The international ship managers’ body, InterManager, has extended its global membership by welcoming three new members, the Republic of the Marshall Islands Ship Registry, ARC and SC Innovation.
Welcoming the three new members, Capt Kuba Szymanski, Secretary-General of InterManager said: “Our mandate to our members is clear and it is this support and collaboration that has caused our membership to grow. As we welcome our first ship registry member it is a reminder that by working as a multi-sector Association, together we can ensure a rich sustainable industry for generations to come. We look forward to working closely with our three new members.”
InterManager, the third party and in-house ship management association, has urged the maritime industry not to neglect its duty in ensuring a sustainable future.
Speaking at CrewConnect Global, InterManager’s President Bjørn Jebsen and Secretary-General Capt Kuba Szymanski spoke of the necessity of working closely with key decision makers to maintain a resilient industry.
InterManager, the third party and in-house ship management association, has today (Tuesday) appointed Bjørn Jebsen as its President with immediate effect.
Mr Jebsen, who was elected unopposed at today’s InterManager AGM in Singapore, succeeds Gerardo Borromeo, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Philippine Transmarine Carriers, who steps down after four years at the helm.
InterManager has welcomed the joint BIMCO/ICS Manpower Report, but says it should act as a wake-up call for the industry to address the issue of the accelerating shortage of seafarers.
InterManager, the international trade association for in-house and third party ship managers, has extended its membership from within the influential Middle Eastern shipping markets and welcomes Overseas Marine Logistics (OML) as a full member.
InterManager has described as ‘abhorrent’, the decision by Spain’s Supreme Court to sentence the Master of the Prestige oil tanker, which sank off Spain’s northwest coast in 2002, to two years in prison and has called on the shipping industry to support him after what have been 14 highly stressful years.
As 2015 draws to a close, we pause to reflect on the past 12 months which have certainly been interesting, challenging and at times confusing in terms of the signals that the global market place has been sending out.
Topping this very dynamic landscape and seascape has been a keen interest to try and get ahead of the trends in order to position ourselves for the anticipated better days ahead. Unfortunately, such jockeying of positions appears to have only compounded what was already a challenging situation. The net result turning out to be what Alan Greenspan once described as “irrational exuberance” in terms of the behaviour of many towards the different markets that we engage in. Read more
InterManager, the international trade association for in-house and third party ship managers, has welcomed the appointment of Mr Ki-tack Lim of the Republic of Korea as the incoming Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organisation.
Speaking minutes after the announcement was made at a special vote at the UN body’s London headquarters, Kuba Szymanski, InterManager Secretary General, said the role of the IMO was never more important as it is today and the appointment of a new IMO head with the experience and knowledge that Mr Ki-tack Lim has, was crucial to it continuing its important work.
“Today’s ship managers, whether in-house or third party, need to know that rules governing the safe operation and management of today’s ships are internationally binding and reflect the vagaries of this highly sophisticated and professional industry,” he said.
“InterManager has always been a strong supporter of the work of the IMO and has never shied away from working closely with fellow stakeholders to ensure that the right legislative framework is in place to allow shipping to grow in a safe and totally sustainable way.” Capt Szymanski added.
InterManager is an active Non-Governmental Organisation member of the IMO and its representative Captain Paddy McKnight is present at all important IMO meetings.
Following its meeting in Oslo, Norway during the international NorShipping event, InterManager, the international trade association for in-house and third party ship managers, has set its sights on examining two key areas which could have significant benefits for the shipping industry.
First in its list of priorities is an investigation of minimum manning levels for different types of vessels trading on different trade routes and carrying different cargo types to determine whether and how these need to be reviewed, better understood for their implications to safety and efficiency and then discussed at flag state level to take into account required rest hours as set under the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC).
The rules currently in place stipulate the minimum number of personnel needed to move a ship safely from one port to another. InterManager is concerned, however, that these rules were not just meant to set a crew complement number but were intended to also serve as a mechanism to improve overall operational status. Given today’s operating realities, this may not actually be what is happening. InterManager’s Executive Committee agreed to engage with industry stakeholders to consider how best to ensure sustainable and safe manning levels, taking into account the current operating and legislative environment, onboard administrative burdens and fatigue issues.
A second important area that InterManager also intends to examine is the issue of “the paperless ship” and work to draw up guidelines aimed at reducing the amount of paperwork officers and their crew have to undertake while at sea. Executive members are keen to seek ways to reduce this burden and improve the flow of form filling between the ship and shore.
Gerardo Borromeo, InterManager President, said: “Managers are concerned that these previously agreed minimum manning levels may not be properly reflective of today’s marketplace. For example, a VLCC calling at seven ports a year may have a minimum manning level of 18 but a smaller chemical tanker, calling at over 100 ports in the same period may be required to operate with a much lower crew complement of say 12. This has concerning implications when you consider the number of ports such a vessel may be visiting in a very short period of time.”
“We want flag states to look at each vessel type, the cargo it is carrying and the voyages it is on and to set up and agree on legislation to ensure there are always sufficient people on board to operate that vessel safely while catering for the necessary rest hours. We, of course, need to be realistic in approaching this issue as it involves not only safety and efficiency, but economics as well. At the end of the day, InterManager is looking to drive sustainable solutions that benefit the entire industry and the general public.
He added: “The burden of administrative tasks falling on seafarers in today’s shipping industry is significant. Industry surveys have indicated that the volume of red tape is one of the factor’s adversely affecting recruitment. InterManager aims to improve this situation not just for today’s seafarers but also for tomorrow’s.”
These new projects follow confirmation this week that InterManager has achieved its pre-set aim of delivering a comparable set of operational KPIs to the shipping industry as a whole by passing over ownership of the scheme to BIMCO. Working on behalf of the entire shipping industry since 2003, InterManager, its members and its project partners – including the Norwegian Research Council, Marintek and SOFTimpact – have worked tirelessly to produce a unique and comprehensive monitoring system which has the potential to produce huge benefits for ship operators.
Captain Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General of InterManager and part of the core development team for the system, said: “The KPI system was born out of a need for an international system to define, measure and report on operational performance in an effort to respond to society’s increasing demands. Our members have spent 13 years on developing and perfecting this system and we are deeply grateful to them for their tireless efforts. It is accredit to them and to the KP System that an organisation like Bimco now sees fit to take up the reins and roll out this invaluable system to the benefit of the entire shipping industry.”
Gerardo Borromeo has been elected as President of InterManager for a second term and will serve as head of the global third party and in-house ship managers association until 2016.
The vote at InterManager’s Annual General Meeting in Singapore was unanimous and it gives Mr Borromeo the mandate he needs to see through important initiatives currently underway such as promoting an industry-wide mechanism for benchmarking shipmanagement operations; striving to drive more efficiency onboard and on shore while also keeping a keen eye on sustainability.
The AGM also elected five Vice Presidents. They are Ian MacLean from Hill Dickinson, responsible for legal issues; Rob Grool from Seaspan, looking after the Americas; George Hoyt in charge of Special Projects; Bjorn Jebsen from Abojeb who will look after European affairs and Capt Ajay Tripathi from MMS who will act as Treasurer.
Addressing the AGM, Mr Borromeo said the challenge of change and of meeting the upcoming demand for shipping services “will be best summed up from the perspective of looking at our people, our global maritime professionals. Undoubtedly it is the human side of shipping that ensures, and will continue to ensure, that shipping services will be delivered as needed, when needed.”
He added: “The youth of today is growing up in a highly digitised world, a world characterised by instant gratification and a wired society where the flow of information is instantaneous. Thinking ahead, in the context of life on shore, what kind of environment onboard will be necessary to attract and retain the kind of talent that will be needed to serve in a dynamic evolving global landscape?
“We at InterManager are challenged as an association to promote the continued development of a common platform, in order to project an image of an industry that moves the world. This platform, which I call the ’Human Side of Shipping’, must support efforts to tackle the ever pressing risks of greater administrative burdens being placed on our officers; ensure the right competencies are being developed; and find better ways to manage the overall wellness index of our crew members,” he said.
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For Further Information, please contact:
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Ship managers should put in place sensible contingency plans to guard against a worst-case scenario should Filipino officers potentially find themselves banned from working on EU-flagged vessels. This follows concerns raised by the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) over the ability of the Philippine Maritime Administration to fully and effectively implement all provisions of the STCW Convention.
This call by InterManager is intended to put perspective on anxieties about what the EU may ultimately decide with regard to the results of EMSA’s most recent audit of the Philippines in October 2013. Meantime, the Philippine Government and industry representatives are working hand-in-hand to rectify original EMSA findings and Philippine sources are confident this continuing effort and work in progress will achieve the desired results for all stakeholders.
To mitigate the immediate impact of any possible ban that may be promulgated by the EU, InterManager is calling on all ship managers to ensure their Filipino officers have extended the validity of their CoCs prior to any ban coming into force. The EU has indicated that, if ever a ban were to take effect, this would not be levied against valid and active CoCs. By extending the validity of their CoCs, the Filipino officers are able to gain a maximum five year period of grace. Should the EU ever implement a ban, a subsequent resolution may likely be found within the five year grace period. Georgia, which has recently been subjected to a similar ban, resolved its shortcomings within two years.
Owners and managers should also look to hold discussions with various Port State Control MOUs to extend this five year window to Filipino officers serving on non-EU flagged vessels which may call on EU ports.
Industry discussions are currently underway with a number of countries such as the UK, Norway, The Netherlands and Belgium, to allow their recognised schools to assess cadets for their CoC, so allowing those cadets to qualify onboard EU-flagged ships.
InterManager President Gerardo Borromeo said: “The message we are giving out as responsible ship managers is that our primary duty is to ensure that ships continue to sail safely and efficiently, which means we will put the right people onboard these ships and, in the case of Filipinos, we will work with the right crewing institutions and entities to ensure these officers are properly trained and certificated.”
One independent Association which can collect, collate and correlate industry-specific data on behalf of the whole maritime sector is what the newly restructured KPI Association Limited (KPIA) aims to be.
The KPI Association Limited (KPIA), is a not-for-profit body which now oversees the industry-wide KPI Project, pioneered originally by ship management association InterManager. As it moves to represent the global shipping industry, KPIA is being restructured during 2014 to enable it to better serve the whole maritime sector and to embrace its new vision statement: ”to promote safety at sea and to promote best practice in the global shipping industry”.
Putting into action its key plans, KPIA is inviting influential industry organisations to join its KPI Trust which feeds in to the Board and is in the process of appointing leading maritime companies to the KPIA Board of Directors. In addition, KPIA’s future has been strengthened by the selection of an independent consultancy company, the Denmark-based ITOLEAD Consulting Group, to develop its global strategies.
In addition, KPIA is aiming to appoint a global network of regional KPIA-certified consultants to form the first point of contact for shipping companies, stakeholders and maritime organisations to help them understand how introducing key performance indicators can benefit their businesses. The certified consultants will also assist companies with the strategic selection and implementation of KPIs and in-house training etc.
Helle Gleie, KPIA Executive Director, explained: “Having a global network of consultants will enable KPIA to better advise the shipping industry in the use of performance indicators and statistics as well as giving us a vital point of contact to receive feedback and inspiration from the maritime sector.”
The network of consultants will also liaise with a KPI Expert Group, made up of representatives from key maritime organisations and companies, who will have the responsibility to develop and adapt KPIs to meet emerging industry needs and expectations. In addition, leading industry academics will work with the project to identify relevant trends and correlations in the data which, alongside feedback from KPI users, will assist in boosting performance efficiency, maritime safety and meeting environmental standards.
These developments aim to help make the introduction of performance monitoring easier for the maritime sector. Helle Gleie said: ”Many companies have struggled when deciding if, when or how to implement shipping KPIs, or have not known how to collect and share this information. Our new structure will enable us to assist with this challenge and spread understanding of how to gather this information to secure meaningful, future focussed and commercially beneficial results.”
The KPI Project provides performance measuring for shipping businesses across a wide range of agreed and clearly defined industry key performance indicators. The Project is accessed by customers through an international web-based system developed and maintained by Cyprus-based IT specialist SOFTimpact: www.shipping-kpi.org
Already the KPI Project is benefiting its subscribers, providing valuable benchmarking information to enhance their business performance and meet international standards and environmental targets. The system securely collates internal data from individual companies while enabling benchmarking against the wider industry. Data is currently being received from more than 2,000 vessels worldwide with more joining each month.
Looking forward, working with independent expert academia, KPIA plans to produce quarterly reports to make specific and relevant information based on its data available to shipping industry segments, as well as a wider industry audience, to enable commercial use of the information, to enhance best practice and to allow a greater and wider understanding of information.
Ms Gleie said: ”KPIA is confident that the new structure can and will make a difference to its users and the industry as a whole. Only by working together during times of fast change and by sharing knowledge, the industry can develop responsibly and financially with the desired speed.”
Notes To Editors
· The KPI Association Limited is an independent, not-for-profit global maritime organisation focusing on assisting the entire maritime industry to use and develop shipping Key Performance Indicators. The KPI Association (KPIA) took over the work with shipping KPIs from the project pioneers InterManager in 2011. KPIA’s vision is to promote safety at sea and best practice in the global shipping industry.
· As 2014 dawns, latest figures reveal the KPI database is processing data from 2,267 vessels worldwide.
InterManager, the international trade association for the ship management industry, has pledged to put ‘people’ at the centre of its focus over the next year.
Addressing this year’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), at the Lloyd’s building during London International Shipping Week, InterManager President Gerardo Borromeo said: “Without a doubt the human element, our global maritime professionals, will remain at the front and centre in InterManager’s activities and projects over the next 12 months.”
He outlined a comprehensive programme of activity for the next year with topics to be covered including best management practices, seafarer health and wellness, enhanced maritime communications and an examination of the administrative burdens onboard ship.
The President outlined the work InterManager has carried out over the past year on behalf of its members. He highlighted the key role the Association played in the International Maritime Organization’s symposium on The Future Of Safe Shipping where it chaired the important session on ‘safety and the human element’. He vowed to continue to strengthen InterManager’s role as a stakeholder at the IMO and encouraged members to communicate any industry questions or concerns to InterManager Secretary General Kuba Szymanski who can rely them through the appropriate channels.
Commenting on the apparent decrease in pirate activity in the Gulf of Aden, and the corresponding increase off the coast of West Africa, Mr Borromeo urged members to remain vigilant in high risk areas and do all they can to comply with Best Management Practices (BMP4).
“As ship managers and crew managers, this is the area where we can certainly make the most difference,” he said. “While there is no hard and fast rule on management styles, our commitment to the concept of Best Management Practices has to be the ‘Holy Grail’ as far as any ship manager or crew manager is concerned.”
He also directed managers to aim high when implementing the Maritime Labour Convention, which has been described as the ‘Magna Carta for seafarers’. He told members: “The MLC as a standard is not a target to aim for, but provides starting points from which to begin. There is nothing that prevents any quality ship manager or crew manager from promoting higher standards of crew care and welfare for their own purposes and in order to differentiate service levels across the board.”
The President was delighted to announce that over the past four years InterManager membership has risen by more than 50% to currently stand at 103 members.
As the annual Day Of The Seafarer dawns (June 25), InterManager, whose members manage more than 250,000 of the world’s seafarers, has reaffirmed its commitment to crewmembers with a comprehensive package of activities aimed at addressing crew-related issues.
The Association, whose members are involved in the management of a third of the world fleet, is working with industry partners and training institutions on a number of projects to benefit crew members throughout the global shipping sector.
These include taking part in an important research project into Hours Of Rest co-ordinated by Warsash College and funded by the Nippon Foundation, which aims to establish best practices to fight fatigue among seafarers.
Other initiatives include industry-wide psychometric profiling to identify key skills for onboard roles, and a project aiming to address the issue of unnecessary red-tape in the shipping industry, a project to assist owners and managers to introduce internet communications onboard for crew members, and a ‘Plastic Money’ solution for faster and safer crew payments.
InterManager is also liaising with providers of insurance services, such as Crewsure, principally in relation to abandonment insurance policies, and is working with industry partners to improve medical health and training for seafarers, particularly in the Philippines. InterManager continues to raise awareness of safety issues relating to the design and operation of lifeboats.
In addition, InterManager continues to speak out on the need for comprehensive and internationally-led solutions to the problem of piracy, working in particular with the Save Our Seafarers campaign which is chaired by former InterManager chairman Alastair Evitt.
InterManager Secretary General, Captain Kuba Szymanski, himself a former tanker Master, said: “Crew matters form the biggest part of shipmanagement activities and our members are keen to put crew-related issues at the top of our agenda.
“Ensuring that seafarers are treated properly and have good facilities onboard is very important to ensuring management practices meet the standards set out by our Code of Conduct as well as being essential to retaining high quality crew members. By putting our efforts and expertise into these projects, InterManager is contributing to the improvement of working conditions for the world’s seafarers.”
InterManager, the international association of in‐house and third party ship managers, is calling on flag States to exercise tolerance and flexibility in the weeks and months following the entry into force of the Maritime Labour Convention.
A poll of its member companies shows that InterManager members are ready to meet the needs and demands of the MLC when it enters into force on August 20th this year.
However, the association remains concerned that, as the MLC requires total commitment from its global stakeholders, restraint and a common interpretation of the rules needs to be seen from inspecting authorities when vessels start to visit the world’s ports following the August 20 start date.
Gerardo Borromeo, President of InterManager, said: “There is need for all flag state and port state authorities to exercise maximum tolerance and flexibility when the convention comes into force this August. Only 40 States around the world have so far ratified the MLC so there are many States still in the process of ratifying or may even be a considerable ways from ratifying. This poses great concern to ship managers and crew managers who are immediately impacted by this convention. It is equally important that all States ensure their respective flag and port state control inspectors are prepared to meet the unique demands of the MLC.
“InterManager welcomes the entering into force of MLC but remains concerned that many of the world’s major ports which our members’ vessels visit, lie within the borders of countries which have yet to ratify the MLC such as the US, Korea, UK, Italy and Japan. We need a common interpretation of the rules to ensure there is a smooth entry into force of this important convention,” he added.
InterManager members are committed to the smooth and efficient operation of their managed fleets and so it is essential that ships are able to enter and depart loading and discharging ports as quickly as possible. “Because not all flag administrations have approved the convention, it is important that the shipping industry can be assured of minimum disruption to vessel operations following the entry into force of the MLC this August,” Mr Borromeo said.
He concluded: “We are urging the major trading nations to move with more urgency to get themselves into the picture regarding MLC. InterManager will work with all the stakeholders to ensure the smooth transition into force of this crucial piece of shipping legislation.”
InterManager, the international trade association for the world’s in‐house and third party ship managers,
has once again placed quality at the top of its agenda by pledging to work with industry stakeholders as well
as governments and flag state administrations to highlight the importance of management best practices in
the day‐to‐day running of the world’s ships.
A meeting of the association’s Executive Committee expressed a recommitment to management best
practices onboard ship and ashore and called on the industry to work together to instill a culture of agreed
quality management and operation that was above and beyond mandatory legislated standards.
This could cover a multitude of issues such as how to manage a ship efficiently and safely; how to use
management best practice to deal with the scourge of global piracy, or even how to deal with daily tasks
such as waste disposal onboard ship and ashore.
Gerardo Borromeo, President of InterManager, said InterManager always made it a point of encouraging its
members to review their own internal processes as part of this continual process of improvement.
He said: “Ship owners and managers can sometimes find themselves in a situation they don’t know how to
deal with and so are unable to provide the necessary guidance to their crew members. This can lead to the
crew taking unnecessary short cuts and in those instances, the situation can go from bad to worse.”
“The improper practice of discharging waste overboard, for example, is partly related to the need for stricter
discipline and adherence to best practices in ship operations. While this may have something to do with the
management and training culture in a company, from whatever sector, it can also link back to the ship
design itself. Vessels need adequate waste storage facilities onboard ship as well as being able to dispose of
waste at available reception facilities when they reach port,” he said. “So what is the management best
practice in this instance, and why isn’t it always being followed?” he asked.
A sustainable and highly competent crew is essential to shipping’s future and the industry must work
harder to engender a quality culture that extends right to the heart of the way its sea‐based and shore‐based
workforce undertakes its tasks. “Our crew must be respected as the global maritime professionals we want
them to be,” Mr Borromeo said.
“While shipping has been steeped in rich traditions of the past, today’s managers have to strive to manage
their ships even better. We recognise there are inherent challenges in the way business is run but by bringing
it into the open and working together, we can better educate the industry,” Mr Borromeo said.
Lifeboat hooks can be “lethal” and their design is out of date and unsuitable to meet modern demands, according to serving seafarers whose views have been gathered by InterManager.
Following a series of incidents and fatalities involving lifeboat hooks, InterManager, the international trade association for the ship management industry, has gathered comments from seafarers of various ranks in an online discussion forum.
Crew members responded by pointing out that they believed the hook designs have not kept pace with developments in the global shipping industry. “Nothing really has changed for the last five millenniums,” said one Chief Engineer with 35 years’service on chemical carriers. “These hooks are lethal,” he said. A second Chief Engineer questioned: “Why are we still using very old designs and materials?” and a Master commented “I don’t trust hooks and their arrangements.”
Adding to the debate, a Captain questioned training regimes, saying: “Because almost every vessel has lifeboats of a different design it is very often [a] steep learning curve for all involved.” While another likened his onboard training to “Russian roulette”.
Respondents included experienced Masters, Captains, Chief Engineers and Chief Officers who had served on a variety of vessels including LNG, chemical carriers, tankers and container ships.
InterManager Secretary General, Captain Kuba Szymanski, said: “There is a great depth of feeling in the industry on the subject of lifeboats and their safe operation. They are meant to save lives not to endanger them further. I am pleased InterManager has been able to facilitate this debate”
Notes To Editors:
· The full InterManager discussion can be seen on the InterManager Linked-In page: www.linkedin.com
· InterManager also has a Facebook page which in its first month of operation has already attracted 5,000 viewers.
InterManager, the international trade association for the ship and crew management sector, has started the year by welcoming a new member.
Ukrainian crew manager Alpha Navigation has been approved for Full Membership in what InterManager Secretary General Kuba Szymanski says is a significant move. “Ukraine is an important crew-supply area and we are delighted to welcome Alpha Navigation as the first InterManager member from this country and also our first new member of the year,” he said.
Based in Odessa, one of the biggest ports in the Mediterranean and Black Seas area, and with branches in most Ukrainian sea ports, Alpha Navigation represents more than 2,500 competent and qualified Ukrainian crew. The company is ISO 9002 approved and ensures its crew supply meets full compliance with IMO, STCW and ISO requirements, as well as the manning stipulations of the vessel and her registry.
Captain Szymanski said: “Alpha’s emphasis on quality crew, backed up by a comprehensive training regime and careful adherence to international regulations, is very much in line with InterManager’s drive to ensure high standards are maintained within the shipmanagement industry. We are pleased to have them onboard.”
Low freight rates and a challenging market are concerns for ship managers as they begin 2013.
A survey of members of InterManager, the international trade association for the ship and crew management industry, has identified the main concerns affecting the industry as it begins the New Year.
In addition to fears about how challenging market conditions impact on operating budgets, ship and crew managers are also concerned at the difficulties of finding and retaining quality staff – both at sea and on shore. Responding to members’ worries InterManager plans to introduce a number of new initiatives this year to address training and recruitment matters, including a Young Executives group to encourage and support the industry’s rising stars.
InterManager President Gerardo Borromeo, who took the InterManager helm last October, said: “Today’s young executives are tomorrow’s leaders and we want to do all we can to support them and help them to develop their leadership qualities.”
Bureaucracy remains a problem for the ship management sector, particularly the burdens it places on time and resources. InterManager is supporting a number of projects to help, such as crew payment by ‘plastic money’, as well as continuing to develop its industry-leading KPI system to streamline and share best practices and improve efficiency – particularly important when budgets are stretched.
InterManager will also focus its efforts this year on crew management matters – with a cadet scheme, a worldwide seafarers’ survey and training and education initiatives in the pipeline.
Mr Borromeo said: “The human element is key to successful ship management and we must ensure we work together as an industry to raise standards and to encourage good staff – the best and the brightest – to enter and stay in shipping.”
The InterManager survey of ship and crew managers (see chart below) also demonstrated that piracy and the smooth and successful introduction of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) are also concerns for ship managers.