1. Frightened by ferries
2. Seafarers leave the Red List
3. 50 years in shipping law
4. Ever Given
5. Container stack collapses
6. Crew change challenges
7. On hire and under arrest
8. Speeding up
9. Warning on DWHLs
10. Vaccine concerns
11. Turkish Straits transits
12. Discharging soya beans
13. Port resilience
14. ISU statistics
Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced:
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1. Frightened by ferries
By Michael Grey
What on earth are we to think about the British Prime Minister’s great idea about a fixed link across the Irish Sea? It started off as a bridge, but seems to have been transformed into a tunnel, possibly when some expert suggested that the former could be closed by high winds for about 100 days every year. A couple of eminent civil engineers and a world leading expert on buses are currently investigating the possibilities, despite the suggestions of sceptics that it was likely to go the same way as Boris Island which threatened to block up the River Thames with a new estuarial airport and the ill-fated Garden Bridge, which disappeared, possibly eaten by slugs.
Fanciful drawings of such a tunnel in a daily newspaper showed a design for a “floating” structure, to circumvent the problem of the huge trench which runs up and down St George’s Channel and which is stuffed with rotting explosives from two world wars. Tethered to the sea bottom by stout cables, the structure appears desperately vulnerable to passing nuclear submarines, while the problem of some of the most powerful tidal streams around these isles seems to have eluded the impressionable artists.
It is, we understand, a Norwegian design, although this might be confusion arising from a similarly improbable scheme to build a “ship-tunnel” between two fjords to avoid some stormy offshore waters. The costs would be stupendous and scarcely worth mentioning, as any estimates would be hugely multiplied, as are those of all such projects. And if it ever got built you could guarantee that the Scottish government would demand all the revenues from the tolls and there would be nothing left for the wretched majority of taxpayers on either island, who paid for the thing.
But why ever bother with such a nonsensical scheme? There has never been a time (if we forget about the pandemic and the insane NI Protocol) when travelling between Great Britain and Ireland has been easier and more convenient. There have never been more routes, offering bigger, better and more luxurious ships for both passengers and freight. Beautiful new ships have been built at no cost whatever to the taxpayers of the five countries served and there is amazing choice available. Why would anyone of sound mind prejudice the prosperity of more than half a dozen such ferry routes, by attempting to funnel all the traffic through a fixed link between the North of Ireland and Scotland?
Ferries are flexible, above all else and can be added and subtracted, or moved elsewhere, to cope with shifts in traffic with amazing speed. If anyone doubts this, within days of the EU’s multiplication of trade procedures, imposed in their post Brexit petulance, ferry operators had commissioned new direct routes between the Republic and the Continent. And when it hopefully settles down again, it might be expected that these ships will return to shorter routes and better revenue-earning prospects. Ferry schedules alter with seasons too, which makes maintenance easier.
It isn’t as if Boris is short of “shovel-ready” projects that can employ lots of concrete and civil engineers, steelworkers and builders of every trade and description. There is a National Grid close to meltdown and incapable of coping with the green, all-electric future. There are power stations to build, windfarms to plant in every available sea. A sensible scheme for transferring surplus water from the soaking parts of the UK to the dry bits, along with some new reservoirs, is essential. The road and rail network badly need modernising, with more useful links than HS2 between regional cities.
Why is Boris so ignorant about ferries and their manifold advantages? It is probably unfair to single him out in this respect because virtually all politicians and most of the mandarinate involved in transport policy wouldn’t be able to distinguish a ferry from a fruit juice carrier. They understand roads and trains and have all travelled on aeroplanes, but the delights and opportunities from ferries leave them ignorant and bewildered. It is conceivable that Boris, when a correspondent in Brussels, was once unable to fly to his destination and was seriously sea-sick in a Channel storm on the awful Ostend boats that used to be run by the Belgian government, being henceforth frightened and repulsed by the prospect of sea-travel.
I can recall my first experience on a rackety ferry out of Liverpool in the 1960s, in a storm off the Welsh coast, clinging to the 1st Class bar and listening to crashes and screams coming from elsewhere in the labouring ship. “Don’t worry Sorr”, said the Irish barman as he refilled my whisky glass – “it’s just the Third class passengers fighting”. But times change and if Boris, before he commits serious money to daft fixed links, takes a trip on a beautiful huge new Stena ship out of the Mersey on his next Stormont visit, he will see the pointlessness of such projects.
Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.
2. Seafarers leave the Red List
As part of the UK Chamber of Shipping’s ongoing work with the UK government, the Department for Transport announced on 15th March that all seafarers, irrespective of nationality, will be exempted from Red List (Acute List in Scotland) country restrictions, most notably mandatory hotel quarantine, with effect from 0400 on Friday 19 March 2021.
Seafarers who have been in Red List countries in the 10 days preceding their arrival in the UK will be able to enter the UK to join their ships, take shore leave and/or return home without the need to spend 10 days in managed quarantine or be tested for Covid-19 after their arrival.
UK Chamber of Shipping Policy Director Tim Springett said: “The change represents a significant win for the Chamber, which has lobbied both the UK and Scottish Governments for seafarers to be exempted from the restrictions. Seafarers remain exempted from other restrictions on persons arriving in the UK, including quarantine and testing requirements. We are delighted to have helped secure this exemption. Seafarers are key workers and play a vital role keeping trade flowing.”
The government has also announced Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Mauritius will be removed from the Red List and the Scottish Acute List, whilst Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia and Qatar will be added to it.
3. 50 years in shipping law
On 3 March, Lindsay East completed 50 years at Richards Butler/Reed Smith. This was definitely a landmark and here he looks back over his career and how the practice of shipping law has changed.
I came to Richards Butler really by chance, having been at Oxford, where I did a new course in shipping law which was taught by my tutor at Worcester College. I found this interesting, and I therefore applied to all law firms that did shipping law, and paid more than £900 a year! The first firm to say yes was Richards Butler which turned out to be a good place to work, and I got on well. It was a boom time for shipping and, as a result, I was promoted rather rapidly, and became a partner at 28. This is no longer possible, due to the much more complex procedure now for law firms, and indeed other firms generally.
When I started, a Grammar school boy with only one suit, bowler hats were still being worn. The partners were all male and Caucasian, and none of the legal staff were from a diverse or ethnic background, I am glad to say that that has all changed!’The pace of life was very much slower, no email, no fax, no mobiles, no internet, just letters and telex. To give one example, new cases arrived from Thomas Miller every Monday in a bundle, merely marked “new matter”; they were then just allocated by the firm. Things have changed a lot since then. I settled in as a P&I Club lawyer, doing the usual round of acting for ship owners, charterers, ship builders and have done that all my career; although in later years I developed a practice in Club Rules, both drafting and interpreting, and also LNG and superyachts.
I also spent some time in management, and it is interesting to look back on in the 1980s when I was on the executive committee running the firm, with absolutely no experience or training whatever! I also became the group manager of the shipping group for eight years, which in those days was also quite taxing, with 25 partners to look after.
When I started, RB had no overseas offices, and one decision we took early on was to try and open up in Hong Kong. I was involved in this, set up the office – a joint venture with a local firm – and looked after the office for 15 years. We went on our own some 5 years later, and went from one lawyer to 100 in 15 years! One of my proudest achievements.
At the same time everything else in the world was changing. Telex was going out, fax had come in, email was starting, internet was around, and life was becoming far more complex and much more rapid. In some ways this was good, you could access documentation instantly, rather than having to sit in your hotel room trying to dial-up, via a bad telephone link, to try to get some work done late at night!
I have been asked whether or not the practice of law itself has changed over the 50 years, I think probably not, the same disputes arise, it is just that they are dealt with in quite a different way with the advantage of technology. Everyone will tell you that the pace has quickened so much, that the practice of law 50 years ago is not recognisable. What has changed are the types of vessels that are now in service. No more SD14s, and in 1971, who could conceive of a container vessel with 22,500TEU? Or the current sophisticated LNG vessels, or a superyacht of 16,500gt, over 170m long? What has also changed is the oppressive amount of regulation. Even opening a file now is something of a challenge!
We are lucky here in London still to be by far the pre-eminent centre for the resolution of shipping disputes, mostly by way of arbitration, but also in the High Court. We have to be careful that we do not lose this position – there are always threats from other parts of the globe. I would say, however, that London has done a very good job over the last 50 years. I feel very privileged that I have been at a firm that I have liked, and that has liked me. It has been a great place to work, and I am glad to say that the merger with Reed Smith is a success, and the worldwide reach the firm now has, has added to that success.
Have there been any embarrassing moments? Obviously, many. Perhaps one that is of some amusement, quite early in my career, is when I was sent to Calcutta in relation to a fire and total loss on board a vessel in the harbour. When I got there in the middle of the night, I found a note from the client saying “Hello Lindsay, welcome to Calcutta. I expected Clyde & Co.”. There is always something to bring you down to earth!
4. Ever Given
As work continues to remove the Ever Given, currently blocked across the Suez Canal waterway, our sympathies go out to the crew and pilot of the boxship who were in the hot seat at the time of the accident. While there have been suggestions, hotly denied, of mechanical failure being the cause of the accident, the ship veering off course in the windy conditions seems the most likely reason, given the boxship’s vulnerability with so many containers on deck and the need to proceed at a very slow speed.
The ability to control these massive ships at slow speeds has been questioned in the past, not least because rudder areas are limited in order to reduce drag when in deep sea conditions. If existing conditions continue, more ships will be diverted round the Cape of Good Hope. While some may feel a sense of déjà vu, the only plus point may be that the general public, who had been told through some news sources that the ship is a tanker, might appreciate the value of the shipping industry as a whole and its importance to the smooth arrival of goods in shops.
Commenting on the grounding IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “I offer my encouragement to the Egyptian Authorities, as well as the salvors, tug and dredger operators and all other parties, who are working tirelessly to safely re-float the ship and resume transit through one of the world’s busiest maritime trade routes as soon as possible. I appreciate the efforts of every individual involved. I am aware of the implications of the temporary closure of the canal, and I ask for patience from stakeholders across the supply chain as everyone works to ensure that the ship, its crew, its cargo and the environment remain protected. I look forward to receiving information from the investigation into the incident so that IMO can act on any appropriate recommendations derived from the findings.”
As International Chamber of Shipping secretary general Guy Platten put it, this kind of incident is rare, and it is a relief to see that no crew were injured and there has been no pollution. “The world relies on the shipping sector to keep all of us supplied and the incident in the Suez Canal has shone a spotlight on the delicate nature of these global supply chains.
“The literal ‘pinch point’ of Suez is a prime example of how an unexpected incident can disrupt the finely balanced system that we all rely on”. An estimated 12% of global trade, comprising more than one billion tonnes of goods annually passes through the canal.
We wish everyone a speedy resolution to the situation.
5. Container stack collapses
Container Shipping Supporting Seafarers (CSSS) has voiced concern over the physical and psychological impact of a container stack collapse on the seafarer.
CSSS, a volunteer group established in 2017 by Philip Eastell, believes that stack failure can result not only in physical injury or fatality but also cause post-traumatic stress disorders and similar conditions.
“To be working onboard a large vessel during a major stow collapse must be an extremely stressful experience. The sheer movement of so many containers as the stow collapses and containers land on deck or fall overboard, as well as all the noise must be very frightening and traumatic indeed,” said Eastell.
“This is in addition to the potential exposure to serious injury and fatality as a result of collapsing containers, but also from their contents. In the case of hazardous cargoes leaking, ship and crew are placed in even more danger.”
Eastell furthered that the loss of such a large number of containers and the huge change in weight distribution could also lead to potential ship stability issues. He also said that ship safety and survival equipment, such as fire extinguishing systems, liferafts and lifeboats could be damaged or access to critical equipment blocked.
CSSS concern follows a spate of high-profile incidents. There have been at least six significant stow collapses on container vessels reported in the last three months.
According to the World Shipping Council, an average of 1,382 containers were lost at sea each year between 2008 and 2019.
One master mariner member of CSSS said a significant culture change is required. “Everyone from crew to the highest authority within the industry needs to stop playing the blame game,” he said.
The seagoer recalled an incident in which his vessel departed late from an Indian port. “The agent was furious blaming the crew for the delay, but this was because we found a twist lock incorrectly seated. Still the agent hounded the crew, saying they were personally at risk of losing pilot booking fee discounts and causing huge financial losses for our company.
“The safety of the ship, cargo and the crew is the top priority. Crews are not trained to overlook mistakes, and ships crews work diligently without complaint. We don’t blame stevedores or the crane operators for not fixing locks properly. This blame culture needs to stop.”
While CSSS is keen not to apportion blame or comment on the reasons for such incidents, the volunteer group’s main concern is the safety and wellbeing of the seafarer during and after such an event.
“As far as I am aware, the crew has to stay onboard for the remainder of the voyage following a major stow collapse. This needs to be reviewed as it is highly likely that seafarers will be emotionally and/or physically affected and require support,” said Eastell. “This itself is a ship safety issue.”
“The commercial implications and losses of course are huge and we can understand the sensitivity surrounding this issue but the industry has a duty of care to the seafarer following container collapse. We should not forget the human element,” he added.
6. Crew change challenges
The crew change crisis caused by Covid-19 restrictions continues to cause challenges, despite some improvement in the numbers, the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization has warned.
In a statement, Secretary-General Kitack Lim said that based on industry analysis, the numbers of seafarers requiring repatriation after finishing their contracts had declined – from a high of around 400,000 in September 2020 – to around 200,000 as of March 2021, with a similar number waiting to join ships. However, this number could rise again. But the crew change crisis is far from over. Importantly, issues around vaccination need to be resolved.
Now, more than ever, seafarers need to be designated as key workers to ensure priority vaccination and access to safe transit and travel, Lim said. “One year ago, as the world plunged into the COVID-19 crisis, I spoke of our voyage together and the need for collaboration and cooperation. I am glad to say that over these past 12 months, we have worked intensely with many different stakeholders to address challenging conditions.”
Thanks to concerted efforts by Governments, shipowners and others, this figure is now estimated at 200,000 seafarers needing repatriation and a similar number needing to join ships, Lim says. “One of the major achievements of last year contributing to this was the adoption of the United Nations Assembly resolution calling on UN Member States to designate seafarers and other marine personnel as key workers and to implement relevant measures to allow stranded seafarers to be repatriated and others to join ships, and to ensure access to medical care.
But we cannot be complacent. Fewer than 60 countries so far have heeded our call for seafarers to be designated as key workers. More countries need to do so if we are to resolve this crisis and ensure seafarers are treated fairly and so that their travel to and from their place of work is properly facilitated. There is still a long way to go before we are back to a normal crew change regime.
As vaccination is rolled out in many countries, I urge Governments to prioritize seafarers in their national Covid-19 vaccination programmes.”
Governments should also identify and prepare for the challenges of the vaccination of seafarers who spend long periods of time away from their home countries, he adds. “We need to continue to work together to develop relevant protocols and guidance around vaccine certification. This is particularly important as any barriers to travel created by national vaccine protocols may further complicate an already difficult crew-change situation.
7. On hire and under arrest
Does a ship remain on hire when under arrest was the question before the English courts recently. In the case of Navision Shipping A/S v. Precious Pearls Ltd and Conti Lines Shipping NV v. Navision Shipping A/S (m.v. Mookda Naree)  EWHC 558 (Comm), the court has upheld an arbitral decision that a sub-charterer’s failure to take action in response to a claim that resulted in the arrest of the chartered vessel meant that the vessel remained on hire.
However, as Ince explains in its online insight, in circumstances where the head charter provided for charterers to accept responsibility for cargo claims from third parties when trading to West African ports, the Court found that this liability was limited to cargo claims brought under that charter and in respect of this vessel only. The arbitrators had come to the opposite conclusion.
8. Speeding up
In two recent decisions, which will be of particular interest to those involved in shipping disputes, the English High Court has considered the impact of significant delay on applications for anti-suit injunctions. These cases shed light on how the court will deal with a failure to apply for an anti-suit injunction in good time and, with respect to one of the cases, the impact of a conditional order on claims which are subject to a short one-year time-bar under the Hague/Hague Visby Rules.
Check out Watson Farley & Williams’ take on the issue at:
9. Warning on DWHLs
The British Tugowners Association along with seven other organisations, including the UK Chamber of Shipping, has issued a notice against the continued illegal use of Dangerously Weighted Heaving Lines (DWHLs) in UK ports and harbours.
The use of DWHLs is a significant concern to the maritime community. The use of DWHL when thrown by ship’s crew passing mooring ropes or retrieving a messenger line is dangerous and has caused serious injury.
DWHLs are a significant safety hazard and have the potential to cause serious or fatal injury and cannot be an accepted activity in UK ports and harbours. Indeed, instances could lead to a fine or criminal prosecution of a ship’s master.
The full document can be read here.
10. Vaccine concerns
The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has warned that lack of access to vaccinations for seafarers is placing shipping in a ‘legal minefield’, while leaving global supply chains vulnerable.
A legal document due to be circulated to the global shipping community later this week by ICS highlights concerns that vaccinations could soon become a compulsory requirement for work at sea because of reports that some states are insisting all crew be vaccinated as a pre-condition of entering their ports.
However some reports estimate developing nations will not achieve mass immunisation until 2024, with some 90% of people in 67 low-income countries standing little chance of vaccination in 2021. ICS calculates that 900,000 of the world’s seafarers (well over half the global workforce) are from developing nations.
This is creating a ‘perfect storm’ for shipowners, who may be forced to cancel voyages if crew members are not vaccinated. They would risk legal, financial and reputational damage by sailing with unvaccinated crews, who could be denied entry to ports.
Delays into ports caused by unvaccinated crew would open up legal liabilities and costs for owners, which would not be recoverable from charterers. Furthermore, while owners would be able to address the need for seafarer vaccines in new contracts, owners attempting to change existing contracts or asking crew to receive a specific vaccine requested by a port could open themselves up to legal liabilities.
The uncertainty comes at a crucial moment in the ongoing role of shipping in the global supply chain during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Shipping is expected to overtake aviation in the race to deliver vaccines around the world in the second half of 2021, in a distribution drive that is estimated to take four years. Shipping is also a vital method of transportation for accompanying personal protective equipment (PPE), whose estimated total volume will be 6-7 times that of the vaccine and refrigeration systems.
Seafarers are among the most internationalised workers in the world, crossing international borders multiple times during a contracted period, with up to 30 nationalities on board at any one time. ICS’s legal document noted that it is likely that a Covid-19 vaccination: ‘Will be required by most if not all states and therefore [it] would reasonably be considered to be a “necessary” vaccination.’
ICS secretary-general Guy Platten says: “Shipping companies are in an impossible position. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place, with little or no access to vaccines for their workforce, particularly from developing countries.
“We’re already seeing reports of states requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination for seafarers. If our workers can’t pass through international borders, this will undoubtedly cause delays and disruptions in the supply chain. For a sector expected to help drive the global vaccination effort, this is totally unacceptable.”
“This is a key issue for shipping but could also have a significant impact across many sectors as international business recovers.”
11. Turkish Straits transits
The Oil Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) has published an updated edition of the information paper Guidelines for Transiting the Turkish Straits.
The Turkish Straits present a unique navigational challenge. To help the development of company risk assessments for companies operating in this area, OCIMF has updated the Guidelines for Transiting the Turkish Straits (published in 2007) and provided additional guidance. This information paper considers new and updated regulations and traffic systems, outlines risks of, and recommendations for, transiting the Turkish Straits to safety of navigation.
OCIMF Managing Director Robert Drysdale said, “It’s difficult to imagine a more congested stretch of water with the potential to cause serious environmental impact in the event of an incident. Preparation and implementation of a robust transit plan is critical for the Turkish Straits. These updated guidelines will provide some assistance to operators in planning their transit.”
The paper is available and free to download from www.ocimf.org.
12. Discharging soya beans
Over the years, the Maritime Courts in China have been supportive of the cargo interests finding in their favour which resulted in shipowners and their P&I Clubs’ paying very substantial claims for damaged soya beans, Gard says in a recent newsletter. The P&I Club outlines a number of steps that should be taken by ships arriving in China with damaged cargoes or which experience delays in discharging the product.
13. Port resilience
The International Association of Ports and Harbors has highlighted a new report on developing resilient ports in the future. The report highlights some of the challenges facing ports and looks at drivers of change, like decarbonisation, technology, port communities and the environment impacting the ports’ ecosystem. The report is available here.
14. ISU statistics
The International Salvage Union provided 191 services to vessels carrying 2,538,210 tonnes of potentially polluting cargo and fuel during operations in 2020. The data come from the results of the ISU’s Annual Pollution Prevention Survey for operations in 2020.
President of the ISU, Richard Janssen, comments: “Governments have talked for many years about zero tolerance for pollution, but society now demands it. Widespread public support for the environmental movement shows that care for the environment is now mainstream and has put it at the heart of political and economic decision making. ISU members have been preventing pollution for decades and we are proud of our great contribution to environmental protection.”
The 2020 figures show a small increase from 2019’s total of 2.3 million tonnes. One or two VLCCs can have a significant impact on the overall numbers. For example, crude oil in 2020 was 360,733 tonnes, similar to 2019’s 400,000 tonnes while the equivalent in 2018 was 978,000 tonnes. Cargoes of refined oil products also fell in 2020 to 112,096 – less than half of 2019 figure of 278,046 tones. At the same time, chemical cargoes nearly doubled to 133,150 tonnes in 2020. The number of containers involved in ISU members’ services in 2020 rose to 33,523 TEU up from 25,799 TEU in 2019. The number of containers in cases in 2020 equates to 502,845 tonnes (allowing a nominal 15 tonnes per TEU.)
Bulk cargoes decreased slightly to 744,246 tonnes in 2020. This category includes products such as coal, scrap steel, grains, soya and cement. A number of bulk cargoes are not included as potential pollutants and ISU members also provided services to bulkers carrying 521,326 tonnes of non-hazardous dry bulk – mainly metal ores. Bunker fuel, at 111,886 tonnes stays very similar to the 115,811 tonnes identified in cases in 2019 and remarkably similar to the 111,796 tonnes for 2018. A number of the services noted in the survey did not record the quantity of bunkers or the cargo type.
Of the 191 services in 2020, variants of wreck removal/marine services contracts were used in 22 services; Lloyd’s Open Form – 34 services. Towage contracts accounted for 45 services; Japanese Form – 11 services; Fixed Price and Lump Sum – 7 services; Day Rate – 21 services and other contracts were used in 36 services. The Turkish Form was used in 15 services.
Notices & Miscellany
We were sorry to hear of the passing of Jim Davis, who died recently at the age of 93 after a career in the shipping industry that spanned many years and a wide variety of different roles.
As Michael Grey points out, one might think that although his heart remained with the old P&O Passenger Division where he had begun his shipping career, in his subsequent life in finance and with the International Maritime Industries Forum, DFDS, international trade and transport, he straddled the whole maritime world and was able to expound with authority on just about every element of it.
In his role as IMIF chairman he earned the soubriquet of “Scrapping Jim”, a modern day Cassandra who warned shipbuilders, shipowners and financiers alike that unless demolition took over from speculative shipbuilding, there would be no recovery from the crisis that had begun with the 1973 oil shock. But despite being the chairman of a very large number of organisations, he was always approachable and willing to kindly answer the questions of any questing scribe. His terrible jokes and irrepressible good humour will be missed.
After five years as Honorary Secretary of the LMAA, Daniella Horton is stepping down. James Clanchy has been appointed to take her place and will take over from her later this year. James is a qualified solicitor who has spent 20 years in private practice specialising in shipping matters with major firms, and 4 years at the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) as Registrar and Deputy Director-General. He currently assists LexisNexis on arbitration, including shipping arbitration matters.
Mills & Co have promoted Alastair Moir, Amy Nicolaou and Edwin Hashagen to director with effect from 1 April 2021. The promotions reflect the continued growth of the shipping firm which now has a total of 25 fee earners operating out of Newcastle upon Tyne. Edwin Hashagen trained with the firm and Amy and Alastair joined upon qualification. The appointments demonstrate Mills & Co’s commitment to retain and promote talent within the firm. All three have a varied practice acting for shipowners, P&I clubs, charterers and commodities traders worldwide.
Please notify the Editor of your appointments, promotions, new office openings and other important happenings: contactus@themaritimeadvocate.
1. “It Is In Process” – So wrapped up in red tape that the situation is hopeless.
2. “We’ll look into it” – By the time the wheel makes a full turn we assume that you’ll have forgotten about it too.
3. “A Program” – Any assignment that can’t be completed with one phone call.
4. “Expedite” – To confound confusion with commotion.
5. “Channels” – The trail left by inter-office memos.
6. “Co-ordinator” – The guy who has a desk between two expediters.
7. “Consultant” – Any ordinary guy with a briefcase 50 miles from home.
8. “To activate” – To make copies and add more names to the memo.
9. “To implement a program” – Hire more people and expand the office.
10. “Under Consideration” – Never heard of it.
11. “Under active consideration” – We’re looking for the file.
12. “A meeting” – A mulling by master-minds.
13. “A Conference” – A place where conversation is substituted for the dreariness of labour and the loneliness of thought.
14. “To negotiate” – To seek a meeting of the minds without the knocking of heads together.
15. “Re-Orientation” – Getting used to working again.
16. “Reliable source” – The guy you just met.
17. “Informed source” – The guy who told the guy you just met.
18. “Unimpeachable source” – The guy who started the rumor.
19. “A Clarification” – To fill in the background with so many details that the foreground goes underground.
20. “We are making a survey” – We need more time to think of an answer.
21. “Note and Initial” – Let’s spread the responsibility for this.
22. “Let’s get together on this” – I’m assuming you’re as confused as I am.
23. “See me about it” – Come down to the office, I’m lonely.
24. “Give us the benefit of your present thinking” – We’ll listen to what you have to say as long as it doesn’t interfere with what we have already decided to do.
25. “We will advise you in due course” – When we figure it out we’ll let you know.
26. “To give someone the Picture” – A long confused and inaccurate statement to a newcomer.
27. “Forwarded for your consideration” – You hold the bag for awhile.
28. “Approved, subject to comment” – Redo the damn thing while you’re waiting.
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Maritime Advocate Online is a fortnightly digest of news and views on the maritime industries, with particular reference to legal issues and dispute resolution. It is published to over 20,000 individual subscribers each week and republished within firms and organisations all over the maritime world. It is the largest publication of its kind. We estimate it goes to around 60,000 readers in over 120 countries.