Major Shipowner Trade Associations Agree to Enhance Cooperation

Today in Singapore, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) signed a joint memorandum of understanding.

This new MOU codifies the extensive level of co-operation that already exists between these important international trade associations and provides a framework for their closer co-operation. The three associations collectively represent over 90 percent of the world merchant fleet. The agreement recognises their respective memberships of national shipowners’ associations and the unique and special relationship which their members enjoy with their national governments. Read more

Oversupply Still Major Challenge Warns ICS

Speaking in Istanbul, Simon Bennett, Deputy Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) warned today that avoiding overcapacity and unsustainably low freight rates is still a major challenge ten years after the massive downturn of 2008.

Mr Bennett said: “In that time shipping companies needed to show restraint when ordering new ships, to prevent stifling recovery. Yet the dark clouds of protectionism and slowing growth in key economies mean that the avoidance of overordering is now more important than ever.”

Addressing an audience of shipowners and operators at the Global Maritime Summit 2019, organised in conjunction with the Turkish Chamber of Shipping, Mr Bennett acknowledged that individual operators would legitimately make their own individual business decisions regarding new tonnage.

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Seaspan Completes Rollout of KVH VSAT Connectivity for Global Container Ship Fleet

KVH’s  solution is critical to maritime operations, business applications, and crew welfare for the 107 vessels

KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), a leader in global mobile connectivity, announced today that Seaspan, one of the world’s largest container ship operators, completed the implementation of KVH mini-VSAT Broadband connectivity for all 107 managed vessels in its global container ship fleet. Seaspan selected KVH’s TracPhone V7-HTS/AgilePlans and KVH’s TracPhone V11-IP for the vessels.

“We chose KVH for the ability to have a superior end-to-end solution from one provider, which can be customized as per our business requirements” says Rajesh Gopinathan, manager of process improvement for Seaspan. “KVH is one of our partners in helping our business succeed. We see their entire solution as critical to our business operation, providing everything from connectivity to 24/7 support, and assisting us in continuously improving the features and functions as our business requirements change. We also appreciate the fact that KVH, working together with our IT department, were able to complete 60 installations in less than 12 months, which is an important factor for our global fleet.”

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ICS Deeply Concerned by Mediterranean Migrant Rescue Incident

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents the global shipping industry, is very concerned by reports that a merchant ship, the Palau-flagged tanker ‘Elhiblu 1’, had been taken over by migrants rescued in the Mediterranean Sea, reportedly because the ship was going to return the some 100 rescued persons to Libya.

ICS is still establishing the details of the ongoing incident, but welcomes initial reports that the Maltese authorities have taken action to ensure that the situation is safely resolved.

ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten said: “ICS is carefully watching this new development, which it will seek to raise with the UN International Maritime Organization which is in session in London this week.”

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Columbia Shipmanagement Takes e-Learning to a New Level

Columbia Shipmanagement proudly announces the launch of its own eLearning Management System (LMS) in partnership with Adobe Systems.

It is the first time a ship manager has partnered with a multinational computer software company to implement a global LMS solution for its entire eLearning courses. This cutting edge Web and App-based eLearning platform enables seafarers to access and complete their training assignments at their own pace and even without having network connectivity.

Columbia’s LMS enables a new learner experience by harmonising the training and courses for seafarers and fleet wide activities worldwide. The new system can be used at the seafarers’ convenience and from any location: office, onboard vessels, at their homes, or even when travelling.

Seafarers can now complete interactive courses using computers or mobile devices to download the courses, generate certificates after successful completion of the relevant test, collect points and badges, post comments and questions in dedicated forums, participate in webinars, attend virtual classrooms and also access virtual reality content among many other features. All Columbia’s seafarers now have access to the platform and can benefit from a large catalogue of interactive and engaging courses.

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FONARS are ‘Not a Free Pass’ to Use Non-Compliant Low Sulphur Fuel, Warns ICS

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has welcomed the decision in principle by the UN IMO that safety or operational concerns about the quality of low sulphur fuels may, in exceptional circumstances, be a valid reason for shipowners to be issued with a Fuel Oil Non Availability Report (FONAR) when the IMO global sulphur cap, requiring fuels to have a sulphur content of 0.5% or less, comes into full effect on 1 January 2020.

However, ICS is warning shipowners that this decision by an IMO Sub Committee last week should not in any way be regarded as a ‘free pass’ either to use or carry non-complaint fuel.

“FONARs remain a tool of last resort and are not something that a ship will be able to use routinely” said ICS Deputy Secretary General Simon Bennett.  “The circumstances in which a FONAR can be used are very limited and conditions attached to their use will be strict.  Shipowners still need to remain focused on doing everything possible to ensure full compliance in 2020.”

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ICS Remains Concerned that New Canadian Legislation will Interfere with International Maritime Trade

The Canadian Senate is giving consideration to legislation that would have the effect of establishing a moratorium on the shipment of crude oil in the waters of Northern British Columbia (Bill C-48: An Act respecting the regulation of vessels that transport crude oil or persistent oil to or from ports or marine installations located along British Columbia’s north coast).

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing the world’s national shipowners’ associations and 80% of the world merchant fleet, has voiced deep concern about this proposed legislation which it says will interfere with international maritime trade.

“Such a dramatic step could lead to serious concerns being raised by Canada’s international trading partners” said ICS Deputy Secretary General, Simon Bennett.  “The proposed moratorium does not seem to have been developed through an evidence-based process and we fear it could establish a dangerous precedent that might be copied elsewhere, including by individual U.S. States, with the potential to impact greatly on the efficiency of world trade, as well as that of Canada.”

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Sulphur and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Priority for ICS

“The 2020 global sulphur cap will be the regulatory game changer of the decade with profound implications for the economics of shipping” believes Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Esben Poulsson. “But there are even more profound changes to come.  We are rapidly moving into a multi-fuel future to be followed we hope, in the 2030s, by the arrival of commercially viable zero CO2 fuels suitable for global application.”

Mr Poulsson was speaking following the ICS Board meeting in London last week, attended by senior representatives of the world’s national shipowners’ associations.

As the 1 January 2020 deadline for the sulphur cap approaches, ICS members reviewed progress in persuading the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) to take measures to address expected implementation problems.  This includes outstanding safety and fuel compatibility issues associated with the use of new 0.5% sulphur blends and continuing uncertainty over the availability of compliant fuels in every port worldwide, a particular challenge for tramp trades.  The ICS Board concluded that it will be vital for the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee to complete this work at its meeting in May 2019, as shipowners begin ordering compliant fuels.

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S&P Upgrades The Swedish Club to ‘A-‘ Rating

The Swedish Club is pleased to report that on January 23, 2019, S&P Global Ratings raised its insurer financial strength and issuer credit ratings on The Swedish Club to A- with stable outlook.

S&P reported that through disciplined underwriting and strong risk controls The Swedish Club has continued to record combined ratios close to 100% despite testing conditions in its main markets.  It believes that these improvements, combined with a sturdy operating performance, should enable the Club’s capital position to remain resilient to market challenges over the next 24 months.

Lars Rhodin, Managing Director of The Swedish Club is delighted with the news: “This is an important step for The Swedish Club and will enable us to further develop our growth and diversification strategies around the world.  As a mutual society this news is a testimony to the quality and support of our members and to the commitment and expertise of our team. Read more

New Initiatives Announced to Strengthen Singapore as a Global Maritime Hub

Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State for Transport and Health, announced two initiatives for the maritime industry at the Singapore Shipping Association’s (SSA) Annual Lunar New Year Cocktail Reception yesterday evening. The two initiatives, the Singapore War Risks Insurance Conditions (SWRIC) and the development of an inter-operability framework for electronic trade documents for the maritime and trade industries, will strengthen Singapore’s standing as a leading global maritime hub.

Enhancing Singapore’s maritime insurance offerings

The SWRIC is an enhancement to the Singapore War Risks Mutual (SWRM), Singapore’s first national war risks insurance facility which was launched in 2015 as part of efforts to develop Singapore as a comprehensive marine insurance hub. Available to members of SSA irrespective of the flag of the ship, and non-members whose ships are registered in Singapore, the cover under SWRM rules includes Protection and Indemnity (P&I) war risks, hull war risks, detention and diversion expenses, sue and labour and discretionary insurance. In a short span of four years since its launch, the SWRM cover has exceeded expectations with close to 800 ships insured. Read more

The Swedish Club: New Lessons from Past Experiences

The Swedish Club has launched its new edition of Claims at a Glance, a whistle-stop tour of cases and statistics taken from its experiences in Loss Prevention over the last three years. Claims at a Glance offers the Club’s own perspective on some of the real-life cases it has recently dealt with and provides updates on some of the Club’s key Loss Prevention publications from the last three years.

It makes interesting reading: in the time period studied the report finds that a pilot is on board ship during 30% of all collisions; 66% of all contacts and 58% of all groundings. It reports that 55% of all auxiliary engine claims occur within the first 1,000 hours of overhaul; and since the last report, you are now more likely to suffer a slip or fall on a bulk carrier than a container vessel or a tanker.

Claims at a Glance reviews both P&I and H&M issues ranging from cargo damage, navigational error and machinery through to piracy and injuries and illness. Read more

The Swedish Club Maintains Zero Per Cent General Increase

For the fourth year in succession The Swedish Club has announced a zero per cent general increase for the forthcoming P&I year.

The decision was made by the Club’s board in consideration of the general market view that premiums are not in proportion with expected claims outcome.

Lars Rhodin, Managing Director of The Swedish Club says: “In a number of shipping sectors the market remains weak and we have a commitment to support members at this crucial point. Read more

ICS Chairman Calls for Comprehensive Revision of STCW Seafarer Training Regime

Speaking in Manila, the Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Esben Poulsson, has called for a comprehensive revision of the IMO STCW Convention which governs global standards for the training and certification of around two million merchant seafarers.

STCW was reviewed in 2010 with the adoption of the ‘Manila amendments’ but the previous major overhaul of the STCW regime was last undertaken by IMO Member States over 25 years ago.

Mr Poulsson said “It’s now commonplace for employers to routinely provide additional training and assessments prior to the deployment of many officers holding STCW certification which raises questions as to whether the Convention as currently drafted is still fit for purpose in the 21st Century.” 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.”

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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

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

“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