Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) wins 5-year contract to provide Emergency Response Services for 33 vessels of The Shipping Corporation of India

Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has secured a five-year contract from India’s largest shipping company, The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) – to undertake Emergency Response Service (ERS) for 33 vessels.

The classification society’s ERS is aimed at providing round-the-clock technical support by way of speedy assessment of the intact/damage stability as well as longitudinal strength of any vessel involved in a major incident e.g. grounding, collision or fire. Issues potentially arising from such incidents include excessive trim/heel, loss of stability, progressive flooding, structural impairment, etc.

On alerting the dedicated communication channel, IRClass assembles a team of professionals within two hours, to recreate the status / condition of the vessel, using a pre-developed 3D hull model, and applying the data received from the vessel.

Simulation is carried out for a series of scenarios, from stability and global / local strength considerations. This is to ensure that appropriate advice is given to the Client for correcting any excessive heel/trim, and/or limit further damage to the vessel; thus, helping the ship staff to take well-informed decisions.

Reliability of the service is established by way of mock drills conducted periodically.

The service complies with various requirements including MARPOL Annex 1, Regulation 37(4) which requires oil tankers of more than 5000 DWT (deadweight tonnage) to have prompt access to shore-based damage stability and residual strength calculations; and IACS Recommendation No. 145 – with regards to the operation of shore-based ERS.

Head Technical of IRClass, Mr. C R Venugopal said: “The commitment we have made to SCI further strengthens the existing, excellent relationship we share with the shipping company.”

He added: “This contract highlights IRClass’ growing portfolio of offering value added, beyond class services”

The contract, effective from end of February 2019, will cover multiple types of vessel including oil tankers, bulk carriers and containerships.

KVH Videotel and Nautical Institute Online Course Collaboration a Resounding Success

A successful collaboration between KVH Videotel, a world leader in the provision of e-learning for the maritime industry, and The Nautical Institute (NI), an international organization for maritime professionals involved in the control of sea-going ships, has resulted in more than 100 NI members enrolling in online courses to further their knowledge and skills.

The interactive courses cover a wide range of subjects from ECDIS training, cyber security, and Maritime Labour Convention for ship masters, to enclosed space entry and marine environmental awareness. Taking between 4 – 40 hours to complete, the courses are relevant for all career levels from cadet to Master and contribute to continuing professional development (CPD).

“I am thrilled by the uptake of these e-learning courses and their contribution to the lifelong learning of maritime professionals,” said Steven Gosling, quality assurance manager for KVH Videotel.

“It just shows how much NI members want to develop their knowledge and understanding of maritime subjects to enhance their maritime careers. The convenience of online access means NI members can learn at their own pace in an environment and time of their choosing.”

Under this exclusive program, NI members receive one free online course per year. Since the courses were made available at the end of 2018, the most popular titles have been “Survey & examination of lifting appliances”, closely followed by ECDIS training.

The positive responses from NI members include this feedback about the ECDIS course: “The last time I experienced ECSs was in 2004 when ECDIS was in its infancy, so I started the course as a beginner. E-learning is now part and parcel of the whole learning experience and essential for pursuing CPD,” said Robert Knight, Bachelor of Science, Member of Nautical Institute. Another member provided this feedback: “The course was fit for purpose, informative, and very helpful. I would highly recommend KVH Videotel for online courses,” said Isaac Owolabi.

In addition to the one free online course each year, NI members can also receive 25% discount on any additional training course booked by 31st March 2019.

For more information about KVH Videotel maritime training, please visit the KVH Videotel website. For training updates, follow KVH Videotel on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook

Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) wins key order for providing classification services for 8 shallow water ASW corvettes for the Indian Navy

In what could be termed as a significant recognition of its capabilities, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has won a key order for providing classification services for a series of 8 Anti-Submarine Warfare Corvettes to be constructed for the Indian Navy. The order was awarded under competitive bidding in which other classification societies participated, after qualifying stringent technical requirements.

The ships are to be constructed at the Garden Reach Shipbuilders & Engineers Ltd, Kolkata and will be built to IRClass’ Naval Rules 2015.

These ships are designed for combating threats posed by submarines and special underwater craft, operating in relatively shallow waters and will incorporate advanced sensors, including sonars, and anti-submarine weapon systems. The platforms will also be equipped with modern automation systems. Read more

KVH Surpasses 9,000 VSAT Systems Shipped for Global Connectivity

The milestone highlights KVH’s position as a maritime VSAT market share leader providing satellite broadband connectivity to vessels around the world

MIDDLETOWN, RI – March 5, 2019 – KVH Industries, Inc., (Nasdaq: KVHI), a leader in mobile connectivity, announced that it recently shipped its 9,000th mini-VSAT Broadbandsm system. KVH’s TracPhone® V-series antenna systems are designed to provide satellite broadband connectivity to commercial vessels and leisure yachts around the world, by utilizing advanced satellite technology, including the latest high throughout satellites (HTS).

“Ever since we launched our mini-VSAT Broadband network more than 10 years ago, our antenna systems have been in demand by the maritime industry,” says Martin Kits van Heyningen, KVH’s chief executive officer. “Our solution is known for fast data speeds, affordable airtime, and an advanced, secure, and reliable network, which continues to be a winning combination as the maritime industry relies more and more on connectivity.”

KVH’s products and services have been recognized in the maritime industry for many years. TracPhone V-series systems have received eight product excellence awards from the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA) in the past nine years. Also, in “Prospects for Maritime Satellite Communications, 6th Edition” (2018), industry analysts at Euroconsult reported that KVH is the market share leader in maritime VSAT by units, noting that KVH’s share of the maritime industry’s fielded VSAT terminals is nearly double that of its next closest competitor, as of the end of 2017.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.”

Read more

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.”

Read more

Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) to focus on business opportunities in Greece

Since opening its Greek office in 2010, the Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) has made inroads into the Greek shipping market. Based in Piraeus, the IRClass office has been actively engaged with Greek shipyards and owners to offer its full range of classification services.

It has recently certified three Ro-Ro vessels in Greece for the Theodoropoulos shipyard and has also taken several other vessels into Class.

Currently, IRClass is working on seeking authorisation from Greek maritime authorities to survey and certify all types of Greek flagged vessels.

To add focus to the Greek market, IRClass MD, Mr. Suresh Sinha will be speaking at Capital Link’s 10th Annual Greek Shipping Forum on Friday February 22nd at the Hilton Athens hotel.

“The Greek maritime market is important to IRClass and our expansion strategy is to focus our services in this region due to the large concentration of ship owners. We look forward to networking and meeting with the Greek shipping community and build on the business relationships which our team in Piraeus has developed”, said Mr. Sinha.

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.

Read more

Britannia Granted Licence to Underwrite Business in Singapore and Launches Two Chinese Language Websites

On 25 January Britannia P&I Club was granted a licence to underwrite business from its Singapore branch.

The licence was granted by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and follows the recent further positive news of Britannia’s Hong Kong branch also receiving its underwriting licence from Hong Kong’s insurance regulator, the Insurance Authority.

The Singapore branch will be managed by Tindall Riley (Britannia) Singapore (TR(B)S) and is headed by John O’Flaherty, Chief Executive, who has had many years of experience in marine insurance and shipping.

John’s team of seven colleagues includes:

– Derek Birch, a qualified lawyer with experience both in private practice and with other P&I Clubs. Derek heads the local claims team, which includes Capt. Rajesh Raman, Capt. Nasir Subahrie, Sivakami Moorthy and Victoria McFarlane, all of whom have legal, maritime and/or insurance backgrounds; and

– Capt. Ajit Karande, who is responsible for correspondent work and overseeing Britannia’s ASEAN correspondents.

The Singapore office will look after Britannia’s ASEAN countries Members as well as its Members in India and Australasia. It will also assist where required with all Members’ claims arising in the ASEAN region, in association with Britannia’s local port correspondents.

Read more

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

Britannia Granted Licence to Underwrite Business in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s insurance regulator, the Insurance Authority (IA), has granted Britannia a licence to underwrite business from its Hong Kong office.

This positive news is in line with Britannia’s strategy of ‘think global, act local’. This has seen new Exclusive Correspondents for the Association opening in Taiwan and Denmark and the recent purchase by Tindall Riley (Britannia’s Managers) of the Britannia exclusive correspondents in Japan and Singapore as well as Tindall Riley opening an office in Greece.

Britannia is also working towards activating its licence in principle, obtained in late 2018, which will allow it to underwrite business out of Singapore. 

The Hong Kong branch office will continue to be managed by the very experienced existing team led by Tim Fuller as the Chief Executive, Richard Inman as Head of Underwriting, Gordon McGilvray as Head of Claims and Monica Kwok as Head of Finance.

Read more

Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) signs MoU with the Government of Assam for World Bank funded inland water transport project

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) and the Government of Assam, a key state in India’s north-east, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further enhance the state’s inland water transport (IWT) system to improve commuter safety.The MOU follows the funding agreement between the Government of Assam and the World Bank to modernize and transform inland water transport in the state which has the largest network of navigable inland waterways in India. Plans include the integration of high quality passenger and vehicle ferry services into its wider transport network.

IRClass will be providing technical assistance to the Government of Assam including the preparation of technical specification of vessels, evaluation of shipyards bids, inspections during construction and certification.

This MOU will be administered under the guidance and initiative of the Assam Government’s Commissioner & Secretary (Transport) and IRClass will partner with Assam Inland Water Transport Development Society (AIWTDS) to support its plans.

Sr. Principal Surveyor & VP, Cdr K Dhawan, IN (Retd.) said today:

“IRClass is delighted to be part of this initiative which will raise the safety and technical standards of the state’s inland water transport system. This initiative will help boost the state’s growth with scaling opportunities including the development of IWT terminals, port townships and operation of river taxis. IRClass will soon be opening an office in Guwahati to work closely with the Assam Government in developing its inland water transport.”

 

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

IRClass Review of 2018 and Projections for 2019

The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) continues to record steady growth in its classed fleet, flag recognition and geographical presence, mirroring the shipping industry’s ongoing recovery.

Fleet Growth

With tankers and bulk carriers continuing to dominate IRClass’s tonnage, the classed fleet has grown more than 4% in the past year, with the foreign flag fleet seeing a particularly impressive growth of 22% which is 16% in tonnage terms and indicative of strong overseas growth. 

Flag Recognition and Geographical Presence

IRClass is now recognised by 41 flag states globally, seeing recent additions in 2018 from the Netherlands, Vietnam, Jordan and Bahrain.

Towards the end of 2018, it also received approval from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), strengthening its offshore portfolio in the Middle East and opened an office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to better service its customers in the region.

Strengthened Portfolio with Defence and Government Projects

On the domestic front, Defence continues to be a growth area for IRClass with key project wins as well as construction of Inland Waterways vessels.

These additions to IRClass’s project portfolio demonstrate the classification society’s competence and capability in handling large scale and technically challenging projects. 

Commitment towards Information Security

The ISO 27001:2013 certification awarded to IRClass for its Information Security Management System from the British Standards Institution (BSI), underscores the classification society’s commitment towards risk management. It inspires confidence in IRClass’s level of data protection, assuring customers that their information is well-protected.

Read more

Britannia Member Survey Reveals 97% are Proud to be Members

Britannia’s first online Member Survey has been published, with 97% of the Members taking part being proud to be a Member of the Club.

Overall 70% felt Britannia’s core values could be summed up with the words ‘trusted’ and ‘mutual’, with the Club’s main strengths listed as ‘financially secure’ ‘excellent claims service’ and ‘valued relationships with Members’.

An impressive 100% of Members that took part in the survey felt valued as a Member of Britannia, which is testament to the strong service delivery and sound financial status (echoed by the Club recently having its rating ‘A’ (stable) re-affirmed by S&P Global Ratings).

The survey also highlighted areas that could be improved, including streamlining access to claims records, transaction history and financial documents. The Club is already underway with implementing solutions to improve these areas by developing more efficient systems and processes as part of the on-going IT upgrade.

A more detailed look into specific departments revealed that the Claims Reimbursements section had a 94% satisfaction rating when Members were asked if their reimbursements were received either on or ahead of expectations.

Other response times to general requests within Claims were either within or exceeded expectations. However, 15% of respondents felt that sometimes the Club could react more quickly to a request. So, although the result is very positive, the Club is reviewing its processes to identify where it can improve on its speed of service.

Regarding the Underwriting department, 95% of survey respondents felt that the Underwriters’ approach is fair with 91% satisfied that they received a responsive solution. An impressive 95% felt that vessel documentation from the department was always accurate.

Read more

Columbia Takes Optimisation To The Next Level With Opening Of Its Performance Optimisation Control Room

Columbia Shipmanagement formally opened its high-tech Performance Optimisation Control Room on Friday 14 December in Cyprus. The opening ceremony was attended by Ms Natasa Pilides, Deputy Minister of Shipping, Republic of Cyprus.

The focus of the Control Room is on Performance Optimisation. When full functionality roll-out is complete, the Control Room will be manned 24/7 by qualified personnel who will optimise vessel safety, crew rotation and training, performance (speed, consumption, delay, weather routing), disaster avoidance, maintenance (including preventative maintenance through sensor and camera technology), and contractual compliance. Web-based, it can be easily uploaded to other Columbia offices and clients’ offices allowing remote monitoring.

Captain Pankaj Sharma, Manager of the Control Room, is a project management professional with years of experience managing control rooms. Mr Sharma commented: “Centralising our operations will give us the ability to better deal with fast-changing scenarios and developments as they happen. With 24/7/365 support, our goal is to have even faster decision-making and greater visibility by using modern technology to achieve cost-efficient vessel operations.”

The Control Room will be a management hub, seamlessly connecting to technical, marine, crew and commercial management departments and functions.

Columbia’s President Mark O’Neil in his opening address stated: “This project has been made possible through the excellent collaboration and support of our project partners Tototheo Maritime,” adding, “It is a visible and tangible example of how digitalisation and technology can be harnessed for optimisation of vessel operation and management. Not only will it make us more attractive to our clients and potential clients, it will also make our clients more attractive to the market through optimised operation. The Performance Optimisation Control Room demonstrates Columbia’s commitment to its clients and to the provision of a thoroughly modern, digitalised and optimised service.” 
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

Indian Register of Shipping wins two prestigious awards at separate ceremonies

Leading classification society Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass), won ‘Classification Society of the Year’ award at the Samudra Manthan Awards ceremony on 5 December, and on another occasion, the ‘Indywood Excellence Award for Professional Achievement – Class Compliance’ was bestowed upon Mr. Suresh Sinha, Managing Director of IRClass, recognising his efforts towards the development of the classification society landscape within the maritime sector.

The Indywood Excellence Awards 2018 (Marine / Offshore / Oil & Gas) were held at HITEX Exhibition Centre in Hyderabad on 2nd December, and this year’s Samudra Manthan Awards took place on 5th December at Sahara Star in Mumbai, India.

This marks the second occasion the classification society has been named the classification society of the year – where this year, the criterion for selection included digitalisation initiatives, cyber security, maritime research and industry projects.

Mr. Sinha said: “I am humbled to be bestowed with the Indywood Excellence Award, but the real winner is the team of committed and dedicated employees of IRClass globally; who have been instrumental in expanding the classification society within the marine and oil & gas sectors. I would like to congratulate each one of them for the hard work.”

He added: “This validates the work we have been doing for our valued clients and spurs us to further raise our service standards and to help the marine as well as oil & gas industries to cope with the new dynamics of the digital ecosystem in a changing shipping landscape.”