International Chamber of Shipping expresses concern over tanker attacks

The Board of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has expressed concern at the serious incidents involving the Marshall Islands flagged ship Front Altair and the Panama flagged Kokuka Courageous, in the Gulf of Oman. Addressing the issue at the ICS Annual General Meeting in the Faroe Islands, the Board has expressed the international shipping industry’s alarm at recent incidents in the region affecting ships and their crews.

“This suspected attack is a deeply worrying and intolerable situation. We await further clarification and information as to what has happened but we are relieved that there appears to have been no loss of life and that the crews are reportedly safe, ” said Guy Platten, ICS Secretary General. “This is the second incident in one month and the shipping industry, and most importantly the crews,  must not be exposed to such risks.” Read more

Gulf of Guinea Piracy Continues to Threaten Seafarers – Industry Wants Action Now

Members of the shipping community, Flag States and Agencies from the Gulf of Guinea gathered at the Headquarters of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on Friday 7 June, 2019, for a day-long symposium on Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea. The event, co-sponsored by BIMCO, IMCA, ICS, ITF and OCIMF, featured speakers from regional maritime agencies as well as shipping officials, academics and military staff.  The shipping industry, along with seafarer groups, organized the event to highlight the continuing danger to seafarers operating in the Gulf of Guinea.

In opening the symposium, Dr. Grahaeme Henderson, Chair of the UK Shipping Defence Advisory Committee and Vice President of Shell Shipping & Maritime, said “Simply put, the high level of piracy and armed robbery attacks in the Gulf of Guinea is not acceptable. Yet it is happening every day and this is not business as usual. We need to take urgent action now.”  Read more

Maritime VSAT Innovator Introduces ‘KVH Watch’ IoT Connectivity as a Service

New KVH Watch service is designed for maritime equipment manufacturers, enabling them to conduct remote monitoring and real-time intervention

MIDDLETOWN, RI – June 4, 2019 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), today introduced the maritime industry’s only all-inclusive, no-commitment, Internet of Things (IoT) Connectivity as a Service program utilizing global VSAT communications. KVH WatchTM is designed as the connectivity solution for remote equipment monitoring and intervention by maritime equipment manufacturers and IoT application providers. With remote monitoring, manufacturers can act in real time, minimizing expensive service calls and ensuring that their equipment is performing at its peak for the maritime operation.

“IoT is essential for maintaining and optimizing complex equipment at sea, but until now, equipment manufacturers have lacked an affordable VSAT IoT solution,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer. “We followed the successful business model we established with AgilePlans® Connectivity as a Service to now offer KVH Watch IoT Connectivity as a Service for one monthly subscription fee.” Read more

Shipowners’ Global Trade Association Launches Annual Review


In advance of its AGM in the Faroe Islands next week, the global trade association for shipowners, the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), has launched its Annual Review 2019, providing in-depth insight into the most pressing issues confronting shipping, which moves about 90% of global trade.

ICS Chairman, Esben Poulsson, explains:  “The immediate focus of ICS is the successful implementation of the UN IMO global sulphur cap, which will take complete effect on 1 January.  ICS has produced comprehensive advice to help shipowners prepare and achieved notable success in persuading IMO to adopt appropriate guidelines for its Member States. Read more

ICS Launches Definitive Guidelines on MLC Convention

Responding to changing regulations the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched of the third edition of its essential Guidelines on the Application of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention, the only fully up to date guide to the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) for all involved with the employment of seafarers.

Focused on today’s MLC, the publication covers all amendments made to the Convention since it entered into force in 2013. It also contains practical advice, information and key learnings from industry bodies at the heart of the shipping community.
Natalie Shaw, Director of Employment Affairs at ICS says: “These new Guidelines provide a framework to help all involved in the industry understand how the MLC works. Companies can use them to assist in developing their own policies and procedures and incorporate them in their working practices. Read more

International Shipping on Track to Meet 2030 CO2 Reduction Target Following Critical UN IMO Meeting

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) – which represents the world’s national shipowner associations – remains confident that shipping will improve its carbon efficiency by at least 40% by 2030 compared to 2008, in line with the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO) targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.  This follows important decisions made by the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 74) which met in London this week.

ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten commented: “We welcome the adoption of important new IMO regulations to strengthen and bring forward the application of the Energy Efficiency Design Index for several different types of new build vessel, including containerships.  We are keen to see further progress on developing more short term measures to help the existing fleet reduce its emissions, and are optimistic that IMO Member States can agree some additional regulations, during 2020, combining prescriptive and goal based approaches that will deliver further GHG reductions before 2023.” Read more

New survey from ICS and ECSA paints positive picture for seafarer internet access


A new survey from the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) reveals that not only is internet access for seafarers for personal use on board ships more widespread and available than previously imagined, but also that the positive benefits associated with this access outweigh the feared safety concerns around the technology.

The responses to the survey carried out by ICS and ECSA, with support from the Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA), indicate that the provision of internet access to seafarers for personal use may have improved the mental health and well-being of seafarers (according to 60% of respondents) and the morale of seafarers in the company (according to 69% of respondents). 82% of those organisations who responded provide internet access to seafarers for personal use. Despite industry concerns that internet access may negatively impact upon seafarers obtaining adequate rest and sleep during periods available for rest, 85% of these companies reported that this has been unaffected or improved. Similarly, whilst there have also been concerns expressed as to whether internet access may negatively or positively impact upon the work performance of seafarers, 96% of companies reported that this has not deteriorated. Read more

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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