship owners, to an internationally respected third-party ship management company, has mirrored Singapore’s own growth as a renowned global maritime centre.

The family run business has been successfully managed since Mr. Olav Eek Thorstensen, the Group’s Executive Chairman, took over sole ownership in 1981.

“I am deeply proud and humbled to have been part of the Thome Group and it is with sincere thanks to the hard work and dedication of all our employees that we have successfully grown into one of the largest and most respected ship management and shipping services companies in the world,” said Mr. Thorstensen.

“Ship Management is a more demanding business than ever before with more and more regulations covering safety and the environment, coupled with a greater desire by our principals for improved cost efficiency. However, our teams have risen to, and exceeded, these challenges so we remain extremely competitive.”

Read more

Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero – ICS Publishes New Insight into the ‘Paris Agreement for Shipping’

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched a new publication to endorse the recent adoption by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) of its ambitious strategy for phasing-out CO2 emissions from the international shipping sector – a historic agreement which the global industry, as represented by ICS, fully supports.

Reducing CO2 Emissions to Zero explains what the high levels of ambition agreed by IMO Member States could mean for international shipping. These targets include an efficiency improvement of least 40% – as an average across – the fleet compared to 2008, and a 50% cut of the sector’s total greenhouse emissions by 2050, regardless of future trade growth.

Read more

InterManager Secretary General awarded honorary degree

Secretary General of InterManager, Captain Kuba Szymanksi, has been awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Maritime Studies by Solent University.

In addition to his role at InterManager, Captain Szymanski sits on the Executive Board of The Nautical Institute, is a Director at TK Foundation, and a Director at Seafarers Rights’ International.

Captain Kuba Szymanski started his sea career in 1985. He graduated from the Maritime University of Szczecin with a Master’s Degree and started his deck officer career with Dorchester Maritime Limited, Isle of Man. He sailed Gas I Chemical and Product tankers, reaching his first command as a Master in 1999.

In 2001 he commenced shore assignment as a Marine Superintendent in the parent Dorchester Maritime Ltd IOM, and was promoted to Marine Manager, DPA in 2004. Captain Szymanski was among the very first Lloyd’s Academy students on the Ship Superintendency course in 2003-2004.

Working his way up through ship management, he worked as General Manager for MOLTANK before joining InterManager as Secretary General in 2010.

Captain Szymanski became involved with the University after witnessing the experiments being carried out at the Warsash Campus for the HORIZON project on seafarers’ fatigue. InterManager became a partner on the subsequent MARTHA project, and he was directly responsible for the dissemination of the findings to the shipping industry. He has also endorsed the recent Solent-led Effective Crew Project and Seafarers Mentoring Project.

Kuba is a great educationalist and a firm believer in supporting young seafarers.  He has provided funding to enable cadets to attend conferences and events in London and elsewhere. He is also a passionate believer in the value of research to bring about change in the shipping industry and a champion of the sector’s young career seekers.

“I am truly humbled to receive this award. I am proud to be able to support the pioneering research carried out by Solent University which will benefit today’s and tomorrow’s seafarers as well as the global shipping industry.”

Shipping Industry Launches New Security Resources for World Fleet

International shipping industry organisations, with military support, have launched a new website dedicated to providing comprehensive maritime security guidance to companies and mariners. Launched today, the new website www.maritimeglobalsecurity.org provides security-related guidance produced by the industry as well as links to other useful maritime and military security resources.

“In a world of increasingly complex security risks, it is essential that mariners and ships are protected. The new website will be a freely available facility where companies and mariners can access essential guidance and information to help them comprehensively prepare for voyages through areas of security risk,” the authors said.

Read more

Slow and Steady Wins the Race to Lower Operating Costs, says The Swedish Club  

The Swedish Club warns that vessel operators should always look to the long term, when specifying the type of engines to be installed across the fleet. Latest statistics from the Club show that vessels propelled by medium/high speed engines have a claims frequency 2.5 times higher than slow speed engines, with an average claims cost of close to USD 650,000.

Main Engine Damage, the latest loss prevention report from The Swedish Club, sheds light on an expensive category of damage that is all too frequent. Statistically a vessel will suffer between one and two incidences of main engine damage during its life time. Considering the costly consequences for ship owners and their hull insurers, it is important to identify the main causes of this damage and examine how these can be prevented.

The publication also includes loss prevention advice from the major engine manufacturers, MAN Engines and Wärtsilä.

Read more

Norsafe Launches New Fast Rescue and Patrol Boat at Seawork International

Norsafe has carried out extensive research and development in the last few years to develop a new range of robust and safe boats for the Military and Professional market.

Using the experience gained from the closed cabin 1200 and S1200 in the Munin range, an open version is now ready for sea trials and will be launched at Seawork International on 3-5

July in Southampton, UK.

The latest boat has already been tested by Norsafe’s engineers together with user groups representing the coast guard, maritime police, customs and special forces. The overall feedback has been very positive.

The first open S1200 comes with a triple Mercury Verado 400 outboard installation and the same platform can be delivered with sterndrives, surface drives or a waterjet installation.

With the rigid bulwarks and D-fender configuration, the available deck space boasts an impressive flexibility and space for various on-deck operations. All main components can be reconfigured to user specific needs with the console positioned aft, midship or forward. Mission specific equipment placed on deck is safely secured to cargo rails.

Ergonomics and safety in extreme conditions have been key factors in the design and development of the console and dashboard arrangement. All main controls and switches are within direct reach of the pilot position.

The console has been designed with large flat surfaces making it easy to install additional mission specific equipment and the large dashboard can be delivered with a 2- or a 3-crew layout, depending on user needs and specifications.

Read more

Thome Wins MPA Singapore Award

The Thome Group has won the “Innovation in Technology and Systems” award during the MPA Singapore Safety@Sea awards ceremony held at the Marina Mandarin hotel on 21st June 2018.

The awards ceremony was the culmination of MPA Singapore’s annual Safety@Sea week designed to raise awareness and exchange views on safety within the international maritime community.

The judging panel was made up of members from the National Maritime Safety at Sea Council (NMSSC) who were impressed with Thome Group’s investment in a new Operations Hub at its head office.

Read more

The Day of the Seafarer – 365 Days a Year

Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), the centre spearheading international research on the seafarer and maritime law, joined the shipping community today in offering a message of support for IMO’s Day of the Seafarer.

“We are extremely pleased that the theme of the 2018 Day of the Seafarer is the important issue of seafarers’ wellbeing,” said Deirdre Fitzpatrick, Executive Director of SRI. “SRI was set up to advance the rights of seafarers through engagement with the international maritime industry, and advocacy within the international legal framework. Through this work, we are continually reminded of the importance of the seafarer at the heart of our industry, and that efforts to represent the needs of the seafarer have to continue.

Read more

IMO Member States Must Progress on Key Sulphur Cap Issues at Critical Meeting in July

The shipping industry – as represented by its international trade associations (BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO and WSC) – calls on the Member States of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to make progress on key challenges around the global sulphur cap to avoid compromising safety or unfairly penalising individual ships.

The trade associations have co-sponsored a number of submissions to IMO to help smooth the implementation of the global 0.5 percent sulphur in fuel cap, in advance of the critical meeting that will be held in London during the second week of July.

These submissions include papers on:

  • a standard format for a ship specific implementation plan with many actions ships may need to consider for achieving compliance but also a call for a practical and pragmatic approach from IMO Member States when verifying compliance with the 0.50% global sulphur cap;
  • safety implications associated with 2020 fuels and their respective challenges;
  • a draft standard for reporting on fuel oil non-availability;
  • proposals for amendments to MARPOL Annex VI to require sampling points for fuel oil; and
  • verification issues and control mechanism and actions.

Read more

Shipping Industry Very Concerned About Italian Policy on Migrants Rescued at Sea

ICS is deeply concerned about the apparent new policy of the Italian Government to close its ports to migrants rescued by vessels operated by humanitarian NGOs.  The refusal by Italy to allow rescued persons to be disembarked could have serious implications for the safety and welfare of these distressed people, including children and pregnant women.   

To its great credit, the government of Italy has consistently permitted prompt and predictable disembarkation of people rescued by merchant ships as well as by vessels operated by humanitarian NGOs.  But following the election of the new Italian Government, the crisis now seems to be taking an ever more political direction.

If NGO vessels are prevented from disembarking rescued persons in Italy, this would also have significant implications for merchant ships and the movement of trade throughout the Mediterranean, as merchant ships would again have to become involved in a greater number of rescues.

The global shipping industry, as represented by the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), is committed to meeting its obligations under the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) Safety of Life at Sea Convention (SOLAS) to come to the rescue of any person in distress at sea.   Since the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean escalated three years ago, over 50,000 people have already been rescued by merchant ships, with many more rescued by military vessels and boats operated by humanitarian NGOs.

Read more

UMAR|WSR Expands Its Operations Into New European, Middle Eastern and Far Eastern Markets

The UMAR|WSR Group of companies is to expand its operations into Singapore, the Middle East and Russia following the signing of cooperation agreements with two of its main principals, Lagersmit of The Netherlands and the Detyens Shipyard in Charleston, US.

Under the agreement, UMAR|WSR will represent the interests of Lagersmit in Dubai, Oman and Qatar while it will look after the interests of Detyens in Singapore, the UAE and Russia. It already acts for both companies in Cyprus and Greece.

Welcoming the development, Thrasos Tsangarides, Group CEO, said the news was proof that UMAR|WSR’s way of serving the market was working. “It is an important day for us today and we are very excited about representing the interests of these two companies in these new markets.

Read more

Cargo Care’s New Cargo Pump Service Programme Provides Peace of Mind for Vessel Operators

Responding to the needs of shipowners and operators, Cargo Care Solutions has developed an integrated, total service programme for cargo pumps, providing cost-effective peace of mind for vessel operators.

Engineers working for the company, which already services and repairs cargo and hatch equipment, devised the new service after recognising the need for more third-party support in the planned maintenance of cargo pumps.

The new service will be officially launched this week during Posidonia and experts from Cargo Care Solutions will be available on the company’s trade stand to discuss clients’ requirements.

Peter Peltenburg, CEO, said: “As an independent and all‐round supplier for all types and brands of maritime cargo access equipment, we are ideally placed to extend our first-class service to cargo and ballast pumps. In addition, our engineers have an extensive experience in cargo and ballast pump servicing and maintenance.

Read more

Two More Maritime Registries Recognise Prevention at Sea’s Oil Record Book Software

Both the Malta and Hong Kong Maritime Registries have confirmed that they recognise and acknowledge the merits of electronic record keeping in enhancing credibility, transparency and accountability

Prevention at Sea (PaSea) is pleased to announce that two more maritime registries, Malta and Hong Kong, have recognised the merits of its oil record book software and approved its use throughout their fleets to help with the manual recording of Oil Record Book (ORB) entries.

Called the ε-ORB, this software has been designed to aid the preparation and printing of the traditional ORB and complies with the IMO guidelines published in the last PPR5 for electronic record books (February 2018).

It is anticipated that electronic oil record book entries will replace the traditional paper ORB versions whenever MARPOL is amended, due to the more efficient process and reduced risk of errors occurring.

Read more

Britannia declares another USD20m capital distribution to Members

Highlights:

  • Britannia reports another strong financial performance, with an aggregate USD80.6m post-tax surplus for the year.
  • The Board approves a further USD20m capital distribution, to be paid to P&I mutual Members with ships on risk as at midnight 15 May 2018.
  • Members have now benefited from USD61m of deferred call waivers and capital distributions since October 2016.

Financial overview:

In the past 18 months, Britannia’s Members have benefitted from USD61m (or 32.8% ETC) of deferred call waivers and capital distributions, as well as nil General Increases for both P&I and FD&D calls for 2017/18 and 2018/19.   Even allowing for these distributions, S&P has confirmed Britannia’s rating of A (stable), AAA capital and exceptional liquidity (up from strong).

The Association’s ability to continue to assist Members is a consequence of repeated strong underwriting results; with 2017/18 seeing a USD64.6m underwriting surplus and a USD48.6m gain on its investment portfolio. Overall, the Association’s balance sheet reserves rose by USD50.6m. This is after taking into account the USD30m capital distribution made to Members during 2017. [The surplus assets in Boudicca (which are available to meet future claims) stood at USD211.6m.]

Given this further strengthening of the Association’s capital position, the Board decided to declare another USD20m capital distribution, payable to mutual Members with ships on risk as at midnight GMT 15 May 2018 (pro rata based on premium). This immediate benefit to Members re-affirms the Association’s commitment to mutuality, while reflecting its continuing financial strength which provides a high degree of security to its Members. The Board will review the Association’s financial position further at its October meeting.

Claims

While higher than in the 2016/17 policy year (a remarkably light one for claims), claims during the 2017/18 policy year were well within projection.   Large claims (those expected to cost the Association USD1m or more) have remained consistent in number but returned to the higher average seen in earlier years. IG Pool claims (Britannia has no Pool claims in 2017/18) have also seen an increase, with a number of high profile casualties. Nevertheless, they remain within projection.

Read more

Thome Wins Seatrade CSR Award

The Thome Group has won the Corporate Social Responsibility award at the 2018 Seatrade Maritime Awards Asia.

The judging panel were impressed with the variety of different ways in which the company encouraged its employees to take part in activities designed to benefit the community.

Thome employees give up their free time to help those less fortunate than themselves and the community as a whole, in a wide variety of ways including:

  • Fun Run “ScholaRun” – A yearly event, Thome employees are sponsored to participate in a Fun Run for American Chamber Foundation Phils., Inc. Scholarship Program to benefit underprivileged kids and build better future and education.
  • Project Study Drive – Another annual activity by Thome Philippines which takes place every June. A back to school campaign that delivers basic school supplies to underprivileged children.
  • Tree Planting “Plant Trees to Feed the Future” – An environmental activity where Thome employees from the Philippines planted a total of 1,000 Mahogany Trees seedlings.

Read more

Panama Maritime Authority Recognises Prevention at Sea’s Oil Record Book Software

Prevention at Sea Ltd has recently been authorized by the Panama Maritime Authority as a recognized manufacturer and distributor of the Panamanian Oil Record Book in electronic format as well as the electronic version of other official Books in general.

The merchant marine circular MMC-193 has been re-issued by the Panama Maritime Authority with the aim to notify the Industry that the Oil Record Book software as well as other official log books produced by the company are now accepted on board Panamanian vessels.

Since 2014, Prevention at Sea has been very active in software development in the maritime sector by winning multiple awards for innovation, especially with its Lloyd’s Register approved ε-ORB software, designed to be used for the preparation and printing of the traditional Oil Record Book.

This piece of software is already in compliance with the IMO guidelines published in the last PPR5 for electronic record books (February 2018) and will replace the traditional paper Oil Record Book whenever MARPOL is amended to allow the use of paperless electronic record systems.

Read more