Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) overcomes challenges from global pandemic to launch of ADVAITA, in China

Advaita, a dedicated cement carrier under construction at Penglai Zhongbai Jinglu Ship Industry Co., Ltd, China was successfully floated out on 30th March 2020. The vessel is being built under classification of Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass). This event is exceptionally significant as many constraints were faced prior to the successful launch, in light of the COVID-19 global pandemic.

IRClass surveyors braved the constantly changing scenario of both global and local restrictions and immense challenges including movement of manpower, to ensure the float happened as scheduled. Advaita, is approx.160m long, 22200 dwt, dedicated cement carrier  and is designed  to comply to all  the latest IMO conventions and codes like SOLAS, MARPOL, Loadline etc for worldwide operations.

Mr. P K Mishra, Head (Operations) of IRClass commented: ‘I’m glad we were able to put into action and demonstrate our ability to adapt and respond quickly to the changing environment. This is a true test of IRClass’ competence and I am extremely proud of our team for putting in the tremendous effort in the face of these challenges and continuing to soldier on even in such exceptional circumstances’.

‘The safety and well-being of IRClass’ surveyors is the top priority for us and all safety measures and precautions are in place for them to carry out their roles. IRClass remains truly committed to its members to support their business needs and will continue monitoring the changing circumstances to ensure that their needs are met’, he further added.

 

BIMCO, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and Videotel partner in unprecedented online education collaboration

BIMCO, Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and Ocean Technologies Group subsidiary Videotel have partnered to create a high-quality, accessible educational resource to help maritime students across the globe to continue their studies remotely during the coronavirus pandemic

 

BIMCO, the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and Ocean Technologies Group maritime eLearning subsidiary Videotel have joined forces to provide access to a wealth of self-study material via the institute’s learning management system. The ICS Online Academy is free for all registered students until the end of July 2020 and will enable them to use eLearning material jointly produced by use BIMCO and Videotel in preparation for Institute exams by giving them greater access to quality education and maritime resources.

“ICS Online Academy is a really unique project which has allowed BIMCO and Videotel to collaborate with the Institute for the benefit of the maritime community, especially students who are struggling to stay on track with their learning during the current crisis. The combined technical, educational and subject-specialist skills that have gone into building the Academy really demonstrates the dedication to quality of learning rather than a purely commercial focus,” said Julie Lithgow, Director of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers.

Angus Frew, BIMCO Secretary General & CEO said, “BIMCO is very happy to donate this material. In the hands of Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers, it will be put to good use and hopefully bring a lot of new people into the industry.”

The Academy was soft-launched earlier this year and has already been tested by over 300 students from locations as varied as Lagos, Kenya, Singapore, Tanzania, the UK and Canada. The Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers made the decision to bring forward the scheduled launch of the project to assist students suffering as a result of the restrictions imposed by the Coronavirus.

“As a global learning and operational technology company, Ocean Technologies Group is driven to help to make the industry safer, stronger and able to excel. Partnering with BIMCO and the Institute for Chartered Shipbrokers for this new initiative means that students in developing countries will have access to the same high-quality resources as they would find in well-established maritime learning centres and can continue their studies and training during the coronavirus pandemic,” said  Manish Singh, Chief Executive Officer at Ocean Technologies Group.

 

The ICS Online Academy can be accessed via computer using the following link https://icsonline.academy/ or using the free Moodle app for both iOS and Android. The learning platform is specifically designed to support learners in developing countries. Users in locations with poor or unstable connectivity are able to download courses, work offline and submit their work when reconnected.

 

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2020 Financial Statements – Britannia declares another strong set of results

Highlights

  •  Satisfactory year with an underwriting surplus of USD29.3m
  • Strong investment return (7%) yielding USD61.9m
  • Increase in total capital resources net of USD25m capital distribution
  • Steady tonnage growth during the year and a strong 2020/21 renewal
  • The Association is well placed to meet the financial and operational challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic

 

Financial overview

 After a third consecutive renewal with a zero general increase, total calls and premiums for 2019/20 were down marginally on the prior year.  However, lower claims incurred in the financial year resulted in a satisfactory underwriting surplus of USD29.3m and a net loss ratio of 79.9% (2018/19 – 83.8%).  The well diversified investment portfolio produced a strong return of 7% overall, with equities being the strongest performer at 16.5%.  All asset classes produced a positive result and the overall investment gain was USD61.9m, nearly twice the long-term target.

Capital resources grew by USD31.4m, after taking account of the USD25m capital distribution made to mutual Members in the year and remain above the economic capital target set by the Board.

In the period immediately after the year end, investment markets were impacted by the uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and much of the investment gain made during the year was reversed.  However, the Association’s strong financial position leaves it well placed to face the challenges posed by the uncertain global economic conditions likely to be experienced in the months and years ahead.

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Thome Group’s Successful Remote Audits with DNV GL

The Thome Group has successfully undergone a series of remote audits with DNV GL in various locations due to the widespread lockdown restrictions across the globe.

Thome Mumbai office’s annual ISO 9001:2015 audit was performed online using video conferencing software which enabled document sharing and discussions to take place to verify that all requirements had been met. This was the first remote inspection that Thome had carried out and, because of its successful conclusion, it encouraged the Group to use the digital option for other audits as well.

So, when the annual Document of Compliance (DOC) surveys were due for Thome Ship Management, Thome Shipping and Thome Offshore Management, the remote option was the obvious choice.

DNV GL in Singapore co-ordinated the audits with relevant Thome personnel in each of the aforementioned companies and the Hong Kong, Liberia and Marshall Islands Flags also had representatives present to remotely witness the audit. This is currently the largest remote annual DOC audit performed by DNV GL´s Singapore office.

Taking the lessons learnt from the above audits, Thome decided to develop its own remote vessel internal audit procedures to ensure its managed vessels were not only compliant under ISM Ch.12.1 requirements, but also, to ensure that its management systems were verified to be effectively implemented, despite the COVID-19 restrictions.

Thanks to the efforts of Thome’s Quality Assurance, Marine & Safety and IT departments along with co-operation from one of Thome’s managed vessels, methods such as teleconferencing, screen sharing to demonstrate usage of onboard systems and documents and sharing of photos and videos to verify the physical condition onboard, were all employed to complete a successful audit which has meant that remote internal auditing is now being rolled out to the entire fleet.

“I am really pleased how our teams both onboard and in our offices, have worked with our class and flag partners to find ways to share information remotely to allow surveys and audits to take place during the lockdown restrictions. All parties have taken a very pragmatic and practical approach to satisfy regulatory requirements using digital technology. I think that once lockdown restrictions are eased, we may see the continuation of remote audits and inspections as they are proving to be an efficient use of everyone’s time and energy which is advantageous for everyone concerned,” said Claes Eek Thorstensen, Thome Group’s President and CCO.

Ocean Technologies Group Appoints Pioneering Chief HR Officer

Global learning and operational technology innovator, Ocean Technologies Group, has appointed Susan Steele as Chief Human Resources Officer.

Steele, with over 25 years’ experience in HR, is known for her pioneering use of artificial intelligence and automation to develop employees and improve operational efficiency.

“The digital transformation taking place in the shipping industry as well as the industry’s increasingly complex regulatory framework create an urgency for us and for our clients” said Ocean Technologies Group CEO, Manish Singh. “Susan’s expertise will be invaluable as we attract, develop and retain colleagues around the globe.”

Prior to joining Ocean Technologies Group, Steele held HR leadership roles at Cision, IBM, WPP and Deloitte.

“Throughout my career, I have been drawn to Learning and Technology innovators” explained Steele.  “Ocean Technologies Group is poised to disrupt the global shipping market by harnessing the collective Learning expertise of Seagull, Videotel and MTS and the Technology innovation of Tero Marine and COEX. I am excited by the opportunity to create the employee-centric environment, experiences and culture critical to accelerating competitive advantage for our clients.”

Steele will be based in Ocean Technologies Group’s London office.

KVH Adds Mediterranean Region to KVH Elite Unlimited VSAT Streaming Service for Yachts

Following the launch of KVH Elite in the Caribbean, KVH will offer the service to yachts in the Mediterranean beginning on June 1

MIDDLETOWN, RI – April 30, 2020 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), announced today that beginning June 1, it will add the Mediterranean region, a premier superyacht destination, to its KVH Elite™ service for unlimited HD-quality streaming onboard yachts. The dedicated service, which includes no overages or data limits, was initially launched last October in the Caribbean, where it was well-received by both private and charter yachts.

KVH will continue to offer KVH Elite in the Caribbean—including Florida, the Caribbean, and the islands of the eastern Caribbean—in addition to beginning service in the Mediterranean, including the Adriatic Sea and the Black Sea. The Mediterranean yachting season begins in June and has historically attracted superyachts not only from Europe but also from the Caribbean, although global travel restrictions may prompt many yachts currently in the Caribbean to remain there for the balance of the year.

“Yachting is a source of enjoyment for yacht owners and charter guests, and they want to be able to stream movies and other entertainment content just like at home,” says Mark Woodhead, KVH executive vice president for mobile connectivity. “The yachting market, especially during this unprecedented time, is seeing an incredible demand for VSAT connectivity. KVH Elite unlimited streaming service is one more example of how KVH’s premium VSAT connectivity can enhance the yachting experience.”

KVH Elite enables people onboard to use their favorite apps for streaming popular HD movie and TV content, music, and more, on an unlimited basis with no overages or data usage limits. The streaming service uses KVH’s award-winning VSAT antenna systems— the 1 meter diameter TracPhone® V11-HTS with download speeds as fast as 20 Mbps, and the 60 cm diameter TracPhone V7-HTS with download speeds as fast as 10 Mbps—and is designed for ease of use, with simple over-the-air activation that does not require any hardware changes to the antenna system or its belowdecks control unit. Yachts currently using the TracPhone V11-HTS or V7-HTS are KVH Elite-ready for activation.
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Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) celebrates commissioning of coastal research vessel Sagar Anveshika

Research vessel set to strengthen oceanographic research capabilities of India’s National Institute of Ocean Technology

With the commissioning of coastal research vessel Sagar Anveshika earlier this year, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) celebrated yet another collaborative success with the Indian shipbuilding ecosystem.

Built under IRClass, Sagar Anveshika is a DP1-capable vessel fitted with state-of-the-art equipment that allows her owner, National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT/ Ministry of Earth Sciences,Govt of India) to carry out environmental indexing and bathymetric surveys in both coastal and offshore waters.

Sagar Anveshika is the second of two coastal research vessels built for NIOT, by M/s. Titagarh Wagons Ltd, with the first being Sagar Tara which was delivered in August 2019. The two vessels are set to augment NIOT’s  research capabilities.

Apart from classification, IRClass provided assistance to the owners in seamless integration of research equipment including the laboratories and deck machinery, to ensure that both the vessels satisfy the Scientific Mission Requirements, while complying with applicable rules, conventions, regulations and the flag state.

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Learning in Lockdown- Creating Good Distance Learning Experiences

Raal Harris, MD of Videotel and Creative Director of Ocean Technologies Group, is running a webinar to teach those with training responsibilities how to manage the transition from face to face learning to online teaching.

Called “Learning in Lockdown- Creating good distance learning experiences, the webinar is designed to give tutors a guide on how adapt their training formats and techniques to take into account the differences of teaching delegates online, a medium which is being increasingly used in the maritime  industry as current travel restrictions prevent face to face classroom based learning.

“It is more than just a question of putting your classroom course online and hoping for the best,” said Raal Harris.

“Teachers need to invest time in assessing the right software to use, making sure it is easy to register and join the webinar with a facility for those having technical difficulties to be able to contact the organizer of the session for help,” he added.

Having worked for Videotel for 15 years, Raal has considerable experience in running online courses and so this webinar outlines the pitfalls to avoid and gives some great tips and hints in how to run an engaging and successful distance learning course.

The webinar will begin at 10.00am (UK BST) on Thursday 23rd April and is aimed at those responsible for their organisation’s training strategy, those looking to transform their classroom courses to online ones and tutors keen to understand how best to deliver programmes of training and education using video conferencing technology.

To register simply use the link below:

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/6577159116829249294

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Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) increases the use of Remote Surveys to beat Coronavirus restrictions

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) is taking a pragmatic and practical approach in rendering services to its clients during this period of unprecedented challenges posed by global restriction in personnel movement to reduce the spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

IRClass’ aim is to manage and adapt to the ever-changing circumstances to minimise the impact on its customers by adapting remote surveys in maintaining the validity of ship’s certificates and thereby supporting the global trade, while ensuring the well being and safety of its staff. All of its office based staff are now working remotely from their homes and the company has also provided specific guidelines to its surveyors to follow precautions and country specific advisories when planning the conduct of surveys.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some ships may experience operational challenges such as non availability of drydocks, spares, technicians, etc. In addition, surveys and audits may, in some cases, not be conducted because surveyors are unable to attend the ships due to travel restrictions or quarantines.

Depending on the specific circumstances, IRClass may grant survey extensions as allowed by its rules and application of force majeure provisions to ships due for surveys but facing difficulties due to COVID-19 scenario.

IRClass is working very closely with its clients and may also consider the postponement of non-critical work, where appropriate.

However, where possible and with flag approval, IRClass is increasingly turning to the use of remote surveys/inspections which are based on self-checks by the Master/Chief Engineer of the ship or the Senior Staff of the works, using the IRClass survey checklist and remote asesssment of supporting documentation, photographs/videography by an IRClass surveyor. Facilities for video conferencing including live video streaming for viewing specific sections of the ship or equipment for cross verification, are also proving to be invaluable tools for IRClass’ surveyors.

“These are challenging times for everyone, as the Covid-19 scenario is constantly changing. IRClass is actively monitoring the global situation and is committed to working with all its clients to support their business needs,” said Mr. Suresh Sinha, Managing Director of IRClass.

“Our remote survey system is working very well indeed and is a practical and  innovative way for our surveyor to carry out  the emergency safety assessment of a ship around the various restrictions in place. Our surveyors can now deal with surveys, audits and inspections from the safety of their own homes and, subject to various flag approvals. I can see remote inspections continuing to revolutionise classification services long after the COVID-19 outbreak using digital technology and real time, risk based, data driven decision making process – in not too distant a future,” he continued.

Ocean Technologies Group Backs Maritime CEO Discussions

Global learning and operational technology innovator, Ocean Technologies Group, has backed a series of Maritime CEO Leader discussions hosted by Splash editor Sam Chambers.

Launched on the 14 April, the Maritime CEO Leader Series brings together some of the key people in shipping to discuss issues affecting the sector as a whole which is particularly relevant at the moment given the current restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Participants will also be quizzed on how they unwind and relax to cope with the hours of self-isolation during lockdown.

The first episode features Esben Poulsson, chairman, International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), Heidi Heseltine, CEO, Halcyon Recruitment and Bjørn Højgaard, CEO of Anglo-Eastern and chairman of the Hong Kong Shipowners’ Association.

The first season will run two episodes a week through April and May with more programmes planned across the maritime spectrum later in the year.

The series host Sam Chambers said, “The Maritime CEO Leader Series, powered by Ocean Technologies Group, aims to be both insightful and yet not too dry and heavy-going, giving viewers a glimpse of the real inner thought processes of many of the top names in the industry plus a look at their living rooms.”

The series will be produced in the UK by leading maritime distance learning provider, Videotel, which is one of the companies that operates under the Ocean Technology Group banner. Other companies that are part of the Group include Seagull Maritime, Tero Marine, Coex and the recently purchased Maritime Training Services.

“We are delighted that Ocean Technologies Group is backing the Maritime CEO Leader Series with Splash,” said Videotel’s MD Raal Harris.

“Splash and Maritime CEO has always managed to attract the top people in the industry to provide their insights and opinions on shipping and what their hopes are for the future. I am sure this will be a very engaging and thought provoking series,” he added.

Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) classes its first vessel under Lebanese Flag

International ship classification society IRClass, has classed its first vessel under Lebanese flag.

The vessel is named Jouri and was converted from a vehicle carrier to a livestock carrier under the survey of IRClass which included structural modification, plan approval and reapproval of stability conditions.

The modification process was complicated and was carried out under the close supervision of its surveyors to the complete satisfaction of owner – Etab Shipping S.A. and Technical Manager – M/s Safe Sea Service  S.A.R.L Beirut.

“The project took around 4 months to complete, including overcoming technical challenges like the location of permanent ballast and arrangement for storage of cattle feed to take into account the stability of the vessel,” said Rajeev Pratap Rao, IRClass’ Regional Manager for Middle East and Africa.

“Class societies are increasingly being seen not just as regulators but also as enablers and this project is a perfect example of this with our Plan Approval team and surveyors using their technical expertise to advise and guide the modification team. As this project was such a success we are now working on a similar conversion for the City of Barcelona.” he continued.

Maritime Training Services Joins Ocean Technologies Group

 

On 27th March 2020 Seattle-based Maritime Training Services (MTS) joined the new Ocean Technologies Group, home to COEX, Seagull Maritime, Tero Marine and Videotel.

The combination ensures that MTS will accelerate its growth and develop its services, providing certainty to MTS customers and team following the untimely passing of the company’s Owner and Managing Director, Matthew Gasparich, last year.

MTS will add value to and also benefit from the diverse range of skills and experience available within the Ocean Technologies Group while also being able to draw on the significant investments in R&D being made by the Group in new technologies, content and courses.

Ocean Technologies Group aims to invest in the latest e-learning technologies and pedagogical methods such as gamification, micro-learning, virtual and augmented reality, as well as 3D animation and best-in-class video content.

MTS is well known to both Seagull and Videotel, having collaborated with both companies over many years on the production of maritime e-learning content and distribution of their respective training libraries.

“It is great to be able to welcome MTS to the Ocean Technologies Group. The company will add a significant expertise in the production of bespoke client-specific training programmes having worked with blue-chip customers in commercial shipping, maritime administrations, cruise sector and adjacent markets” said Manish Singh, Ocean Technologies Group Chief Executive Officer

“The combination enhances the responsiveness of MTS, by leveraging on Ocean Technologies Group’s global foot-print. Similarly the Group has better in-region footprint to serve the maritime market across the Americas. With colleagues based from Seoul in the East to Seattle in the West, we are a truly global partner to our customers” he continued.

The combination of MTS with Ocean Technologies Group comes at a crucial time, as Industry leaders Seagull Maritime and Videotel have been working proactively to offer a growing diversity of e-Learning opportunities tailored to specific client requirements.

“Joining this exciting new group gives MTS and our customers an incredible opportunity to build on the good work we have been doing together and take things to the next level.” Said Michelle Bollaert MTS International Operations Manager.

“Having watched with interest the Group developing around Videotel and Seagull, we feel that MTS will be valuable in enabling our new group to cater for all market segment needs and provide a comprehensive range of training solutions to the maritime industry. The MTS team is excited about the greater opportunities arising from being part of the market leading Ocean team” she continued.

 

Videotel Launches New Distance Learning Course on the IGF Code

Leading maritime e-Learning training provider Videotel, has launched a fully approved distance learning course on the use of gases or other low-flashpoint fuels covered within the IGF Code.

The Code, which came into force on 1st January 2017, aims to minimise risk to the ship, its crew and the environment by acknowledging the special nature of any gaseous fuels that are being loaded, stored and burned.

New minimum requirements for the training and qualifications of masters, officers, ratings and other personnel on board ships are also addressed in the Code and any seafarer responsible for designated safety duties associated with the care, use or emergency response to fuel on board ships which are subject to the IGF Code, must now complete an approved course of basic training.

“The use of gas as a fuel on ships has increased in recent years due to the sulphur cap and targets set by the IMO to reduce GHG emissions by 50% by 2050, when compared to 2008. So, this distance learning course comes at an appropriate time to help seafarers get up to speed with the handling and management of these fuel types,” said Raal Harris, MD of Videotel.

“There is no pre-requisite sea service needed to enrol on this course or to be awarded a certificate of training,” he continued.

Videotel provides courses allowing thousands of seafarers globally  to study for and obtain certificates in a variety of STCW and other subjects  by distance learning. The company is part of the newly formed Ocean Technologies Group which also includes Seagull Maritime, Tero Marine and COEX.

The combined services of Seagull Maritime and Videotel provide e-learning programmes to around 1 million seafarers and supply them with learning, education and a diverse range of ship safety and operational information.

Ocean Technologies Group is dedicated to accelerating the potential of innovative companies that serve the maritime industry and helping them to meet the challenges of 21st Century shipping.

The new IGF Code training programme can be found on the Videotel website.

Coronavirus- How to Beat it

In the wake of the pandemic COVID-19, leading maritime training companies Seagull Maritime and Videotel have launched a new programme called: “Coronavirus- How to Beat it.”

Available free to the maritime industry, the programme outlines the common symptoms that seafarers need to be aware of and details the key precautions that individuals onboard can take to minimise the spread of this highly contagious virus.

Frequent hand washing is one of the ways to reduce infection and the programme demonstrates the correct way to thoroughly wash hands using liquid soap and warm water.

It also gives advice to crew on the procedures to follow onboard if they think they have become infected, to reduce the likelihood of spreading the infection.

“The spread of COVID-19 has had serious implications for our seafarers and for the maritime industry a whole, with some port call restrictions, delayed crew changeovers and container shortages which are hampering the supply chain and causing severe disruption to the world economy. So, producing this programme seemed the obvious thing for us to do to help minimise the contagion,” said Raal Harris, Videotel’s Managing Director.

“Now that Videotel and Seagull are part of the same group, we have been able to combine to make this programme in record time. This important information will reach our combined client base which numbers the majority of the world fleet, but we also want to make it freely accessible to all seafarers to ensure everyone can benefit.  Having completed similar exercises with the Ebola and Zika outbreaks, we thought it prudent to continue to support the industry in this way,” he continued.

The programme “Coronavirus- How to Beat it” can be accessed from the Videotel and Seagull websites.

Seagull Maritime and Videotel are part of the new Ocean Technologies Group headed up by CEO Manish Singh, comprising of learning and operational technology companies and dedicated to accelerating the potential of innovative companies that serve the maritime Industry.

Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) continues its tradition of giving

IRClass awards Shri S Venkiteswaran Prizes in Law to 44 law students of Government Law College, Mumbai

Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) continues to give back to the community it serves in meaningful ways such as the ‘S Venkiteswaran Prizes in Law’.

Established in 2015 by IRClass in honour of the late Mr. S Venkiteswaran, the ‘S Venkiteswaran Prizes in Law’ recognise academic excellence at the Government Law College, Mumbai (GLC Mumbai) which is the oldest Law College in Asia. Mr. Venkiteswaran was a legal luminary and internationally acclaimed stalwart in the field of maritime law. He was the founding President of the Indian Maritime Law Association and served on the Board of IRClass as a Director for more than a decade.

On 7 February 2020, 44 students received the prizes at an awards ceremony held at the Royal Bombay Yacht Club. IRClass awarded the prizes which included a citation and a cheque to students scoring the highest and second highest marks across 16 subjects of the Bachelor of Laws (LLB) course at GLC Mumbai.

Distinguished guests at the awards ceremony included Mr V Subramanian, the son of the late Mr. Venkiteswaran, Prof Homer Pithawalla (Professor, GLC Mumbai), Mr. Suresh Sinha (Managing Director, IRClass) and Mr. Marco Wadia (Director, IRClass) & Mr. B V Nargundkar (Sr VP & Company Secretary, IRClass).

Prof Pithawalla expressed his gratitude to IRClass and the family of late Mr Venkiteswaran. He noted that the Shri S Venkiteswaran Prizes in Law are highly sought after, and highlighted the exceptional performance of female undergrads at GLC Mumbai as evidenced by female students accounting for over 80% of this year’s prize recipients.

In his speech, Mr Suresh Sinha lauded the contributions made by late Mr Venkiteswaran to IRClass as well as the Indian and international maritime industry. “Mr Venkiteswaran was an absolute titan in the fields of maritime law and shipping, and his immense contributions serve as an inspiration for generations to come. IRClass’ support for the Shri S Venkiteswaran Prizes in Law is one way in which his legacy lives on,” said Mr Sinha.

Thome Group Wins Dry Bulk Operator Award

The Thome Group is delighted to announce that it has won the Green4Sea Dry Bulk Operator Award, which was announced during a ceremony at the Yacht Club of Greece on 3rd March 2020.

The win recognised that the Thome Group was a “ship operator of bulk carriers that demonstrated environmental excellence and performance.”

The Thome Group was up against a shortlist of four other prestigious companies operating in this sector and the final decision was based on an audience vote where the industry was invited to choose their preferred dry bulk operator who had demonstrated outstanding environmental consideration.

Commenting on the award win Mr Olav Nortun, Thome Group’s CEO, said:

“I am delighted that the Thome Group has won this award as it highlights how much emphasis we have put on ensuring that we make as minimal an impact on the environment as possible. I would especially like to thank our Environmental Compliance Department in supporting our crews and office staff with training and information to help ensure we comply with all necessary environmental regulations. My thanks also go to everyone who voted for us, as having our commitment recognised by our industry peers is very humbling.”

 

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OSM to install TM Master on their entire fleet

OSM Maritime Group have extended their partnership with Tero Marine as their preferred provider of fleet management software. The Norwegian tech company now prepares to install its TM Master suite on the remaining OSM fleet globally.

OSM Maritime Group provides global full-service premium management solutions to the offshore and maritime industry and has more than 500 vessels in their ship management portfolio. TM Master is now the product of choice for handling maintenance and purchasing activities across their fleet.

–          It is with great enthusiasm I can announce that Tero Marine have signed a frame agreement with OSM. We are proud that such an innovative company, with its uncompromising focus on operational excellence for their customers, has recognized and selected TM Master as the best ship management software for their needs in 2020 and beyond. We look forward to adding OSM to our extensive portfolio of leading ship managers, says Rune Lyngaas, CEO of Tero Marine.

The frame agreement with Tero Marine means that all vessels with various planned maintenance systems across the OSM fleet would be standardized on TM Master. TM Master is currently installed on close to 70 vessels across OSM’s Norway and Singapore managed fleets. With OSM’s vision of being a frontrunner in the ship management segment, Tero Marine expect to see substantial growth in the coming years as the preferred partner for fleet management systems.

–          OSM and Tero Marine partnership goes back 6 years already, and the fact that OSM have chosen to extend their business with us demonstrates our ability to help our customers fulfil their digitalization journey in an increasingly complex landscape, says Mr. Lyngaas.

OSM has embedded digital services in its business models to the benefit and success of their customers. The cooperation between OSM and Tero Marine also extends the use of TM Master into OSM’s value adding services such as Catering Management.

–          OSM Maritime Group has a strong focus on contributing to our customers’ success by delivering consistent and high-quality services. To do this, full insight and transparency by sharing the same level of information between vessels, us and our customers are key to enabling data-driven decision making. Consequently, we have been reviewing our core business processes to align them with the opportunities we see from extending our partnership with Tero Marine, says Bjoern Sprotte, CEO of OSM.

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KVH Expands Successful AgilePlans Service with Regional Solution for Smaller Commercial Vessels

The all-inclusive, no-commitment VSAT service with the ultra-compact TracPhone V3-HTS is well-suited for vessels upgrading from legacy L-band

MIDDLETOWN, RI – Feb. 26, 2020 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), announced today that AgilePlans® Connectivity as a Service (CaaS) is now available as a regional offering using KVH’s ultra-compact, 37 cm TracPhone® V3-HTS antenna. With data speeds as fast as 5 Mbps down/2 Mbps up, the TracPhone V3-HTS is designed to enable fishing vessels, workboats, and smaller commercial vessels to leverage fast and reliable Internet connectivity. The service includes new rate plans with no overage charges.

The AgilePlans Regional service complements the AgilePlans Global service, which is paired with the 60 cm TracPhone V7-HTS (with data speeds as high as 10/3 Mbps down/up) and the 1 meter TracPhone V11-HTS (with data speeds as high as 20/3 Mbps down/up), making AgilePlans available throughout the maritime market for commercial vessels of all sizes.

“There are more than 350,000 fishing vessels that are over 12 meters in length. The vast majority of these vessels have no ability to connect once out of sight of land. We intend to change that with this new offering,” says Mark Woodhead, KVH’s executive vice president for mobile connectivity. “As the pace of maritime digitalization accelerates, we wanted to ensure that smaller commercial vessels could take advantage of the all-inclusive, no-commitment AgilePlans offering, which has proven so successful for commercial fleets worldwide.”

AgilePlans is a CaaS subscription-based model offering a comprehensive solution, including high-speed connectivity with unlimited email and texting via KVH’s mini-VSAT BroadbandSM HTS network, TracPhone hardware, free installation in as many as 4,000 ports and locations, cybersecurity protection, KVH OneCareTM maintenance, and no commitment all for one monthly fee. First introduced in 2017 for global connectivity with KVH’s larger antennas, AgilePlans has been the driving force behind KVH’s recent growth in VSAT unit deployments; during the third quarter of 2019, AgilePlans represented 70% of the company’s commercial VSAT shipments. Recent rollouts of AgilePlans have spanned the globe, including fleets in South Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia.

AgilePlans Regional service with the TracPhone V3-HTS is available with a range of monthly subscriptions with data speeds as fast as 5 Mbps down/2 Mbps up. The four regions for coverage are North American/Caribbean, South America, Western Europe/Africa, and Asia Pacific. To help manage data usage, KVH’s mini-VSAT Manager offers data controls, vessel tracking, and usage alerts.

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Indian Register of Shipping MD highlights the evolving role of class societies amid technology advancements and heightened regulation

International ship classification society IRClass’ Managing Director Mr Suresh Sinha asserted that classification societies are looking beyond their traditional roles as regulators and exploring ways in which they can leverage their technical expertise to stay relevant to the industries they serve.

A marine engineer by training, Mr Sinha made the remarks at the recently concluded Qatar Maritime & Logistics Summit held in Doha, Qatar. The inaugural summit gathered eminent industry leaders and decision makers from the Middle East and beyond to discuss issues concerning the sustainable development of the maritime and logistics sectors.

In his speech, titled “Shipping in an age of safety 2020-2030. The role of classification in the modern maritime industry”, Mr Sinha noted that the the maritime sector is rapidly changing due to technological advancements and tightening regulations on environmental protection and safety, and it is incumbent upon classification societies to support these changes.

“Class societies are increasingly seen not just as regulators but also as enablers who assist the industry in implementing regulation through their technical expertise”, said Mr Sinha, who argued that “class societies have an important responsibility to ensure that new equipment and technology are tested, approved, validated and implemented in an effective and timely manner to comply with the regulatory changes”.

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KVH to Support Mariners’ Wellbeing with Free VoIP Calls to ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp Hotline

Mariners on any vessel with KVH VSAT service can place free VoIP calls to ISWAN’s confidential 24-hour SeafarerHelp phone line

KVH is pleased to announce that seafarers on vessels with KVH VSAT service may place free VoIP calls to ISWAN’s SeafarerHelp hotline while at sea. SeafarerHelp is an important initiative by the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) to support mental wellbeing for seafarers around the world. The hotline is confidential, multilingual, and available 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

“We are thrilled that KVH is supporting this initiative so that seafarers can get the help they need when they need it,” says Roger Harris, executive director of ISWAN. “In our experience, we have seen that seafarer issues range from the simple to the complex and the most pressing need is having someone empathetic to confide in, which can be challenging in the onboard environment. This hotline is dedicated to ensuring seafarers speak to someone in time, and with KVH’s involvement they can do so without having to worry about technical issues or data costs.”

Recently, the maritime industry has begun to raise awareness around the importance of seafarers’ mental wellbeing and to support initiatives to encourage discussion. Experts note that the same everyday stresses and emotions that a seafarer experiences on land are present at sea but may be exacerbated by the challenge of being on a ship 24/7 for extended stays. Talking to someone about their issues is an important first step.

Free VoIP calls to SeafarerHelp are available immediately from KVH VSAT vessels; seafarers simply use a VoIP phone on the vessel and call the helpline: +44 (0)20 7323 2737.

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