The Maritime Advocate–Issue 816

Posted:

1. Searching for solutions – afloat
2. Carbon intensity
3. Battery danger
4. Seafarer happiness
5. Leadership under Covid
6. New LNG concept
7. Inert gas boost
8. MPC calls for kind leadership
9. Overdue commission
10. Bullying on board
11. Cyber threats
12. The Little Bulker
13. GENCON update
14. US port investment
15. Medical guide

Notices & Miscellany

Readers’ responses to our articles are very welcome and, where suitable, will be reproduced. Write to: contactus@themaritimeadvocate.com


1. Searching for solutions – afloat 

By Michael Grey

It’s called thinking outside the box, or searching for solutions to seemingly insoluble problems in unusual places. Take, for instance the perennial crisis that there seems to be to find decent student accommodation, with the populations of most UK universities bursting at the seams, with the financial ambitions of these institutions having outgrown the practical need for anywhere decent for the young people who pay them, to live.

 It might not seem a natural linkage in one’s thoughts, but what about the next tranche of redundant ships soon to be disposed of by the cruise ship companies currently equipping themselves with gigantic craft able to attract sensation-seeking guests. Of a reasonable size and dimensions, these ships, which have plenty of life left in them, are bound for the scrapyards, but might serve as excellent accommodation for those attending university. Moored in the nearest port, their mere presence could break the stranglehold of rapacious landlords, and could, with their on-board facilities, answer the needs of most students and offer some local employment too. What is not to like?

It might be thought that in some respects, with the number of older and smaller cruise ships that went to the breakers during the pandemic, anyone looking to use ships as accommodation might have missed the boat, but there are still a reasonable number up for disposal. These are ships which, in an earlier age, might have been considered in the prime of their lives, have been looked after well and are only redundant, because they don’t offer the scale economies and acreage for attractions of the latest giants. If you saw the pictures of the 1948 built Astoria arriving in Rotterdam the other day, you can get an idea of the potential longevity of the well-maintained cruise ship.

You might also think of another pressing problem occupying the tortured minds of the UK Home Office, in trying to accommodate the tens of thousands of asylum seekers and illegal immigrants who have arrived on these shores in rubber boats. Cruise ships have proved their capabilities in the past in a range of emergencies, from the accommodation provided to victims of a natural disaster like Hurricane Katrina which devastated New Orleans to their current tasks of providing decent accommodation for refugees from war-torn Ukraine in a number of places. They are, after all, just mobile hotels.

For the price of hotel accommodation and as an alternative to the squalid treatment currently on offer in Kent, a cruise ship or two moored in the Medway or Thames would surely be an attractive alternative. And while it might be rather too much for the human rights lawyers to cope with, if you filled a ship with all these would-be Albanian cannabis farmers, you could return them with reasonable despatch and close supervision, directly to the port of Durres, a couple of thousand at a time.

The point is that there are a number of ships available now at little more than scrap prices and can be put into commission where they are needed almost instantly, where landside alternatives will take years to achieve the same result. In the past, clever operators like Bibby saw the need and the opportunities for floating accommodation and were able to employ their accommodation barges where they were required by construction or offshore operations. One served for some time as a prison, to mitigate overcrowding ashore. There is a lot to be said for a couple of spare medium-sized cruise ships, bought when the prices are attractive and retained on a care and maintenance basis, against the inevitable requirements of the next emergency. That is called prudent provision against the unexpected, which sadly is not approved of by many governments these days.

And listening to some poor woman on the radio the other day wondering how she was going to stay warm this winter, I was reminded of a voyage I took on the night boat between Stockholm and Helsinki in the depths of winter, many years ago.

I had secured a seat in the lounge under the bridge and was watching with appreciation the ferry crunching her way through the ice of the Swedish archipelago, using her searchlights, when I realised that the entire room was packed with the elderly, all clearly enjoying themselves. I spoke to my neighbours, two ladies from the suburbs of the Swedish capital, who told me that rather than sitting grimly in their apartments and paying to heat them during the sub-zero months, they took a return trip to Helsinki once or twice a week.

The ferry company actively encouraged this clientele, with very attractive fares, thus filling the ships at a time of year when otherwise only truckers travelled. The warm winter passengers kept the restaurants busy, enjoyed the entertainment and did their weekly shopping in the well-stocked supermarket in the deck below. Cut price butter, one lady told me, was that week’s attraction, along with a range of duty-free items. It may have limited relevance to today’s crises, but it occurred to me that there are quite a lot of solutions to land-based problems to be found, if you look for them – afloat. 

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.


2. Carbon intensity

Amendments to the international convention on the prevention of pollution from ships (MARPOL) Annex VI entered into force this week on November 1. Developed under the framework of the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships agreed in 2018, these technical and operational amendments require ships to improve their energy efficiency in the short term and thereby reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

From 1 January 2023 it will be mandatory for all ships to calculate their attained Energy Efficiency Existing Ship Index (EEXI) to measure their energy efficiency and to initiate the collection of data for the reporting of their annual operational carbon intensity indicator (CII) and CII rating.

IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said: “the short-term GHG reduction measures, adopted in 2021, form a comprehensive set of amendments to MARPOL Annex VI, which provide important building blocks for IMO’s future mid-term greenhouse gas reduction measures.”

“Decarbonizing international shipping is a priority issue for IMO and we are all committed to acting together in revising our initial strategy and enhancing our ambition,”  Lim said. “These latest amendments build on energy-efficiency measures which were first adopted in 2011 and strengthened since – the CII and EEXI measures represent the next stage in our work to meet the targets set in the Initial IMO GHG Strategy.”

“IMO Member States are currently actively engaged in the process of revising the Initial IMO Strategy on Reduction of GHG Emissions from Ships with a view to adoption of a revised Strategy in mid-2023. Member States are also engaged in developing a basket of candidate mid-term measures, including technical and economic elements,that will set global shipping on an ambitious path to phasing out GHG emissions towards the middle of this century. We are, in tandem, working to support Member States in their implementation of measures and to ensure that no one is left behind in this transition towards a decarbonized future for shipping” Lim said.
 


3. Battery danger

The publishing of a whitepaper by insurance providers TT Club along with its fellow Thomas Miller managed business, UK P&I Club, and technical and scientific consultancy, Brookes Bell brings greater awareness of the dangers inherent in the transport of lithium-ion batteries, particularly by sea. The increased demand for ‘green power’ for a wide range of portable devices such as mobile phones, mobility aids and recreation, manufacturing and power storage, through to larger products, such as electric vehicles will undoubtedly result in the production and transport of these batteries rising exponentially in the coming years.
 
The whitepaper outlines many of the numerous challenges facing the transport industry and raises awareness of the potentially catastrophic situation that can be caused by battery failure, thus in part correcting the widely held perception in the maritime community that risks in the supply chain of such products are relatively small.
 
Commenting on the need for rapid recognition of the risks, Peregrine Storrs-Fox, TT’s risk management director said, “Recently, serious and sometimes catastrophic incidents involving lithium-ion batteries have become more commonplace, with fires reported in all modes of transport – ocean, air and land — as well as in warehouses and where such consignments are at rest.”
 
As loss prevention director of the UK P&I Club, Stuart Edmonston is no stranger to the damage ship fires can cause, “The consequences of battery failure and the resultant thermal runaway must be clearly understood and the correct procedures for handling them adhered to throughout their lifespan.  The dangers can exist no matter the status of the battery; charged, semi-charged, used, second-hand or scrap, and whether present in devices and vehicles or packaged separately.”
 
 The guide also puts forward guidelines to help pre-empt dangerous incidents by correct classification and declaration, safe and effective packaging, mandatory markings and labelling, uniformity of regulations regarding testing and suitable storage environments while batteries are awaiting transport.
 
Speaking of the growing risk, Karwei So, managing scientist at Brookes Bell concludes, “While increased industry awareness is crucial and technology to monitor and restrict fires is advancing, the increased capacities of batteries and the expected rise in trade volumes means regulations are potentially not fit for purpose, having been slow to catch up.”
 
The joint paper outlines initial ‘calls to action’ in a number of respects, impacting not simply those tasked with moving this commodity and their regulators, but most importantly any industries involved in manufacturing or using this increasingly crucial power source, who enter the goods or related products into the freight supply chain.”
 
The full text of the ‘Lithium batteries white paper’ can be downloaded free of charge HERE


4. Seafarer happiness

The Mission to Seafarers has published the findings of its third quarter 2022 Seafarers Happiness Index report, undertaken with the support of the Standard Club and Idwal. Seafarer happiness levels reached 7.3/10, up from 7.21 last quarter, which follows a sustained increase in seafarer satisfaction, after a record low of 5.85 recorded in the first quarter of this year.
 
The results of the survey show seafarers are much happier with their access to shore leave and more certain about crew changes, with both factors contributing to the overall increase in satisfaction.
 
However, this is largely a return to normal after the past two years’ pandemic restrictions. While the data is largely positive, issues such as food provisions, wages, workload, stress and the reality of life at sea persist, showing that there is no room for complacency and still much work to be done.
 
The biggest jump in satisfaction scores this quarter was on access to shore leave, with happiness leaping up from 4.8 to 5.87. While there are still some restrictions in place in certain regions, the impact of Covid 19 on seafarers is largely waning. This means seafarers are far more certain they will be able to go home on time, which has fuelled much of the positivity. They can also now make more use of welfare centres, giving seafarers access to key facilities, provisions and entertainment when ashore. While there are still restrictions in place for some crews, notably in China, things are decidedly more hopeful.
 
Connectivity is always highlighted as a key issue for crews, and seafarers were happier about contact with their family and loved ones while at sea in the third quarter. Good, cost-effective wi-fi access is vital to seafarers and has a huge positive impact on their mental health. Respondents also made it clear that connectivity assists rather than impedes social cohesion on board, as seafarers are happier if they are able to contact loved ones. While positivity increased, there were a number of seafarers who are still faced with slow, expensive and poor-quality connections which is massively frustrating to them.

While satisfaction has risen, the industry must not fall behind on meeting seafarers’ basic needs. The survey showed one key problem area is physical health and wellbeing. Food was an issue for many seafarers who complained about the provision of fresh, quality food on board. There were also complaints about the training standards of some catering crew, an issue which is likely to come to the fore after the tragic death of twelve seafarers from suspected food poisoning recently.
 
Another barrier to wellbeing was having the time and mental state to keep fit. Seafarers reported feeling tired and stressed due to a high workload, which impacted their ability to exercise – assuming the vessel had a gym, facilities or even the space to keep fit. There is clearly more to be done to overcome these basic, but essential issues that are vital to seafarer welfare and human rights.
 
The rise in seafarer happiness in the third quarter shows there are signs of better things ahead for seafarers and industry efforts to make life at sea better are working.   

Ben Bailey, Director of Programme at The Mission to Seafarers, said: “The impact of Covid19 had a tremendous impact on seafarer happiness in the first two years of the pandemic and into early 2022.  It is very pleasing to see those levels increase, as borne out by the fact that this quarter’s survey marks the second quarter in a row that seafarer happiness has risen.
 
It is so important for the industry to hear directly from seafarers on key issues of a life at sea; this insight shapes organisations’ understanding of which areas need more attention.
 
Optimism is slowly returning to life at sea, but we must remember that these gains can quickly be lost if we do not keep up the hard work. There are still vital issues that require immediate attention, and which must be overcome to ensure seafarers’ basic needs are not neglected – from food provisions to decent Wi-Fi access and workload problems. As the data shows, by working together, we can improve seafarer welfare and the quality of their lives at sea.”
 
Thom Herbert, Idwal Crew Welfare Advocate and Senior Marine Surveyor added:
“It’s pleasing to see that the Q3 report shows another general rise in seafarer happiness. It’s refreshing to see the shore leave score increase, albeit whilst still at a relatively low level. The increase seems to stem from a gradual returning, for some, to pre-Covid levels of shore leave, and appears to highlight all the benefits that getting off the ship, even for a few hours, can bring to someone whose place of work, rest and play is one and the same. This also makes health and fitness onboard of paramount importance and it’s still disconcerting to see that numbers were slightly down here for this quarter. The anecdotal references in the report show the disparity in the interpretation of the MLC guidelines on provision of sports and exercise equipment on board and this is also borne out in our own vessel inspections where we observe the types of fitness equipment available to crew, if at all. We fully support the call that the smallest investments can make a huge difference to people who spend all their time on a ship, and health and fitness of crew should be the central driver to providing such equipment on board.”

Yves Vandenborn, Director of Loss Prevention at Standard Club added: “The Seafarers Happiness Index Quarter 3 2022 results reflect a continued level of seafarer satisfaction from the last quarter. This is a very encouraging affirmation of all the wellbeing initiatives and investments made by companies during the pandemic, proving that the efforts made to improve life at sea for seafarers have not gone to naught. However, while optimism is sustained, the report shows that there continues to be a lot of room for improvement, especially when it comes to meeting basic needs such as nutritional food on board and provision of time and facilities onboard for seafarers to keep fit. Only by addressing these deep-rooted issues can we maintain seafarer happiness at this level and avoid the yo-yo sentiments experienced during the pandemic.”

To read the latest Seafarers Happiness Index report, click here.


5. Leadership under Covid

WISTA International (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association) and the researchers from the Espirito Santo Federal University in Brazil (UFES) ran a survey focused on the impact of the Covid pandemic on women in maritime based on work, family and community life of WISTA members. According to the findings, 61.51% of the participants feel that women showed leadership during the pandemic crisis at work or in their communities. A further key finding was that for the majority of the group (54.81%), domestic activities increased after the start of the pandemic.

Participants’ characteristics in numbers:
• 239 participants worldwide
• The average age of respondents is 44
• Industry experience, on average, 18 years
• 9 races/ethnic groups.

The research showed that most of the respondents (61.51%) feel that women exhibited leadership at work or in their communities during the pandemic.  For more details of the survey see wistainternational.com.


6. New LNG concept

Classification society Bureau Veritas has delivered an Approval in Principle to GTT for a new LNG carrier based on a three cargo tanks arrangement.
 
The new LNG carrier design features a total cargo capacity of 174,000 m3. In comparison to conventional LNG carriers, this new concept is based on a three cargo tanks arrangement instead of four.
 
The main ideas which have led to this innovative design are the reduction of boil-off gas (BOG) and the cost optimisations for the ship (both CAPEX and OPEX). The concept is designed to fit either with Mark III or NO96 technologies, developed by GTT. In fact, the effect of an increase in tank length has been specifically investigated by GTT in order to address the specific challenges of this new concept (tank length increased by up to 55%).
 
To support and better understand the sloshing pressures caused by the liquid motion inside the tank, BV has developed specific tools that can now be leveraged for other large tanks.
 


7. Inert gas boost

Survitec’s Maritime Protection brand has registered a significant increase in orders for inert gas (IG) systems over the past two years following a surge in orders for newbuild vessels with LNG-burning engines.
 
This increase is partly attributed to the global shipping industry seeking to meet decarbonisation targets by moving away from high polluting heavy fuel oil (HFO) towards alternative, cleaner marine fuels.
 
About 35% of the current world order book accounts for dual-fuelled and gas ships running on either a combination of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and conventional fuel or LNG alone. These engines need to be fitted with an inert gas system to prevent the build-up of highly flammable gasses.
 
Bernt Øhrn, general manager, Maritime Protection, explained: “If the ship doesn’t have any oil or gas cargo tanks, which require a fixed CO2-based system to deal with the higher volume, a small N2 inert gas system is needed to make the fuel system safe.”
 
Demand for natural gas as a marine fuel is expected to continue over the next twenty years, with the industry viewing the energy source as a vital step towards decarbonisation.
 
“This is demonstrable in the increased orders for IG,” said Øhrn. “We are a seeing a significant push for alternatively fuelled newbuilds capable of handling the new emissions requirements. But we also see an increase in engine conversions and retrofits, with shipowners converting topsides to accommodate LNG fuel tanks.
 
“Although LNG only accounts for one-in-three newbuilds, shipowners of all types are beginning to see the dual-fuel or gas engine as the way forward.”
 
According to Øhrn, analysts predict a 25% increase in orders for dual-fuelled ships in 2023, increasing to 50% by 2025.
 “With the need to further reduce the impact of ship operations on the marine environment, the speed of technological development will see the adoption of other alternative fuels, particularly ammonia and hydrogen,” said Øhrn.  
 
He predicts ammonia will become increasingly important but will require much larger fuel tanks, while the safety of a hydrogen-fuelled ship is likely to prove a challenge. “High rates of hydrogen mixing with oxygen can be dangerous,” he said. “We are developing ways of inerting the exhaust side of a hydrogen fuel cell outside the ship. It may not be possible to use nitrogen as this could evaporate on contact with the colder hydrogen, so helium may be the only inert gas we can use. The problem with helium is it’s a scarce resource and expensive.”
 


8. MPC calls for kind leadership

The Maritime Professional Council has published its first report on Kind Leadership and is now moving forward with further research.  

In the report, the need for management training to provide the skills to empower staff to challenge, question, intervene and stop work was emphasised. A large shipowner, as part of the input into changing its culture, reported that it focused on “ensuring employees felt that their welfare, and going home in one piece every night, was genuinely management’s priority”. This translated into changes in operating approach that improved performance and profit margins.

The research has clearly identified that leadership is also about ethics.  To carry the project forward the MPC now seeks direct input from seafarers and stakeholders. Harvesting their ideas and solutions will be invaluable, will move the debate forward and enable MPC to suggest a ‘passage plan’ that facilitates real industry progress and success.

The Report can be found at https://www.mpc-uk.org/mpc-summary-report-on-kind-leadership/.


9. Overdue commission

Mutual insurer ITIC has obtained overdue payment of a shipbroker member’s commission which the seller had refused to pay despite the successful completion of the sale and purchase of a ship.

The shipbroker had acted as the buyer’s broker and had signed a commission agreement with the seller where the seller agreed to pay US$ 68,000 to the shipbroker upon the completion of successful delivery and receipt of the purchase monies for the subject ship.

Despite the successful delivery and the receipt of the purchase monies by the seller, the seller did not pay the commission, claiming that a dispute had arisen with the buyer relating to bunkers and that they would not pay any commission until the dispute over bunkers was resolved.

ITIC advised that the deal had successfully concluded and therefore commission must be settled without further delay.
ITIC explained that the bunker dispute arose following the successful completion of the sale and purchase transaction, and that the seller had received the full payment for the ship from the buyer. Therefore the commission was due.
The seller was advised that if the commission was not settled immediately ITIC would take whatever legal steps necessary to assist the shipbroker including, but not limited to, commencing legal proceedings.

Shortly thereafter ITIC received the seller’s agreement to pay the shipbroker’s commission less US$ 1,000 in respect of legal fees they had incurred. The shipbroker agreed to the deduction and was paid US$ 67,000 the next day.

Click here to see the full October Claims Review by ITIC.
 


10. Bullying on board

An in-depth survey in the maritime industry has revealed gender-based discrimination against women, onboard harassment and bullying. WISTA International, Anglo Eastern, International Seafarers Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) conducted a public online survey designed to examine how female seafarers perceived “discrimination” and how it manifested onboard based on their personal experiences. The complete findings from the survey and recommendations were published in The Diversity Handbook, launched at the WISTA International conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on 26 October 2022.

Information was obtained from 1128 women from 78 countries. The Philippines (399) had the largest proportion, followed by the United States (98), the United Kingdom (57), South Africa (51), Brazil (47), India (41), Peru (36), Columbia (35) and Indonesia (35).
The majority of respondents, approximately 90%, work on cruise ships, with the remainder employed on cargo ships, gas and oil tankers, container ships (>8000 TEU), general cargo/geared vessels, chemical tankers, bulk carriers and tugs.
The survey also made it possible to collect data on company harassment and bullying policies, company and industry hotlines and the effect of the pandemic on women’s experiences at sea and provided insights into how businesses may operate in the sector to promote gender diversity and dispel prejudice.
 
The majority of respondents – 60% – reported encountering gender-based discrimination onboard, while just 40% of respondents said there was no such discrimination. Some 34% of the respondents acknowledged feeling alienated or neglected due to their gender, while 29% of the respondents had encountered harassment and bullying on board. A resounding 66% of the women seafarers concur that their male employees had turned to harassing and intimidating female co-workers.
 
Some 13% of the surveyed seafarers have mentioned that they have been offensively approached via different media, while a majority 70% of these women seafarers claim that it was their male colleagues who perpetrated such offensive harassment onboard.
 
Some 25% of the respondents admitted to having encountered onboard harassment, including being approached with personal questions, overly familiar remarks or being invited to meet in the cabin on a private basis. This indicates a widespread issue with onboard harassment when the victim is subjected to numerous threats. The statistics show that the vast majority of those engaging in such crimes are male seafarers (88%), while other instances (11%) involve both men and women co-workers, and only about 1% involve women.
 
In the shipping sector, physical and sexual harassment is common. According to 25% of respondents, it occurred on board and involved intrusions on their privacy, such as uncomfortable persuasion, inappropriate remarks and body shaming. Once more, an overwhelming 90% of those involved were male co-workers, while 8% were male and female and only 2% were female seafarers.
 
97% of respondents agreed that the company had a harassment and bullying policy, though nearly 60% of the respondents acknowledged having experienced harassment. Therefore, organisations must ensure that their Company Harassment Policies are extensively publicised to increase their visibility, level of awareness, and stringent on-the-ground enforcement.
80% of the female seafarers reported that their immediate superiors had spoken with them about the company’s anti-harassment policy. Again, it is important to note that 60% of these acknowledged experiencing harassment while on board and admitted that they were unsure of what to do in such circumstances.
 
Although 73% of the respondents felt comfortable escalating their concerns to their senior officers, only 13% reported such incidents to their superiors, while only 7% were satisfied with the outcomes. 59% of all the respondents have faced gender-based discrimination, while 66% felt ignored.
Regarding helplines, only 13% of respondents reported the harassment they had experienced. The efficiency of these helplines, their availability at all times and how the concerns of the seafarers are addressed at the source must all be seriously addressed.
 
Regarding the opportunities for training, although 82% of women seafarers agreed that they had received instruction on adapting to the ship’s environment, this percentage has to be far higher.
 


11. Cyber threats

Manufacturing, energy and transportation sectors appeared among the top 10 most attacked industries in 2021, according to IBM X-Force. This rising tide of incidents is provoking governments and industry bodies to introduce stricter regulations, and companies with industrial operations to ramp up their defences.

Despite the threat, the company believes there is not enough best practice available to guide operators, suppliers, manufacturers and regulatory authorities in building cyber defences for operational technologies (OT). Trust is vital. Companies need a ‘safe space’ to report, collect analyse and share lessons from cyber security incidents. Creating best practice and developing new standards in collaboration with industry peers can be one such safe space.

In a Cyber Insights article, DNV shares why OT cyber security is becoming a safety issue for industrial actors, and why greater collaboration is needed to meet the challenge. DNV also discusses how collaboration and creating trust in processes, people, and technologies can catalyse a step-change in both IT and OT cyber security across industrial sectors and their value chains.

Cyber threats to critical infrastructure: why collaboration is key


12. The Little Bulker

The North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA) has announced the launch of a new book educating children on the maritime industry.  The Little Bulker, by Katerina Perganti Shaw, was featured at NAMEPA’s 15th Anniversary celebration on October 27th aboard the Hornblower Infinity at Pier 40 in New York. Shaw has generously donated half the proceeds from the book to NAMEPA to support its educational programmes.

“We are honoured that Katerina has selected NAMEPA’s 15th Anniversary event as the platform from which to launch her delightful tale of a dry bulk ship’s birth in a shipyard to her launch and first transit” said NAMEPA Chairman, Joe Hughes.  “In the process, the young reader learns many of the features of commercial shipping and its value proposition to global society.”

The Little Bulker chronicles the construction of the Athena in Japan, accompanied by details on what a dry bulk ship carries, the components of a vessel, its size, and its launch.  Further, it is an “eco” ship, which is a critical feature in the effort to reduce maritime’s impact on the environment. There is also a QR code for readers to follow the voyages of Athena, which is trading today.

“There are children’s books about trains, and even tugs, but not about the workhorses of global trade,” said Shaw when asked why she wrote The Little Bulker.  “It was my privilege to follow the progress of the M/V Athena as she was being built, so it felt like a personal tribute to the vessel and to honor the maritime industry.”

To order copies of the book, go to The Little Bulker.


13. GENCON update
In response to changes within the areas of regulation and safety, BIMCO has updated GENCON 1994 to reflect the commercial and legal requirements in today’s shipping practices. The voyage charter party, used in dry bulk trade, was last updated in 1994 and the new version addresses all terms and conditions that the commercial parties need to incorporate by means of rider clauses. This will help companies that may not have an internal legal department to turn to for assistance. 

The drafting group engaged in the development of GENCON 2022 consisted of representatives from both the chartering and shipowning sector to assure the new version strikes the right balance with regards to the rights and obligations of both parties.  

“When we sit down and start the process of drafting standard contracts and clauses for the maritime industry, our focus is on striking the right balance between the parties involved. This is regardless of which contract or clause is on the drawing table. The drafting of GENCON 2022 reflects this,” says Søren Larsen, BIMCO Deputy Secretary General.  

Focus has also been on the importance of producing a clearly worded contract that leaves little room for disputes on matters of interpretation. 

“I have been active in dry bulk shipping all my working life and have seen how important it can be to get the wording just right,” says John Weale, Chairman of the drafting sub-committee. “There is no perfect charter party, but I do believe that GENCON 2022 will go a long way towards meeting the needs of today’s industry and avoiding disputes.” 

The 2022 update will mark 100 years since GENCON was first launched by BIMCO, as the first edition was published in 1922. For more details see the BIMCO website www.bimco.org.


14. US port investment

The US Department of Transportation has announced more than $703 million to fund 41 projects in 22 states and one territory that will improve port facilities through the Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program. The funding, made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and additional Congressional appropriations, will benefit coastal seaports, Great Lakes ports, and inland river ports, helping improve supply chain reliability through increased port capacity and resilience, more efficient operations, reduced port emissions, and new workforce opportunities. Together, these investments will help get goods to shelves faster and lower costs for American families.

“So many of the goods we all count on, from appliances to furniture to clothes, move through our nation’s ports on their way to us,” said US Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg. “Using funds from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this year we’re awarding record levels of funding to improve our port infrastructure, strengthen our supply chains, and help cut costs for American families.”

The Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) supports efforts by ports and industry stakeholders to improve port and related freight infrastructure to meet the nation’s freight transportation needs and ensure port infrastructure can meet anticipated growth in freight volumes. The program provides planning, capital funding, and project management assistance to improve ports’ capacity and efficiency. The PIDP provides funding to ports in both urban and rural areas for planning and capital projects. It also includes a statutory set-aside for small ports to continue to improve and expand their capacity to move freight reliably and efficiently, and support local and regional economies.

More than 60 percent of the awards will be benefitting ports in historically disadvantaged communities and several of the projects will help reduce emissions at the ports through electrification. Additionally, more than $150 million in awards include a focus on electrification of port equipment to reduce emissions and improve air quality. The awards also include nearly $100 million for port projects that will advance offshore wind deployment – in support of President Biden’s bold goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind by 2030, which is enough to power 10 million homes with clean energy, support 77,000 jobs, and spur private investment up and down the supply chain.

“President Biden’s commitment to modernizing our infrastructure – from the beginning of his Administration – has resulted in an unprecedented investment in all segments of our port infrastructure to enable us to move goods more quickly, strengthen supply chain resiliency, and reduce the climate impacts of port operations themselves,” said Maritime Administrator Ann Phillips.


15. Medical guide

Gard and the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine have launched an innovative digital medical guide to improve medical treatment onboard and potentially save seafarers’ lives.

The Mariners Medico Guide is an app designed and tailored for seafarers. Developed in collaboration with the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine, it provides step-by-step guidance for treating crew onboard. Fully downloadable, it can be used mid-ocean and in remote parts of a ship – even without a signal.

“The world’s seafarers are the beating heart of global trade, and we need to ensure their safety and wellbeing. That is what this app is all about – investing in every seafarer to ensure that they feel safe and that they get the best possible health care at sea,” said Gard chief executive Rolf Thore Roppestad.
The strain and pressures experienced by seafarers have increased over the last few years. Gard alone saw the number of claims related to crew illness or death increasing by almost 75 per cent from 2018 to 2021. In 2020, the year the Covid pandemic broke out, the number of cases classified as mental disorder claims increased by 34 per cent. Sadly, the number of deaths and suicides has also increased.

“These are highly worrying numbers, and a stark reminder that we need to do more to ensure the safety and welfare of our seafarers,” Roppestad added.

The Mariners Medico Guide differs from other ship medical guides in several ways. As it is digital, it can be quickly and easily updated. Moreover, it covers both physical and mental health issues, using a symptom-based approach. Designed and written by doctors specialised in maritime medicine, guidance is set out in simple steps and language, for users with limited medical experience and reduced accessibility to medications and medical equipment.

“We have used our knowledge about crew claims to promote this tool for better medical treatment on board. I am immensely proud of the Mariners Medico Guide and truly believe it can make a difference to crew health and wellbeing. I really hope it will be actively used to the benefit of the many thousands of seafarers exposed to the risk of illness and injury,” said Christen Guddal, Chief Claims Officer and project sponsor.

His message was echoed by Dr Jon Magnus Haga, leader of the Norwegian Centre for Maritime and Diving Medicine at the University Hospital in Bergen, who said the app would complement their telemedical services and “facilitate better access to basic health care for all seafarers.”

The MMG is Flag State approved by the Norwegian Maritime Authority as its national equivalent to the 2007 WHO International Medical Guide for Ships. Knut Arild Hareide, Director General of Shipping and Navigation at the Norwegian Maritime Authority, said the App was a much-welcomed innovation.
The Mariners Medico Guide is available free of charge on both desktop and mobile (Apple App Store and Google Play).

For more information, please visit www.medicoguide.no


Notices & Miscellany 

Svitzer appointments
Towage provider Svitzer has announced two senior leadership appointments, with Kasper Karlsen becoming Global Chief Operating Officer and Deniz Kirdar True assuming the role of Managing Director in the AMEA region.
 
WISTA president
WISTA International (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association) elected their new President, Elpi Petraki, from WISTA Hellas,, at its Annual General Meeting  on 26 October, in Geneva, Switzerland.

Rightship appointment
Leading ESG-focused digital maritime platform RightShip is pleased to announce the appointment of Kostis Antonopoulos as its Eastern Mediterranean representative.

Please notify the Editor of your appointments, promotions, new office openings and other important happenings: contactus@themaritimeadvocate.com


And finally,

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)

A man who suffered from impotence went to see a doctor.

The doctor gave him a revolutionary new injection made from monkey glands, which worked perfectly.

Nine months and two weeks later, his wife had a baby.

When the nurse came out of the delivery room with the news, he asked, “Is it a boy or a girl?”

“We won’t know until it comes down off the chandelier.”

 

A company, feeling it is time for a shake-up, hires a new CEO. This new boss is determined to rid the company of all slackers.

On a tour of the facilities, the CEO notices a guy leaning on a wall. The room is full of workers and he wants to let them know he means business! The CEO walks up to the guy and asks, “And how much money do you make a week?”

Undaunted, the young fellow looks at him and replies, “I make $200 a week, why?” The CEO hands the guy $200 in cash and screams, “Here’s a week’s pay, now GET OUT and don’t come back!”

Feeling pretty good about his first firing, the CEO looks around the room and asks, “Does anyone want to tell me what that slacker did here?”
With a sheepish grin, one of the other workers mutters, “Pizza delivery !!
 


Thanks for Reading the Maritime Advocate online

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.

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