‘Embrace the Logistics Hub’ Minister Urges Businesses

Development of Jamaica into a global logistics hub will prove a massive boost for micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSME) wishing to invest in, or grow their existing operations on the island, according to Anthony Hylton, Minister of Industry, Investment & Commerce.

Addressing the Jamaica Logistics Symposium in Kingston yesterday, Minister Hylton said that while the actions of the global capital markets may impact on MSMEs, the obstacles which firms face in trying to enter a market or industry are deliberately being tackled by the Government of Jamaica through the JLH initiative with support from the island’s international development partners, namely the World Bank and the IDB.

Urging this dynamic sector to embrace the Jamaica Logistics Hub, Minister Hylton said the GOJ was working hard to put the needs of the MSMEs at the forefront of the country’s future economic growth plan as encapsulated in the JLH.

He said: “The GOJ with support from our international development partners, namely the World Bank and IDB, are making special efforts to support MSMEs operating in Jamaica’s Logistics Hub to overcome the barriers to entry. Government will be facilitating economic activity related to the Logistics Hub Initiative in designated special economic zones (SEZ) spread across the country where industry clusters will be established linking large corporations and MSMEs. Together with supporting the development of supporting infrastructure for the Logistics Hub, the Government will focus attention on the users of the facilities.

“Those industry sectors targeted with potential for Jamaica’s Logistics Hub will be determined based on a detailed Industry analysis to be commissioned. This analysis involves a high-level benchmarking of Jamaica’s offerings against key international competitors based on current and future industry trends. The purpose of the exercise is to identify the most promising sectors, sub-sectors and business functions as potential targets for Jamaica’s Global Logistics Hub,” he said.

Small businesses are a critical aspect of the logistics industry in any part of the world and Jamaica will ensure that micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) entrepreneurs are included in the economic zones, and become an integral part of the global value chain.

Programs to support entrepreneurship and skills development will also be rolled out across the country. The Human Employment and Resource Training Agency (HEART) together with the National Training Agency and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC) will be leading entrepreneurship training and have developed entrepreneurship training modules which are currently being taught by the respective institutions.

“This is in keeping with the strategies for creating a culture of entrepreneurship as outlined in the GOJ’s MSME and Entrepreneurship Policy. As such, HEART is preparing a proposal for the full roll-out of entrepreneurship training, throughout all its programmes, which means that every HEART Trust trainee will be exposed to entrepreneurship skills development training. The institution is also looking at developing a curriculum for an introductory course for schools run by the Ministry of Education. It plans to offer training to Teachers’ Colleges, Universities etc., as well as employees within the private sector and public sector and will help to educate employers about the value of intrapreneurship, in an effort to encourage them to increase engagement with staff in a manner that will help boost the level of productivity within organizations as well as prepare existing employees to branch off in their own businesses.”

HEART and JBDC will be partnering with the MIIC in developing and rolling out this training initiative and getting buy-in from all key stakeholder organizations who also provide training, incubation, apprenticeships, internships and mentoring as well as knowledge transfer.


Notes to Editors:
• The Logistics Hub Initiative represents the next stage in the evolution of Jamaica’s airports, seaports and industrial infrastructure. Jamaica’s world class logistics zones enhance distribution operations thereby allowing businesses based in Jamaica to fully integrate into globalised and complex supply chains.
• Jamaica’s Logistics Hub will consist of world class seaports (handling containers, dry bulk and liquid bulk commodities), airports, special economic zones, free zones, logistics parks, logistics centres, integrated intermodal transport capabilities, supporting infrastructure, telecommunications and trade facilitation mechanisms.
• With the right investment and global partnerships, Jamaica can become the transhipment and air cargo logistics hub of the Americas and the Caribbean’s strategic handling point for bulk commodities; the Latin America and Caribbean centre for aviation-related maintenance, repair and overhaul and ship repair and dry docking
• Large corporations and logistics service providers will be enticed to set up operations, control towers, headquarters and BPOs (business process outsourcing) in Jamaica.

Is It Time for a Holistic Approach to Crew Insurance?

“In 2014, does it still make sense for P&I Clubs to underwrite routine health and accident claims?” asks Robert Johnston, head of the crew medical and personal accident insurance specialist Crewsure. “We are advised that this year, a number of Owners and their brokers are exploring buying low level healthcare insurance, which poses an interesting question for our sector.”

Commenting on the heightened atmosphere of the P&I renewal season, Mr Johnston added: “Clubs have inherited the task of dealing with seafarers who need medical treatment. Yet they are not healthcare insurers – they are ill equipped to provide 24/7 no fault medical plans or to negotiate standard fees with hospitals, and so for many years they have been forced to battle rising health bills.

“Why not take this everyday expense away from them? Why not agree a level of deductible that the Club is comfortable with and then insure the claims arising within the deductible with a specialist healthcare insurer, and thereby provide benefits to crew, which is the approach to healthcare enshrined in MLC2006?

Mr Johnston believes that the industry should consider a holistic approach. “The timing is right to review the manner in which crew medical welfare is insured. Does it make commercial sense to continue to look to the Mutual Clubs to underwrite routine expenses that clearly they would prefer to avoid, or is it time for Shipowners to embrace the spirit of MLC and purchase Benefits’ policies for all their staff, rather than see them as claimants under their Employers’ liability policies?”

It is well known that today’s global seafarer population is getting older and more sedentary, the abundance of paperwork is putting untold stresses on senior officers and the general level of expectation from healthcare services increases year on year.

Explains Mr Johnston, “Mutual Clubs are starting to see the consequences as a result. With a marked increase in the overall costs of routine crew claims, many Clubs are now trying to distance themselves from this extra expense by increasing the standard crew claim deductible. In the case of one major Club, the minimum deductible applicable to crew exceeds the minimum deductible applicable to cargo. The burden of every day crew medical and accident claims is increasing markedly.”

Robert Johnston is Managing Director of Crewsure, a company which has developed a ‘no fault’ insurance policy providing a benefit to seafarers in the manner in which employers provide insurance to shoreside employees as a standard contractual entitlement. He is committed to the tenets of the Maritime Labour Convention and believes that these can best be served by a collaborative approach with the industry.

For Further Information Please Contact:

Elaborate Communications
Debra Massey
01296 682356

Notes to editors:
Crewsure Insurances are underwritten by Globality Health and KA Köln.Assekuranz Agentur GmbH on behalf of Great Lakes Reinsurance (UK) PLC – all part of Munich Re, one of the world’s leading Insurance and Reinsurance Companies with over 47,000 staff.

New Course from Videotel Helps Cut Costs in ECAs

With high profile carriers agreeing to continue a voluntary low-sulphur fuel switch while at berth in Hong Kong, the issue of emission controls is once again in the headlines. Stepping into this arena, Videotel has launched a new training course, The Practical Management and Switching of Fuels, designed to ensure that switching to low sulphur fuel when operating in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) avoids the serious operational problems that at best impair a ships performance and at worst cause major damage to engines.
“In the highly competitive world today of carrying cargo, shipowners face a number of serious issues,” explains Nigel Cleave, CEO of Videotel Marine International. “High fuel costs and strict emission controls directly influence the way a vessel’s fuel systems and engines are operated and managed. Having a thorough understanding of the challenges presented by using heavy marine fuel oil and switching to low sulphur fuel when operating in Emission Control Areas (ECAs) is essential and this new course from Videotel addresses that need.
“Since 2010, many of the busiest shipping areas of the northern hemisphere are now designated as ECAs and require a switch from high sulphur to low sulphur fuel – a process that requires very careful management.”
The Practical Management and Switching of Fuels is designed to provide a practical guide to what is required of bridge and engine room officers and engineers to process fuel oil from the bunker tank to the engine, monitoring every stage of filtering and purification to ensure the most efficient combustion is achieved, cleanly and economically.
The course addresses MARPOL Annex VI and covers marine fuel oils; bunkering; storage and settling tanks; centrifuge; heaters and filters; fuel combustion; fuel switching; planning; and temperature and viscosity control.
It is available in DVD, Videotel on Demand (VOD), VOD online and eLearning Computer Based Training (CBT). All are accompanied by a PDF workbook which highlights key learning points.
For Further Information Please Contact:
Elaborate Communications, Debra Massey Tel: +44 (0) 1296 682356

Expanding Elaborate Appoints Group Sales Manager

As part of its expansion plans for 2014, leading international maritime PR and Publishing company, Elaborate Communications, has announced a number of staff changes.

Karen Martin moves into the new role of Group Sales Manager, with effect from January 1, 2014 and is joined by two new sales representatives.

Karen, who has become a familiar figure within the maritime publishing industry since joining Elaborate more than two years’ ago, will continue to manage the advertising sales on Ship Management International (SMI) as well as developing and maintaining sponsorship opportunities for the forthcoming Maritime, Logistics & Energy Fortnight in June 2014 (part of the International Festival For Business) and the next London International Shipping Week in 2015. She will also play a pivotal role in a number of exciting new ventures scheduled over the next few months.

In addition Karen will take line management responsibility for Elaborate’s team of sales staff working on the company’s range of global maritime titles including The Ship Supplier. The team has been boosted by the arrival of sales representatives Nicky Thorn, to work on SMI, and Shani Wortley, on Ship Supplier.

Sean Moloney, Elaborate Managing Director, said: “I am delighted to recognise Karen’s dedication to Elaborate and the shipping industry with this well-deserved promotion. Karen and her team will be vital to the myriad of sponsorship and sales initiatives we will be working on this year.

I would like to congratulate Karen and wish her every success in her new role. In addition I am pleased to welcome these new staff to our growing team. We look forward to a productive 2014.”

ICS Identifies Lessons From Somali Piracy

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), the principal global trade association for shipowners, has issued a paper drawing upon the international shipping industry’s experience of Somali-based piracy during the period 2007 to 2013.

“The intention is to identify lessons learned in order to shape future policy responses, wherever in the world they might be needed,” explained ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe.

The ICS paper has been submitted to the International Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (which was established in response to a United Nations Security Council Resolution) and by all accounts the ICS paper has been well received by governments.

ICS has produced its paper following a dramatic reduction in the number of successful attacks against ships by Somali pirates, currently at a five-year low thanks to the combined success of sustained compliance with industry Best Management Practices (BMP), the use of private maritime security companies, the activity of military assets and new capacity building initiatives ashore.

Despite this, it remains the case that the pirates are active and retain the capacity to attack far into the Indian Ocean.  ICS therefore continues to emphasise that it is premature to conclude that the crisis is over, with seafarers still held hostage in Somalia, some of whom have now been in captivity for three years.

In 2013, there were at least 13 reported incidents involving Somali pirates including two hijackings.  ICS stresses that adherence to the industry’s latest Best Management Practices (BMP 4) and, where necessary, the deployment of private armed guards, continue to be vital self-protective measures.  The maintenance of current levels of military protection provided by a global coalition of governments in the Indian Ocean is also considered to be vital.

The ICS paper explains the significant challenges the shipping industry has faced in responding to the crisis in the Indian Ocean, which escalated dramatically in 2007.

This included getting the initial attention of governments and making them appreciate the scale of the crisis that was making a vast and strategically vital area of the Indian Ocean, including major trade lanes, a virtual ‘no go’ area to merchant shipping.

It also involved raising awareness in the mainstream news media, and then seeking to maintain this throughout the course of the crisis.

The ICS paper also highlights the importance of clarifying the rights and obligations of sovereign nations to address piracy (which were complicated by the breakdown of Somalia as a functioning State) and of the need to engage with military authorities and to persuade them that the prevention of piracy/hostage taking has a most important strategic and humanitarian function that should not be dismissed as mere ‘low level’ law enforcement.

It was particularly important to foster an understanding that protection against pirate attacks was a shared responsibility in which both the military and the industry have to play their parts,” said Peter Hinchliffe.

The ICS paper also explores the challenges of:

· Developing and disseminating appropriate and acceptable Best Management Practice (BMP) recommendations on preventative measures to be taken by shipping companies, ships and crews;

· Maintaining constant pressure on shipping companies and ships to sustain BMP compliance at the highest possible level;

· Responding to the legal and practical challenges associated with the capture and prosecution of piracy suspects;

· Responding to the legal and practical challenges created by the employment of private armed guards;

· Responding to the humanitarian challenge of thousands of seafarers left traumatised by the experience of being held hostage for several months (years in some cases) prior to release;

· Addressing the legal and moral dilemma created by the necessity for shipping companies and their insurers to make ransom payments;

· Addressing the challenges of promoting capacity building ashore and the reconstruction of civil society; and

· Seeking to address the crisis in an appropriate but proportionate manner that recognised it was likely to continue for several years while avoiding a situation in which the threat presented by pirates was regarded as ‘normal’ or that some of the necessarily extreme measures adopted, such as the use of armed guards, did not become institutionalised.

ICS hopes that all stakeholders in counter-piracy operations — whether political, military, shipping and security industries or media —will bear in mind the lessons identified in dealing with the issue of piracy in the Indian Ocean.  ICS believes the core lesson of responding to criminality robustly and without delay will be more easily delivered in the future if these basic lessons are kept readily to hand.

The ICS paper can be downloaded at www.ics-shipping.org/piracy

AtoBviaC Distance Tables Now Offered Through Voyager Planning Station

AtoBviaC is delighted to announce that its industry leading BP Shipping Marine Distance Tables are now incorporated into the highly regarded Voyager Planning Station solution.

From this month, bridge personnel can take advantage of the accuracy and quality of AtoBviaC’s distance tables while at the same time enjoying the state-of-the-art route planning, intelligent data management and quality of compliance provided by Global Navigation Solutions’ Voyager Planning Station.

Mike Bailey, Head of Product Development at Global Navigation Solutions explains; “AtoBviaC’s BP Shipping Marine Distance Tables are without doubt world renowned and respected as the reference source of choice when it comes to Steaming Times and Distance calculations. Our Voyager Planning Station is a leader in its field and it is essential that the partners we work with, offer our Voyager Planning Station customers a quality of product, that is its equal. We are very happy to have found that in AtoBviaC’s distance tables, and the team working behind the scenes on the product.”

Accurate and of the highest quality, AtoBviaC route distance tables are used by the professionals in the business as they are the best available in the marketplace.  Routes are calculated by Master Mariners and so provide accurate, reliable calculations that can be trusted, taking into account issues such as traffic separation schemes and navigational restrictions.

For the tenth year in succession, new Worldscale flat rates have been calculated using round voyage distances taken from tables developed by AtoBviaC – the BP Shipping Marine Distance Tables – widely recognised as offering the gold standard for distance calculations.

As well as quality, Capt Trevor Hall, Director of AtoBviaC believes that AtoBviaC’s distances offer excellent value for money. “Tanker owners, operators, charterers and ships’ masters are used to relying upon AtoBviaC’s BP Shipping Marine Distance Tables to provide not only accurate and viable distances, based on actual routes, but also to help estimate true costs and to maximise potential profit.”

ICS Publishes Latest Flag State Performance Table, Taking Account of ILO MLC Ratification

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has launched its latest ‘Shipping Industry Flag State Performance Table’ which can be downloaded from the ICS website – www.ics-shipping.org/docs/flagstateperformancetable.

ICS Director External Relations, Simon Bennett explained: “The ICS table is intended to encourage shipowners to maintain a dialogue with their flag administrations to help bring about any improvements that might be necessary in the interests of safety, the environment and decent working conditions.”

Following the entry into force of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) in August 2013, the latest ICS table now requires flag states to have ratified the ILO MLC in order to receive a positive indicator.

“The level of ratification of this important new ILO Convention as of the end of December is impressive,” said Mr Bennett.  “However, those flag states that have not yet ratified the MLC but had previously ratified ILO Convention 147, have now received a negative indicator on our table with respect to ILO standards for the first time. But we hope and expect this situation to change this year as more and more flags finalise ratification of this core Convention before PSC enforcement of the MLC begins in earnest this August.”

Minor changes have also been made with respect to the way in which Port State Control data is recorded in the ICS table.  Following discussions with governments about the treatment of flag states whose ships make relatively few port calls in certain Port State Control regions, the ICS table now includes data on those flags with fewer than the required number of inspections/arrivals to be included in PSC ‘white lists’ but which have nevertheless suffered no detentions within a particular region during previous three years – consistent with the way in which regional PSC authorities now publish this information.

ICS advises that the absence of a couple of positive indicators next to a flag in the table should not be seen as a serious concern.  They are only potential indicators and a flag with a solid row of ‘green squares’ should not necessarily be viewed as superior to another that is missing one or two ‘green squares’, for which there may be good reason.  For example, a flag state may not have ratified a particular maritime Convention due to a conflict with its national law while nevertheless implementing the Convention’s main requirements.

“But if a flag is lacking a large number of positive indicators in the ICS table then shipowners may want to ask serious questions,” remarked Mr Bennett.

ICS is keen to emphasise that in today’s modern global industry, distinctions between so called ‘traditional’ flags and ‘open registers’ are increasingly meaningless and actually unhelpful.  The ICS table shows that flag states such as Liberia, Bahamas and the Marshall Islands are amongst the very top performers alongside many European registers and Asian flags such as Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore that might be expected to perform very well.

In the same way that the shipping industry is committed to the concept of continuous improvement and transparency with respect to its performance, through mechanisms such as external auditing under the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, ICS believes that the same principles apply to the performance of flag administrations.  ICS therefore reiterates its support for the decision by IMO to make its Member State Audit Scheme mandatory.

“ICS member national shipowners’ associations will be looking at ways in which we might take account of this important development in future updates of the table,” said Mr Bennett.

With the exception of data for maritime Convention ratification, the ICS Table uses information derived from the public domain as at the end of June 2013.

Videotel Simplifies Management Of Crew Records

Videotel Marine International, the highly respected, multiple award-winning maritime training solutions provider, has released an Application Programming Interface (API) service in order for its clients to be able to manage their crew training records housed within webFTA – Videotel’s powerful cloud-based training records management program – directly from their own Crew Management System (CMS) portal.

Videotel’s API service has two main processes, namely, pulling crew data from the Videotel cloud so it can be displayed in the CMS portal and, secondly, pushing crew data from the CMS portal to the Videotel cloud which, in turn, triggers crew data to be sent to the vessels automatically.

This enhancement means that those in the office can manage the day-to-day operation from one console and still benefit from using webFTA without the need for double entry or updating of crew records, this all being handled automatically. When away from the office, through webFTA, management can still log-in and access the training records from any computer having an internet connection.

Clearly, the crew onboard benefit immensely as they do not need to manually add records themselves nor request them, these being received automatically. This drastically reduces duplication of records and the man-hours lost resolving issues that such a process can often entail.

This new service is another example of how Videotel clients who subscribe to webFTA can manage their crew training records as well as benefit from time saving and cost reducing automation.

KPI Association Set to Encompass Whole Maritime Sector

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.