Videotel Training Series Addresses Serious Risks Posed By Dangerous Bulk Cargoes

Dangerous solid bulk cargoes which have the potential to sink a ship are the focus of both new legislation and a new training package from leading maritime training expert Videotel.

On January 1st 2011 the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code – the IMSBC Code – officially comes in force. The IMSBC Code is mandatory under the provisions of the SOLAS Convention and supersedes the Code of Safe Working Practice for Bulk Cargoes (BC Code). The Code details how to handle some 150 different types of cargo and to assess their suitability for carriage. It also presents additional information including the Code of Safe Working Practice for the Loading and Unloading of Bulk Carriers (BLU Code) and makes recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships, applicable to the fumigation of cargo holds.

Many solid bulk cargoes have serious risks associated with them that can affect ship stability, cause structural damage or pose health hazards to those on board. Videotel’s Dangerous & Difficult Cargoes series addresses this potentially life-threatening issue. Part 1 – Dangerous & Difficult Bulk Cargoes: Best Practice & the IMSBC Code — has already been released, while Dangerous & Difficult Bulk Cargoes Part 2 — Minerals & Man Made Derivatives will be released this spring.

The first programme details the IMSBC code, outlines best practices and highlights the group system used to identify cargoes: (Group A —cargo that may liquefy and therefore cause stability issues; Group B — cargo that may chemically change to cause explosion or toxic gas; Group C—cargoes not liable to liquefy or cause chemical hazard). Dangerous & Difficult Bulk Cargoes Part 2 outlines the catastrophic failures which can occur to the structural soundness of even the largest bulk carriers when corrosive chemical reactions take place in hazardous cargoes and identifies effective risk-management strategies.

Stephen Bond, Deputy Chairman of Videotel, says: “There have been a number of serious accidents in recent years, some involving loss of life, caused by dangerous cargoes. Identification of cargo and an understanding of its properties are key to preventing such accidents. We are pleased to be able to make this vital training series which aims to avoid further fatalities.”

Videotel has been fortunate to have a number of leading world experts involved in the production of this important training series including Roger Holt of Holt Maritime Ltd, Rob Lomas and Ian Harrison from Intercargo. Roger Holt says: “In light of the recent tragic loss of life surrounding a number of shipments of bulk cargoes with high moisture content, the timing of this important training video could not have been better. In my opinion, every bulk carrier should have a copy on board and every crew member in a position of authority vis a vis the carriage of bulk cargoes should be required to ‘mark, learn and inwardly digest’ its contents. I congratulate Videotel on the production of an excellent training product which underlines the importance of the work carried out by the IMO with the coming into force of the IMSBC Code.”

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InterManager Welcomes Pilotage Standards Scheme

A new international accreditation scheme for maritime pilots has been welcomed by InterManager, the international trade association for third-party and in-house ship managers.

The International Standard for Maritime Pilot Organisations (ISPO) has been developed by Pilot organisations in major ports in conjunction with Lloyd’s Register. Ports throughout the world are working to adopt the ISPO Code, which accredited its first pilotage district (Rotterdam) in 2005. This month sees the accreditation of the first UK pilotage district, The Association of Forth Pilots.

ISPO introduces an internationally-agreed standard which is transparent to all customers – including ship managers, ships’ Masters, ship owners, oil majors and port operators. The scheme is specific and relevant to pilotage.

Captain Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General of InterManager, said: “We welcome this very important initiative by pilots for pilots. We believe it is essential to have international standards to ensure that worldwide excellence is promoted for pilot organisations, in the same way that InterManager promotes excellence among its members. This initiative will be well-received by the industry and especially ships’ Masters and their managers who have long recognised the need for pilotage standards.”

Captain Szymanski spoke at the recent ISPO User Group Conference in Edinburgh, during which Captain Jon Hague, chairman of the Association of Forth Pilots, was officially presented with Lloyd’s Accreditation.

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Are You Paying Too Much For Logistics?

Hidden delivery costs can add thousands to stores loading, warns Alex Taylor, Managing Director of Hutton’s, who has added a new section to the company’s website to help customers take account of likely additional charges when they arrange deliveries at particular ports.

“Due to legislation like ISPS and Health and Safety regulations there are an increasing number of restrictions on suppliers being able to deliver direct to vessels, especially to tankers in terminals where most deliveries are made by barge. These barge costs can be very high and add a large ‘hidden’ cost to their stores budgets,” he warns.

“When placing orders we are concerned that many customers just look at the cost of the stores and do not take into account the additional cost of transport to the vessel. But I have heard of cases where the cost of barge delivery has been as high as $10,000!

“For example, Rotterdam is a major hub for ship stores and is well known for it’s competitive chandlers but many deliveries require the use of a barge and barges in Rotterdam are very expensive and can result in huge bills which are often hidden in the Ship’s Agent’s disbursement account. I want to ensure that Hutton’s customers are aware of these problems so that they can plan accordingly – either to avoid barge transfer or to take account of it.”

Acting to help customers with important information about loading costs at various UK ports, Hutton’s has added a new table to its website which advises customers of any supply restrictions on UK berths. Alex Taylor explains: “We are keen to assist our customers to minimise their supply chain costs.”

Alex points out that UK ports do not always suffer these problems and often allow supplying from a truck, even in oil terminals. He advises: “Many berths at oil terminals in Tees, Milford Haven and Immingham do not require barges which can reduce the overall supply ‘bottom line’.”

To view the new delivery chart table go to the Hutton’s website:

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For Immediate Release.
December 15, 2010.
Ref: 1084

Leading global shipbroker Braemar Seascope Ltd has underlined its commitment to delivering top quality market data and analysis by welcoming a new Research Manager to its London-based research team.

Joining the research department is Mark Williams, a highly regarded economist and consultant.

Mark is a proven communicator and strategist and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience of the shipping markets. He has been tasked with reorganising and boosting the capture, analysis and distribution of real time and forward-looking shipping market information to support the company’s chartering, newbuilding, sale and purchase and other shipbroking divisions.

Peter Malpas, Director of Research at Braemar Seascope, said: “Mark comes with a proven track record of delivering high level consultancy across the shipping industry in many different sectors and his finance background provides a dimension to complement our wide range of current expertise. His appointment further demonstrates our commitment to providing high quality, comprehensive research services to our clients.”

For Further Information Please Contact:
Elaborate Communications:
Sean Moloney/Debra Munford
+44 (0) 1296 682356

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InterManager KPI Seminars Sold Out!

Seminars held to outline InterManager’s KPI project to the wider shipping industry are proving so popular they are “selling out fast”!

Two forthcoming free events being organised by InterManager this month are fully booked already. They are being held in Copenhagen on December 14th and in Hamburg on December 16th.

InterManager Secretary General Kuba Szymanski said: “I am overwhelmed by the interest the shipping world is showing in the KPI Project, particularly since we announced the finalisation of the various indicators at our Annual General Meeting in Dubai last month. I think this keen interest demonstrates the need for a comprehensive and meaningful performance measurement tool for use throughout the industry and we are pleased to be able to report that more and more shipping companies are providing us with data from their fleets to enable us to test the veracity of our various indicators.”

Responding to the unprecedented demand for information on the KPI Project, InterManager will be holding many more free seminars throughout 2011.

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Energy Efficiency Takes Centre Stage In New Videotel Training Package

Videotel, the leading provider of maritime training systems, is helping to spread the “green” message with its new training course The Ship Energy Efficiency Management Plan which guides seafarers through the practical and legislative steps needed for onboard energy planning.

Designed to inform and motivate all seafarers to increase energy efficiency in their operations, The Ship Management Efficiency Management Plan is now available in VHS/DVD and Interactive CBT formats.

As shipping enters an era of rising costs and the shipping industry heeds international calls to reduce carbon emissions, this training package equips seafarers with the knowledge and information they need to make energy savings.

The Videotel training package is designed to address the requirements of the IMO’s Ship’s Energy Efficiency Plan (SEEMP). Shore offices will develop energy efficiency management plans for each ship which will form the heart of the vessel’s activities. An officer, usually an engineer or environmental officer, will co-ordinate efforts on board to monitor and record the ship’s energy use, communicate information on energy with the shore office, encourage energy awareness on board and make suggestions for energy savings. All these activities are covered in the Videotel training package which is aimed at Senior Deck Officers, Senior Engineers and Environmental Officers.

Stephen Bond, Videotel Director, says: “In today’s world the wasteful use of fuel is no longer acceptable. As fuel costs rise and more legal instruments to regulate emissions are passed, energy efficiency is now more important to the shipping industry than it has ever been. We at Videotel are pleased to be able to help in increasing awareness of energy efficiency measures. We would like to extend special thanks to A P Moller-Maersk A/S (Maersk Tankers), MOL Tankship Management (Europe) Ltd and the IMO for assisting us with making this programme.”

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Elaborate Expands

Elaborate Communications, the UK-based PR, marketing and publishing expert in the marine industry, has welcomed two new members of staff to its head office team.

Joining Elaborate’s crew are graphic designer Mike Argles and PR Assistant Giselle Tadman.

Mike brings a range of design skills to our in-house art department while Giselle will work for our growing number of PR clients.

Elaborate Editorial Director Sean Moloney said: “We are delighted to welcome Mike and Giselle to Elaborate. Our workload has grown dramatically over the course of the past year and we are continuing to expand both on our publishing side and PR accounts. We look forward to a successful and busy 2011.”

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Owners Are Considering The Condition Of Their Hatch Covers

There is a growing move by ship owners and managers to effect essential and non-essential repairs to their hatch covers as they start to react to changing market conditions, a leading industry player has claimed.

Peter Peltenburg, Group Director of Cargo Care Solutions, the Rotterdam-headquartered supplier of hatch cover spare parts and services, said a number of larger owners were signing longer-term contracts to ensure their vessels were ready to carry the cargo safely and without damage.

“Owners and managers are also looking to new and improved alternatives to their existing spare parts and we are finding many more owners are asking our advice for the best options available,” said Mr Peltenburg.

Cargo Care Solutions recently renewed a spare part supply contract with French owner CMA Ships and has also signed an agreement with AP Moller/Maersk. “The CMA Ships contract covers items such as rubber packings, cleating devices and hatch cover support pads for all types of hatch covers. A large element can be the support pads which are important for the weather tightness and overall hatch cover and coaming structure of larger vessels.”

He added: “Recently there has been a lot of interest by owners and managers for repair work on their vessels and more ships are going back into drydock. We have found that, whereas clients have asked for replacement products in the past, they are now looking for new alternatives and asking for those,” he added.

Cargo Care has developed new versions of seals for hatch covers with non-sequential opening. The weather tight sealing of the cross-joints between pontoon hatch covers that are operated non-sequential or partially have traditionally been achieved by different air inflated sealing systems. These sealing systems have proven to be very easily damaged causing weather tightness problems throughout the hatch cover system. Cargo Care Solutions’ version replaces those vulnerable seals without using air inflation. The Cargo Care Solutions Cross Joint sealing system offers the same flexibility in hatch cover operation, but is much more damage resistant, said Mr Peltenburg.
– ends –

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MOL Signs Up For Videotel On Demand System

Training provider Videotel Marine International is delighted to announce it has signed an agreement with Mitsui O.S.K Lines Ltd to upgrade its existing video and DVD library to the fully loaded Videotel on Demand (VOD) training systems.

The agreement, which begins this month, means that crew members will have 24-hour access to a wide range of relevant training DVDs, interactive CBT and/or training courses to be used for individual or group training at a time which suits them. The VOD system comprises more than 300 titles that address STCW, and, for tanker fleets such as MOL, is tailored to include training titles that support all 12 elements of the TMSA framework.

Stephen Bond, Videotel Deputy Chairman, said: “We are honoured that MOL has chosen us to meet their training needs with Videotel on Demand and we are pleased to be working with a company that places such importance on crew training. We look forward to a long and successful relationship with MOL and are confident that they will also benefit from future developments we have in the pipeline.”

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Alastair Evitt Takes Over As InterManager President

InterManager, the international trade association for in-house and third party ship managers, has appointed Alastair Evitt as its new President with immediate effect.

Mr Evitt, who was elected unopposed at today’s [November 22nd] InterManager AGM in Dubai, succeeds Roberto Giorgi, President of V.Ships, who has completed his two-year appointment in the role.

Alastair Evitt is Managing Director of Meridian Marine Management and brings to his role at InterManager many years of experience in the shipmanagement industry.

Welcoming his election as President, Mr Evitt said: “I am really looking forward to taking the helm of InterManager at an important time in the Association’s history. In particular I look forward to helping to roll out InterManager’s pioneering KPI Project to the wider shipping industry. This project is in harmony with our aims here at Meridian where we work in partnership to optimise operational efficiency and ensure the highest standards. I was very pleased to hear Roberto Giorgi announce at the InterManager AGM today that the KPI Project has now finalised the pan-industry Key Performance Indicators and I look forward to being part of the next step of this important project.”

Alastair Evitt is a Master Mariner with more than 36 years experience in the marine industry. He spent 15 years working at sea before coming ashore to work in ship management in 1990. His diverse ship management roles have included postings in Cyprus and Singapore in management roles for a large third party manager. He returned to the UK in 2004 to take up his present position as Managing Director of Liverpool-based Meridian Marine Management.

Alastair has served on InterManager’s Executive Committee and is a member of the North West Branch of the Nautical Institute. He has previously served on the committees of both the Cyprus Shipping Council and the Singapore Shipping Association and was honoured to be appointed as a Councillor to the Singapore Shipping Association in 2003.

InterManager now has a membership of 88 – both Full and Associate members – involved in the management of more than 4,250 vessels and some 200,000 crew.

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InterManager AGM Announces KPI Milestone

InterManager, the international trade association for third-party and in-house shipmanagers, is delighted to announce an important milestone in its quest to develop a pan-industry “standard measurement tool” known as the shipping KPI project.

At the association’s Annual General Meeting in Dubai today [November 22nd] InterManager announced that it has finalised definitions of all Performance Indicator (PIs), Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) and Ship Performance Indexes (SPIs) and is inviting all shipping companies, owners with in-house management, 3rd party managers, oil majors and any other stakeholders to start using them. They are available free of charge at following website:

Speaking in Dubai Svein Sorlie, KPI project steering committee chairman said: “Finalising the set of Performance Indicators is an important milestone for the KPI Project. The Indicators have been developed through comprehensive work and research over the past five years and with the assistance of a wide range of maritime companies and shipping industry bodies. Now we move forward to the operation phase and already we have 270 InterManager ships providing us with data in confidence to ensure that the definitions are robust against manipulation, observable and quantifiable, valid, sensitive to change, transparent, easy to understand and compatible.”

InterManager’s Shipping KPI Project, developed in association with Marintek and The Research Council of Norway, proposes a global shipping industry standard for defining, measuring and reporting information on operational performance in order to:
• boost performance improvements internally in companies engaged in ship operation activities
• provide an efficient communication platform of ship operation performance to internal and external stakeholders

In collaboration with shipping-related companies and interested organisations, the project has developed a performance measurement tool comprising shipping performance indexes (SPI), key performance indicators (KPI), and performance indicators (PI).

InterManager Secretary General, Captain Kuba Szymanski, explains: “The Shipping KPI Standard is built in a hierarchical manner with seven Shipping Performance Indexes (SPIs), 32 Key Performance Indicators and 61 Performance Indicators (PIs).

“There is a mathematical relation between SPIs (high level indexes) which are calculated from Key Performance Indicators, and KPIs which are calculated from Performance Indicators (lowest level).

“On the lowest level you find the PIs, which are based on data capture (measurements or counters) directly from a vessel or from the shipping management. Data is collected once and re-used within the Shipping KPI Standard in order to reduce the amount of data.

“On the KPI level a form of normalisation takes place. The KPIs are scaled into a range from 0-100, where zero indicates unacceptable and 100 is outstanding performance. This makes it possible to compare vessels with different characteristics or amounts of data captured.

“Finally, on the highest level the KPIs are combining into Shipping Performance Indexes in order to express performance within specific main areas.”


Notes To Editors:
A full list of Indicators can be found at:

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InterManager Bids Farewell To Roberto Giorgi

InterManager members attending this year’s Annual General Meeting have praised the tireless work and industry-wide campaigning carried out by Roberto Giorgi during his two-year tenure as President.

During his Presidency Mr Giorgi has worked tirelessly to raise the profile of shipping and develop a greater understanding of the shipmanagement industry and to campaign for better treatment for seafarers. In particular he led an industry-wide crusade against the criminalisation of the Master and Chief Officer of the Hebei Spirit. The global support he gathered was instrumental in obtaining better treatment for the two Indian seafarers while they were incarcerated in Korea and then to achieving their release, although Mr Giorgi still remains strongly opposed to their unfair criminal convictions.

In addition Mr Giorgi has been an outspoken opponent of the scourge of piracy and recently attended the high-profile launch of the End Piracy pan-industry campaign on behalf of InterManager. He joined other industry leaders to present a petition to IMO Secretary-General Efthimios E. Mitropoulos calling for co-ordinated international action to tackle global piracy.

Roberto Giorgi has spoken out on the world-wide problems of the recruitment and retention of seafarers and has called for greater training initiatives and more cadet berths onboard ships. He is also fully supportive of InterManager’s Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Project and is pleased that the association will be announcing significant developments at its AGM.

Thanking Mr Giorgi for his dedicated work, InterManager Secretary General Captain Kuba Szymanski said: “The appointment of Roberto Giorgi was a significant and positive move in the growth of InterManager and we are delighted that he has been able to steer us to new growth and greater international prominence.”

Mr Giorgi steps down from the role (all InterManager Presidents serve for two years) at Monday’s AGM in Dubai, UAE. He returns full-time to his role as President of V.Ships, the world’s largest ship manager.

Roberto Giorgi said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed representing InterManager on the international stage and have worked hard to ensure that the views of in-house and third party ship managers are represented throughout the global shipping industry. And as a former seafarer myself I am pleased to have been able to be instrumental in furthering the cause of seafarers worldwide and to campaign for greater training opportunities and better treatment for them.”

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Inspectors Learn About “Fourth Pillar” At ILO Workshop

Inspectors from Maritime Administrations, Port Authorities and Labour Ministries throughout the Caribbean gathered in Jamaica this week to learn how to apply the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention 2006.

They were attending a two-day workshop for maritime and labour inspectors hosted by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica in association with the International Labour Organization, the Office for the Caribbean and the Caribbean Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control, held from 10-12 November 2010 at the Knutsford Court Hotel, Kingston, Jamaica.

The Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, adopted by the International Labour Conference at its 94th (Maritime) Session in February 2006, has set a milestone in the development of decent working conditions for seafarers as it outlines comprehensive rights and protection for seafarers.

Once the Convention enters into force, it will be the “fourth pillar” in international shipping regulation, complementing the major maritime Conventions of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) on ship safety and security, and environmental protection. It will build upon the existing maritime regime for enforcing IMO Conventions through Port State Control. In addition to flag State inspection and certification obligations, the Convention will strengthen the power of port state control officers to detain ships on the grounds of unsatisfactory working and living conditions for their crews.

Delegates learned of the required legislative, administrative and institutional arrangements that will need to be put in place to implement the Maritime Labour Convention 2006. It is expected that the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 will enter into force within 18 months.

The workshop was arranged in response to one of the recommendations put forward by participants of the ILO Tripartite Hemispheric Conference on the Rapid and Widespread Ratification and Effective Implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, held in Barbados last year.

Already the Bahamas, one of the world’s largest flag States, has ratified the Convention and other Caribbean countries, which are also flag States, have expressed an interest in ratifying the Convention in the near future.

Rear Admiral Peter Brady, Director General at the MAJ and Chair of the STW Sub-Committee said “the training is timely and important, but also relevant for us in the sub region of the Caribbean. The MLC 2006 has provisions which are in harmony with many of the provisions of the newly amended STCW Convention. This includes the hours of rest sections which complement the hours of work provisions in the MLC 2006. Arriving at a consensus during the recent Diplomatic Convention to amend the STCW Convention in Manila in June this year exercised the faculties of member states to arrive at the agreement that was also hailed by the ILO delegation at the Diplomatic Conference.”

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Braemar Marine Merger Into Braemar Falconer

Braemar Shipping Services plc announced today the merger of subsidiary Braemar Marine into the existing survey and risk control operations of Braemar Falconer.

Braemar Marine was established in 2009 to provide marine surveying and adjusting services to the global maritime, transportation risk and insurance markets. Operations quickly expanded from their Atlanta base, through the maritime centres of London and Singapore, where a close relationship with Braemar Falconer has proved to be of benefit to both companies.

Quentin Soanes, Executive Director of BSS plc, said: “Over recent months, it has become increasingly apparent that bringing these two subsidiaries together will present significant opportunities to enhance the services of Braemar Marine in the Far East and assist Braemar Falconer with their development in Europe and the US, allowing the combined operations to offer their services on a global basis.”

Michael Chan, Managing Director of Braemar Falconer, said: “The resources of each company are complimentary; bringing Braemar Marine within Braemar Falconer will enhance the quality of service to Braemar Marine clients in Asia, while also extending Braemar Falconer’s capability in Europe and North America.”
Notes to Editors
• Braemar Shipping Services Plc is a leading integrated provider of shipbroking and technical services.
• Braemar Falconer is a leading provider of specialised marine and offshore consultancy services.

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Jamaica Hosts Workshop On Regional Marpol Compliance

Greater co-operation among Caribbean states to handle ship-generated waste and thereby facilitate giving full effect to the region’s Special Area Status was a major recognition among delegates attending a workshop hosted this week by the Maritime Authority of Jamaica.

Maritime personnel from across the wider Caribbean region attended the workshop, held on October 27th and 28th in Kingston, which considered the ratification, implementation and enforcement of the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) Annex I (oil) and Annex (V) garbage.

The workshop came on the heels of a resolution at the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) 60th Session held March 22 and 26 this year in London, prohibiting the discharge from ships of all garbage generated onboard in the Wider Caribbean Region as of May 1, 2011.

Mr. Bertrand Smith, Director of Legal Affairs at the MAJ said: “Since 1991 the IMO had designated the Caribbean region as a “Special Area” for ship-generated garbage after assessing variables such as shipping traffic, interconnectedness of ecosystems and other vulnerabilities. Due to a lack of adequate waste reception facilities for ship-generated wastes, the status could not be brought into effect. However, at the MEPC this year several Caribbean states that are party to the MARPOL Convention 73/78 indicated that sufficient waste reception facilities were available at their ports. Therefore countries in the region are encouraged to notify the IMO of the availability of the facilities by populating the IMO’s Global Integrated Shipping Information System (GISIS) database.”

Special Area status for the Caribbean region would see the prohibition of dumping of garbage by ships and should serve to enhance the quality of marine life in the region. However legislation will have to be passed to enforce the strict discharge standards.

The objective of the Jamaican workshop was to facilitate the exchange of information among participants on the legislative, administrative, and operating procedures regarding MARPOL Annex I and V, specifically calling attention to the issue of waste reception facilities in the Wider Caribbean Region, with a goal to comply with the requirements of the special area provisions of MARPOL Annex V.

The workshop was conducted by the IMO and the United Nations Regional Coordinating Unit for the Caribbean Environment Program (UNEP-CAR/RCU) and RAC/REMPEITC-Caribe. Jamaica’s delegation included representatives from Petrojam, Port Authority of Jamaica, National Resources Conservation Authority, Quarantine Division of the Ministry of Health and the MAJ.

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Unaudited Interim Results For The Six Months Ended 31 August 2010

Braemar Shipping Services plc (“Braemar” or the “Group”), an international provider of shipping and marine services, today announces unaudited half-year results for the six months ended 31 August 2010.

• Revenue from continuing operations increased 18% to £67.6m (interim 2009/10: £57.1m)
• Pre-tax profit from continuing operations increased 3% to £7.2m (interim 2009/10: £7.0m, second half 2009/10: £6.5m)
• Basic EPS from operations increased 7% to 25.99p (interim 2009/10: 24.25p)
• Interim dividend of 9.00p per share (interim 2009/10: 8.75p)
• Strong balance sheet with cash of £14.8m (31 August 2009: £9.8m) and no debt

• Strong shipbroking performance in a volatile market
• Asia expansion plan:
• More than 100 staff in new Singapore office and the establishment of tanker and sale and purchase broking desks
• Operating licence issued in China (Shanghai)

Sir Graham Hearne, chairman of Braemar, said: “The gradual recovery in most shipping markets which began in 2009 continued into 2010 and the financial year began more positively than expected. Throughout the period under review our transaction volumes have been consistent and in some cases improving. Broking revenues were also augmented by a strong forward order book at the beginning of the year.

“Our strategy of steadily expanding the scope and geographical coverage of our operations evens out the exposure to particular markets which is beneficial during periods of volatility. The importance of Asia to our business cannot be underestimated and we intend to strengthen our presence significantly in the region. Growth in Asia is expected to sustain the demand for shipping, while the supply of new tonnage will tend to suppress freight rates and vessel values – probably for some time to come. In this environment we expect to see transaction numbers rise but at lower average commissions. Part of our future income arises from the forward order book of business written which provides a level of security and predictability. Our prospects for the year as a whole remain positive.”

Are You Prepared For The MLC When It Enters Into Force?

The Maritime Labour Convention could be a matter of a few months away from ratification but owners, managers, ships’ masters and flag states are still not fully aware of their obligations and could fall foul of port state control inspectors once the convention has entered into force 12 months later, delegates attending a seminar hosted by the leading marine training specialist Videotel were told.

The seminar, which was held at the Athens Golf Club, was attended by representatives from more than 60 Greek shipowning companies. They were told in no uncertain terms that while their flag state may not have ratified the MLC once it comes into force, their ships will be subject to inspection by port state control inspectors as if it had.

David Dearsley, past Secretary General of employers association IMEC and a consultant to Videotel, warned that seemingly small issues such as not having all the necessary documentation in correct order for your crew’s contracts could get a ship owner and his vessel into serious problems with the port state control inspectors.

“The inspector will know there are 15 things he should be looking for in your shipboard employment contracts. And he will come onboard to see them. If the master does not have them all together in the way the convention wants them, then the ship could have problems. And that is just one example,” he warned delegates.

Mr Dearsley added: “So where do owners and managers go for help? Your flag state is the first point of contact but many of them still haven’t worked out where they are going. Class? Yes, they are commercialising the regulation beyond what would be normally reasonable because class can’t give you a Certificate of Compliance until the flag states have stated what their regulations are.”

Videotel has produced a DVD as well as a comprehensive Computer Based Training programme on the Maritime Labour Convention. It sets out to fully train those responsible in an owners’, managers’, flag state’s or onboard operation as to what is expected of them.

Stephen Bond, Videotel Deputy Chairman, said: “The CBT has five modules: a general introduction; a module for ship managers; one for masters, one for manning agents and one for those responsible for the MLC in member states. There is a short test at the end of each module and another test once the entire course has been completed. The CBT contains the full text of the convention and gives guidance as to what flag and port state control inspectors should and will be looking for. It is a crucial training aid for what will become a cornerstone convention.”

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IT Shipbroking Experts Discuss Challenges At AXSMarine Forum

How do you help shipbrokers to deal with the flood of emails they receive daily? How do you collate market information quickly and simply? And how do you integrate messaging systems with broking software to provide a seamless and efficient system.

Representatives of major leading shipbrkers from all over Europe met recently at AXSMarine’s office in London to discuss those issues and IT challenges.

Hugo Rousse, AXSMarine’s London Director, reports: “Shipbroking software providers are now competing with major players of the software market on messaging and post fixing. Several large brokers have already adopted Microsoft solutions for messaging, post-fixing, financial and management reporting. It opens the door for more flexibility, a stable and sustainable IT strategy in a market where competitive advantage is key.”

Collating market information, benefiting from integration between messaging and post-fixing, and proposing solutions which help brokers to read less emails are the biggest challenges, the participants agreed. The central theme of the day’s debates was how will the providers adapt to those challenges over time. AXSMarine were confident they will be able to meet modern broking demands and the delegates agreed that the use of Software as a Service is becoming an increasingly popular solution to meet clients’ needs.

Delegates and guests also enjoyed a French lunch and a traditional British post-event party to celebrate AXSMarine 10th anniversary.

Hugo Rousse, said: ‘This was the first time we have hosted this type of forum and we were extremely pleased with the level of interest. More than 40 delegates attended and we will host a similar event next year.”

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‘Videotel TV’ Goes Live

Videotel Marine International, the world’s major producer of training videos, DVDs and computer based training programmes for the global maritime industry, is demonstrating its expertise in an exciting new format with the launch this month of its Videotel TV.

Available via Videotel’s popular website – – Videotel TV will launch with a range of news features including:

• Interview with former IMO Secretary General Bill O’Neil. Now President of Videotel, Bill discusses the changes he has witnessed in the shipping industry over his long career
• Coverage of a number of significant maritime events from this summer, encompassing The Outstanding Filipino Seafarers Award, the 60th Anniversary Celebrations for the Filipino Shipowners Association and the Party in the Park hosted by the International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare
• Interview with Captain Aberlardo M Pacheco, this year’s winner of the Outstanding Filipino Seafarers Award, whose ship was captured and held captive by Somali pirates for five months. He was commended for his exceptional bravery at sea.

Videotel TV is available to all Videotel’s international clients and visitors to its website and will be updated regularly with expert comment and opinions on training issues across the globe.

Stephen Bond, Videotel Deputy Chairman said: “At Videotel we have a considerable in-house capability for producing high-quality video footage which we use in our comprehensive video and computer-based training packages. Furthermore, our work to produce relevant training materials enables us to keep up-to-date with latest developments throughout the maritime industry and have significant connections with leading experts. Videotel TV is a natural step in communicating the interesting and informative developments and opinions we encounter, which we are very pleased to share with the international shipping community.
Notes to Editors:
• Videotel has been providing Maritime Training Solutions since 1973 and currently has a training catalogue of more than 600 titles.
• Videotel supplies the widest range of Computer Based Training (CBT) and DVD/Video training programmes, as well as accredited and certified training courses, in a variety of formats and different languages. Videotel also provides tailored training management services.

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InterManager Gives Its Support To New Association Which Aims To Protect Seafarers’ Rights

InterManager, the international trade association for in-house and third-party ship managers, has pledged its support for a new association which aims to protect the rights of the world’s seafarers.

Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI) will use high level research and analysis to raise awareness of the rights of seafarers. It will promote, disseminate and study the role of national and international law as it affects those working at sea, with the aim of improving their human rights across all sectors.

Based at the London offices of the International Transport Workers’ Federation, Seafarers’ Rights International is initially funded by the Seafarers’ Trust, the charitable arm of the ITF. However, it has been set up as an independent organisation which will aim to source its funding from others sources too.

SRI is led by international lawyer Deirdre Fitzpatrick in the role of Executive Director, supported by an advisory board comprising experts from throughout the shipping industry, including InterManager Secretary General Captain Kuba Szymanski.

Addressing a packed audience, including International Maritime Organisation Secretary General Efthimios Mitropoulos at last week’s launch at the IMO’s London offices ,Ms Fitzpatrick singled out InterManager President Roberto Giorgi for particular praise. “I am particularly delighted to see InterManager and V.Ships President Roberto Giorgi here supporting us today because Roberto was recently very instrumental in encouraging the shipping industry at large to rally in support of the Hebei Spirit two and to highlight the scourge that is the unfair criminalisation of seafarers,” she said.

In return Mr Giorgi commented: “The Hebei Spirit campaign was a success because all of the maritime industry worked together – one voice, one hundred percent aligned. A cohesive approach is the right attitude.”

Seafarers’ Rights International intends to follow on from this global approach to defending the rights of seafarers. Ms Fitzpatrick said: “When this industry works together we are a very, very powerful industry.”

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