London summit generates lively debates

Ship operators from throughout the globe gathered in London to attend InterManager’s International Shipowning and Shipmanagement Summit (ISSS19) during London International Shipping Week.

Together leaders from throughout the shipping industry, including ship managers, ship owners, lawyers, insurers, financiers, legislators and technical specialists, considered the key issues affecting today’s international trade and examined future opportunities and threats.

In particular, a lively panel debate of leading ship management CEOs discussed the sector’s changing face. Mark O’Neil, CEO of Columbia Ship Management, commented: “We are ship managers – it’s not for us to get involved with geopolitics.”

Former InterManager President Roberto Giorgi, now Chairman of Fraser Yachts, replied: “If we don’t speak up now as Associations, where will we be in fifty years’ time? In the same place talking about the same things!”

Highlighting compliance with environmental legislation and a range of measures associated with safety and crew welfare, Olav Nortun, CEO of Thome Shipmanagement said: “We, as managers, have to take our part.”

Mark Rawson of the Liberian Shipowners’ Council and representing the International Chamber of Shipping, outlined the changes that are needed to ensure the International Safety Management (ISM) code meets the needs of tomorrow’s shipping industry. He advised that ICS is due to publish a document soon sharing its members’ 20 years of experience in using the ISM Code.

Some interesting facts and figures emerged during the day’s discussions. Roger Adamson, CEO of InterManager Associate Member company Futurenautics, reported that the average vessel generates 111gb of data per month and this figure is expected to grow by 249% within five years. He also advised that connectivity costs the average ship some $60k each year.

During his entertaining presentation on the challenges of utilising technology to benefit vessel and crew operations, InterManager executive committee member Markus Schmitz, Managing Director of SOFTImpact, advised it is essential that the maritime sector properly considers whether the new technology emerging is of actual benefit to our operations. Urging the shipping industry to “slow down” in its adoption of new technologies, he advised: “we need pragmatic solutions to real problems.”

Markus pointed out that there are an average of 30 applications running on commercial ships every day and queried: “Do we expect the Master to use all those?”

Safety took centre stage after lunch as delegates discussed a range of onboard safety matters, including InterManager’s Enclosed Spaces campaign which aims to raise awareness of the dangers of working in enclosed spaces and to encourage the industry as a whole to find solutions in order to save lives.

The Summit concluded with a film presentation from Videotel which used real seafarers to demonstrate the problems associated with alarm fatigue – another industry issue which InterManager is working with partners to find solutions to.

Thanking everyone for their attendance, presentations and interesting discussions, InterManager Secretary General Captain Kuba Szymanski advised that the Association plans to hold more events in several countries over 2020.




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