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

KVH Videotel Announces Promotion of Raal Harris to Managing Director

KVH Videotel, a market-leading provider of training films, computer-based training, and eLearning for the maritime industry, announced today that Raal Harris has been named managing director. In his new role, Mr. Harris is responsible for the overall business, including creative production, content and licensing, product development, and sales. Based in KVH Videotel’s London office, Mr. Harris has extensive experience in the commercial maritime industry and is actively involved with numerous seafarer welfare organizations, ship management associations, and international shipping entities.

Previously, Mr. Harris held the title of creative content director for KVH Videotel and was responsible for production and development of eLearning materials and digital media strategy. He championed a creative approach to enhance product interactivity and user experience and spearheaded various projects to increase Videotel’s web presence and to deliver training online and on mobile devices.

Mr. Harris’s background includes university lectureships in interaction design, information product design, and computer games design, which gave him invaluable experience in structuring and designing learning material and evaluating learner performance.

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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

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.

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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

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.