The Maritime Advocate–Issue 818

Posted:

1. Utmost dispatch
2. Enclosed spaces
3. Safety report
4. Dynamic positioning
5. Emissions trading
6. Greenwashing
7. Arbitration changes?
8. Salary survey
9. Demurrage portal
10. General Average
11. Women in shipping

Notices & Miscellany

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


1. Utmost dispatch  

By Michael Grey

Everyone is in such a tearing hurry these days; impatience seemingly part of modern mankind’s DNA, as the roof is raised when the “just in time” delivery isn’t, or the car in front is a microsecond late getting away from the traffic lights. And in our maritime world, we live, as we always have, in the shadow of those two words “Utmost Dispatch”.

Once metaphorically underlined in charter parties or in the orders presented to shipmasters before they sailed, although possibly qualified with the shipowner’s get-out clause about “not prejudicing the safety of the ship”, Utmost Dispatch is an invitation to earn the employers’ esteem through haste and a measure of risk-taking. It will be accompanied by an unspoken and unwritten threat to the potentially over-cautious. You might suggest that it is an acknowledgement of the realities of economic pressures that are never absent from a maritime adventure.

 One of my heroes, the late Captain Richard Cahill, taking both masters of the liners Andrea Doria and Stockholm to task, as he analysed their fatal notorious collision in his book “Collisions and their Causes”, noted that “economic pressures have long been recognised as conflicting with considerations of safety. He goes on to point out that “the term risk is one of the most significant in the mariner’s vocabulary”. From the master of the Titanic, speeding into the icefield, to the commander of the Torrey Canyon taking his fatal short cut, it was economics that was urging them onward. And for all the lip service that is paid to “safety first” policies today, nothing very much has changed, as navigational short cuts are taken and caution and prudence demoted in favour of risk taking that will meet with the employer’s approval, always supposing it comes off.

It might be thought that passage-making to “save the planet” through emission-saving slower speeds might see rather less rushing about. This would be a very false assumption to make, as slower speeds on the sea passage are already being compensated by ever more ferocious injunctions to hasten the ship through its time in port. You can see plenty of evidence that this is happening, with pilots in some ports being urged to get the ship alongside and off the berth faster, with the more cautious actually being penalised. The weapon of the unfair comparison with a laggard being told that “Captain X can get his ships alongside 20 minutes faster” is also employed. It might have something to do with the number of container cranes being clouted and other “dock damage”, as insurers like to term such accidents.

Stevedoring companies are also feeling the pressure to deliver faster turnarounds as sea passages are extended. It would be difficult to argue with the need for greater efficiencies, provided, of course, that the safety of ships and the personnel working in terminals is not compromised. In this respect, we might think of car carriers rushing out of port before the actual cargo plan has been finalised and the stability investigated, or lashing gangs being unable to complete their work before the ship is unmoored.

There was a memorable case recently reported by Australian investigators of a serious fire that had broken out in the hold of a project carrier, when the crew had been using a plasma torch to release the sea-fastenings of the cargo, much of which was subsequently destroyed. It transpired that this was the 10th fire reported by the same company in the past 14 years, and, believe it or not, the fourth of these which the Australian inspectorate had itself investigated. Burning and cutting is always hazardous and needs plenty of bodies to be on hand to keep an efficient fire watch, which in these cases were clearly not available. But one might ask, might the over-riding need to un-lash the cargo  as fast as possible and get the ship back out to sea have been a contributor to this series of clearly avoidable incidents? Rather less haste might just have produced a better outcome for all.

There are so many accidents which are caused by people taking short cuts, or doing things because of the pressure of time, or the lack of anyone around to help. A fair proportion of the tragic and utterly avoidable deaths in enclosed spaces is undoubtedly contributed to by people hurrying to get a job finished, diving down into a tank or trunkway without a second thought, or taking what turns out to be a fatal short cut. A pause in the pace of work, a proper consideration of the need for breathing apparatus, ventilation and oxygen monitors, all of which have been recommended this week by the excellent InterManager organisation, would have saved so much unnecessary grief. Last word to Captain Cahill, who wrote these seemingly evergreen words :“the pressure to place safety second to schedule is still a problem”. Forty years on, it still is.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List.


2. Enclosed spaces

InterManager has welcomed a commitment by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to review guidance governing safe working in enclosed spaces onboard ships.

Heralding the move as a significant step forward in crew safety, the association says it will work with the IMO, Flag States, and other maritime partners to make sure lessons are learned from the many fatalities which have occurred in enclosed spaces and also ensure new legislation is workable and effective.

InterManager submitted a comment paper to the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) 106 meeting, co-sponsored by a number of industry partners, in response to China’s proposal to revise IMO Resolution A.1050(27) which sets out recommendations for entering enclosed spaces aboard ships. InterManager’s paper highlighted additional information which it believes should be considered and provided high level information relating to enclosed space incidents.
The ship and crew management trade body has been collating statistics on deaths and accidents in enclosed spaces since 1999 and reports that during this period, enclosed spaces have claimed the lives of 122 seafarers and 45 shore workers. However, InterManager Secretary General, Kuba Szymanski, fears these figures could be higher still and says he believes there is under-reporting by shipping authorities.

“This is an opportunity for the shipping industry, led by the IMO, to comprehensively assess the dangers posed by the range of enclosed space and oxygen-depleted areas onboard ships and to make meaningful recommendations which will remove or reduce risk, backed up by robust procedures that should aim to ensure no seafarer or shore worker dies while carrying out their jobs,” he said.

In its submission, InterManager and its co-sponsors recommend that the IMO Resolution A.1050(27) be considered by suitably competent sub-committees which should also consider emergency drills for enclosed spaces, the carriage of gas detection equipment on board ships, and MSC.1/Circ.1401 dealing with vessels inerted with nitrogen, plus the associated risks and hazards. It advises re-examination of previous submissions to address issues already raised, such as cargo hold gas monitoring, an appreciation of oxygen depleting cargos, cargos which are fumigated and cargos which emit toxic gas.

It states: “The scope of the revision needs to be broad and comprehensive in order to take into account both the human element and ship design factors that have contributed to previous enclosed space incidents. This would undoubtedly mitigate against, and hopefully prevent, such incidents occurring in the future.”

The submission highlights a need to consider design of access as a means of reducing the number of such incidents, pointing out the risks posed by areas such as hold access ladders, specifically the enclosed trunk ladder (occasionally referred to as the ‘Australian Ladder’).

InterManager points out that previous submissions on enclosed space risks have discussed “the repetitive systemic nature of the enclosed space incidents” and this is a matter that InterManager has campaigned about, urging the shipping industry to delve deeper into accident investigations to look at the ‘why’ as well as the ‘how’.

The submission draws attention to industry-led investigations into enclosed space accidents, commenting: “These reviews have resulted in the emergence of several distinct themes focussing on; design and construction, gas evolution, movement and entrapment within the ship structure, and the human element prevalent in many enclosed space incidents, such as the rush to rescue a single casualty resulting in the death of many, the disregard of procedures and local adaptation of unsafe practices. Likewise, it has been identified that in many cases ship and shore personnel are subject to time pressure which may result in them rushing or missing checks to meet artificial deadlines which often result in entry into spaces for which they are not fully prepared. These aspects have resulted in countless casualties where a known breach of procedure, (just a ‘quick look inside!’) in an enclosed space, has often ended in further loss of life.”

The submission states: “In order to reduce, indeed halt, such needless loss of life within the complexities and risks of the maritime world, the review of A.1050(27) needs to be comprehensive, in depth and as wide-ranging as possible in order to encapsulate the breadth of such studies. A new resolution on the recommendations for entry into enclosed spaces would go a long way towards avoiding the unnecessary deaths of seafarers and shore-workers.”

IMO MSC106 agreed that the MSC107 meeting, scheduled for June 2023, will draw up a plan for the revision of IMO resolution A 1050/27 in relation to Enclosed Space Entry Procedures. Responsibility for the output will be spear-headed by the CCC Sub-Committee, which next meets in September 2023, in association with five other IMO Sub-Committees, as and when requested by CCC, with a target completion year of 2024.


3. Safety report

The US Coast Guard Inspections and Compliance Directorate has issued a safety alert on ensuring proper operation and detection of radar search and rescue transponders (SARTs).  

The purpose of the safety alert  is to address issues that may reduce the effectiveness of a radar  SART during an emergency. During a recent marine incident, a survivor was drifting in the water and holding an activated 9 GHz (X-band radar) SART, but the individual was not detected by some of the responding vessels, including Good Samaritans and Coast Guard vessels. The survivor saw four vessels pass close by as he held the SART above water and shouted for help, but none of the vessels’ crews saw him. In spite of this and the tropical storm-like conditions, the survivor was finally rescued after remaining in the water for three hours.

After the incident, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) tested the survivor’s SART, in cooperation with the Coast Guard, the vessel’s owner, and the SART manufacturer. The testing revealed that the SART was in good condition and was operating in accordance with the international and domestic requirements for a 9 GHz SART. 

 The post-incident testing revealed the X-band radar settings that are optimal for navigation might actually prevent the SART signature from displaying on a vessel’s radar screen. The gain, sea clutter, rain clutter, tuning, and range on X-band radars are commonly operated in “Auto” mode, but this mode was found to drastically reduce, or completely eliminate, the ability of the receiving radar to display a SART’s dots or circular lines. Additionally, the orientation of the SART antenna and the height of the SART above the water both affect the ability of an X-band radar to detect a SART.

The SART is designed to free-float or to be mounted on a pole in a life raft or on a survival craft. The narrow end of a SART is the antenna, but the narrow end is also the only suitable location for a person in distress to firmly hold a SART. If a person in the water holds a SART by its antenna, the SART’s ability to transmit and receive signals from an X-band radar will be reduced. When a SART is used with a liferaft or lifeboat, there is an opportunity to mount the SART high in the survival craft on its pole or in a pocket. This height above the water will improve the device’s ability to transmit and receive signals, while also providing a much better target than a SART floating in the water. 

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that vessel owners, operators, and crewmembers:

• Incorporate this information into their SART training and testing, in order to better prepare to use or detect a SART during an emergency.
• Ensure that all safety equipment is maintained in accordance with the SART owner’s manual. As with all safety equipment onboard a vessel, the usefulness and the effectiveness of a SART is dependent on several factors, including proper maintenance, testing, training, and operating procedures. The primary source for maintenance, testing, and operating procedures is the SART owner’s manual.


4. Dynamic positioning

In another safety alert by the US Coast Guard, the issue of dynamic positioning systems is raised, with a warning not to overestimate their capabilities.

Dynamic positioning (DP) systems meeting equipment class 2 (DP2) and equipment class 3 (DP3) have control features and redundancies that are often regarded by the crews of vessels using these systems as infallible, the USCG says.

A recently investigated DP incident revealed that a DP system may still have weaknesses, even when the design and testing of the system aims to remove or mitigate those weaknesses through engineering controls. During the recent incident, a DP3 drillship suffered a complete blackout and subsequent loss of position while conducting critical Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) activities. The drillship was equipped with highly-complex power management, generator monitoring, control, and safety systems designed and tested to provide blackout protection and rapid blackout recovery. This particular ship had equipment arrangements that exceeded minimum DP equipment class 3 requirements and was approved for, and operating with, the 11kV electrical system connected in a “closed-bus” configuration.

The drillship was performing critical well activities where a loss of position could result in personal injury, environmental pollution, or catastrophic damage. Fortunately, these serious consequences were avoided due to the successful post-blackout actions taken by the crew, which included performing an emergency disconnect from the well using established procedures.

The subsequent investigation determined that the main diesel generator (MDG) No. 6 experienced neutral over-voltage alarms that indicated a ground fault after the generator was disconnected from the bus. However, all electrical parameters appeared normal while MDG 6 was connected to the bus. This same condition had been experienced on three separate occasions prior to the day of the incident, yet the ship continued to operate in the closed-bus configuration with an intermittent ground fault of unknown origin. As a result, the affected generator was not inhibited from connecting to the bus.

Additionally, the ship’s crew did not determine the cause of the neutral over-voltage alarms before disconnecting and reconnecting the affected generator numerous times in an effort to recreate the problem for troubleshooting purposes. The MDG 6 intermittent ground fault subsequently developed into a high-level ground fault that propagated through the 11kV distribution system and damaged sensitive automated power management system components. Potential transformer circuit breakers supplying switchboard under-voltage protection were tripped as a result and caused a complete blackout of the vessel, loss of position, and prevented the power management system from executing a blackout recovery. Since key components of the automated power management system were damaged, the crew had to manually restore power to the 11kV switchboards.

The investigation determined that a defective vacuum interrupter (VI) caused a cascading electrical failure that ultimately caused the blackout. A VI is a sealed component with extremely high reliability and this particular failure was not previously envisioned as a possibility. A microscopic pinhole was found in a seam weld during forensic analysis of the VI. This allowed the VI to gradually lose vacuum and prevented the internal extinguishing agent from flooding the chamber to extinguish arcing when the breaker was opened and damaged the VI. This damage allowed voltage spikes that caused the failure of two MDG 6 potential transformers and the associated high-level faults. The defective VI was not identified and degraded slowly enough to avoid initiating alarms that would have indicated a VI issue. The degrading condition of the VI initiated the progressive failures that led to the complete blackout of this drillship.

The Coast Guard strongly recommends that owners and operators of mobile offshore drilling units (MODUs) and vessels equipped with DP2 and DP3 systems:

• Use an open-bus configuration as the preferred mode of DP operation while performing critical activities. This eliminates the possibility that an unforeseen failure could propagate through a closed-bus and limits the blackout to the affected bus while the unaffected bus(es) would retain some, although diminished, position keeping capabilities.

• Avoid conducting troubleshooting that may have unknown effects and cause a loss of power or position while DP MODUs or vessels are connected to the well (i.e., “latched up”) or conducting other critical activities. If power system components show signs of malfunction or intermittent faults, an open-bus configuration should be used to reduce the risk of blackout. In the event a critical generator alarm or an automated protection function is triggered, the affected generator should be isolated until the problem is identified through proper troubleshooting methods, to include review of the cause and effects associated with the alarm or safety function, review of available data logs, and consultation with the manufacturer(s) of the affected component(s).

• Follow DP guidance provided in the “DP Operations Guidance” prepared through the Dynamic Positioning Committee of the Marine Technology Society (MTS).

• Ensure proficiency in responding to DP system faults that require dynamic positioning operator or vessel engineer intervention, as discussed in Chapter 5 of MTS DP Operations Guidance, Part 2, Appendixes 1, 2 or 3, as applicable, to prevent escalation of the failure effect, loss of position, or actions that may circumvent the automatic protection initiated by the power management system.


5. Emissions trading

German shipowners have welcomed the provisional agreement on EU emissions trading for shipping agreed recently.
 
“We welcome the fact that the long phase of uncertainty about the concrete design of the EU emissions trading scheme and its application to maritime transport has now come to an end and that shipping companies will be finally able to plan accordingly. However, with a view to achieving our ambitious climate targets, we are still of the opinion that an international market-based measure within the framework of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) would be more effective,” says German Shipowners’ Association CEO Dr. Martin Kroeger.
 
“It remains important not to use the revenues from the EU ETS to plug other holes in the EU budget. The revenues from emissions trading must urgently be used for research and development of alternative fuels and their market readiness,” continues Kroeger.
 
“Therefore, it is a positive step into the right direction that the industry’s position was followed in the negotiations and that it was agreed to earmark funds specifically for the shipping sector under the EU Innovation Fund. Achieving the goal of maritime energy transition will only be possible, if we can make a market-ready technology commercially viable as well as accessible to a broad mass of ships worldwide. As shipping does not produce fuel itself, we can only look for solutions together. In terms of the percentages of the phase-in period, we would have liked to have as shipping industry a little more leeway. But we also understand that in the end a compromise must always be found.”
 
“The shipping industry will not be able to tackle the major task of decarbonisation alone. All stakeholders must be on board. European shipping companies are facing considerable additional financial burdens as a result of the EU measures. Shouldering this burden and remaining competitive at the same time is a challenge, which the shipping industry must not be left to deal with alone.”

The file on the revision of the EU Emissions Trading Directive has not yet been completed. Since not only shipping, but also other sectors are being negotiated in this dossier, final green light can only be expected within the next weeks.

The next, possibly concluding, trialogue meeting on EU emissions trading will take place on 15 and 16 December 2022.


6. Greenwashing

In a briefing by law firm HFW, Olivier Bazin and Jason Marett discuss how commodity traders and other users of commodity trade finance instruments can reduce greenwashing risks.

 

On the morning of 31 May 2022 German police raided the Frankfurt offices of German investment fund DWS and Deutsche Bank as part of a probe into allegations of greenwashing. This followed an investigation by BaFin, the German financial regulator and a probe by the SEC in the US. In October, HSBC was censured by the UK Advertising Standards Authority for making environmental assertions that omitted material information about its financing of activities that contribute to GHG emissions.

These enforcement actions are focussed on prevention of fraud and investor protection in financial services and it is clear that trade finance is not immune. As ‘green’ and sustainability-linked trade finance has surged in the past two years, so too have risks of greenwashing. Put simply, greenwashing occurs when a company falsely claims that something is greener that it really is. Everyone can agree that greenwashing is bad – it hurts investors as well as those companies engaged in genuinely ‘green’ or sustainable activities or financings. Ultimately greenwashing makes it harder to improve the sustainability of our economies because the legitimacy of genuine sustainability efforts is undermined.

Until recently there have been relatively few consequences for companies that engage in greenwashing. Industry players are now seeing an increasing risk of civil claims (eg from NGOs) or regulatory action against companies that make misleading green claims.

For the full story, see https://www.hfw.com/Trade-Finance-and-Greenwashing-Nov-2022.


7.  Arbitration changes

In September 2022, the UK Law Commission published a consultation paper with provisional recommendations for updating the Arbitration Act 1996 (the Act 1996). Amongst other things, the Law Commission considered whether any changes need to be made to: (i) s.67 of the Act 1996, which deals with jurisdictional challenges to arbitral awards; and (ii) s.69 of the Act 1996, which deals with appeals on points of law.

This article by Ince summarises the current rules and considers what changes, if any, the Law Commission proposes.

See https://www.incegd.com/en/news-insights/dispute-resolutionmaritime-appeals-arbitration-reform-required


8. Salary survey

Maritime HR, recruitment and executive search expert, Spinnaker, has revealed the results of its 2022 shore-based salary survey, comprising 41,000 jobs in the industry. The results show 192 jobs have either ‘environment’, ‘environmental’, ‘sustain’, ‘sustainability’, ‘governance’, ‘transition’, ‘carbon’, ‘ESG’, ‘Chief Environmental Officer’ or ‘change’ in the title.

Whilst this number does not sound high on the face of it, the data reveals that 29% of maritime organisations have at least one role dedicated to transforming business practices towards a more sustainable approach. This is in contrast to just 5 years ago, when ESG issues were mostly dealt with by marketing and PR departments rather than sustainability specialists. The maritime industry is making headway and taking action to prioritise sustainability, even if change is slow.

Teresa Peacock, Managing Director – Executive Search at Spinnaker commented: “Although the numbers of sustainability-focussed jobs don’t look high on the surface, progress is being made. On an almost weekly basis we have clients approaching us looking for candidates with sustainability experience and we’ve seen this kind of new-market dynamic before – think of the dot-com era and the rapid growth of the LNG sector. While the current holy grail is sustainability and maritime experience, there are only so many of these people to go round. This may explain the lower amount of dedicated sustainability jobs, as organisations must import people from other sectors, invest in existing people or poach from within the industry.”

The shore-based salary survey was prepared in October 2022, with responses provided by 88 shipping companies, comprising of Maritime HR Association members. To find out how to access the 2022 reports, take part in the 2023 survey or join the membership, please visit Spinnaker’s blog.
 


9. Demurrage portal

Voyager Portal has launched a new web-based tool for optimising the often complex demurrage process, while streamlining claim calculations and management.
 
Providing greater insight from port operations, the company’s new Demurrage Module reduces processing time by automatically capturing, logging and registering the data from SOFs (Statements of Fact) to help companies improve contracting and port operations.
 
“Demurrage has always been a risk factor and a significant cost in bulk and break-bulk shipping, especially during any supply chain disruption when problems with demurrage can be accentuated,” said Matthew Costello, CEO, Voyager Portal, adding that disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine has already seen dry bulk demurrage rates soar to US$70,000 per day for shipments from Russia.
 
“Extracting data from SOFs has always been a tough problem to solve, until now. Our new Demurrage Module helps our customers unlock insights and demurrage-saving opportunities 95% faster than they could before. Chartering, demurrage, and operations teams will see tremendous value from this new addition to the Voyager Portal product line.”
 
Demurrage teams would often spend days manually reviewing and processing each claim, but now the process takes minutes. After uploading SOF into the Demurrage Module’s parser, users can access via an easy-to-use dashboard automatically generated insights and metrics, such as port/berth congestion, average load/discharge rates, weather delays, and durations such as NOR to berth. Relevant events are then passed into a laytime calculator to evaluate deductions and create final demurrage estimates.
 
“With accurate and comprehensive  data in hand, insights can really help with demurrage claims and the upfront negotiation of contract clauses for COAs or spot deals,” said Costello.
 
“Enhancing shipping operations and demurrage through technology has always been Voyager’s core business. But this new tool is a real game changer for charterers, traders, shipowners, brokers, agents, surveyors, terminals, or any other group that makes decisions based on information extracted from Statements of Facts,” he said.


10. General Average

International freight transport insurer TT Club’s latest StopLoss publication, produced in collaboration with forwarders’ association, FIATA and the Global Shippers Forum (GSF), provides a straightforward summary of general average, along with essential good practice advice.

While the concept of General Average (GA) is widely utilised and is as old as maritime transport itself, it is a commonly misunderstood process. Its application as a result of a maritime accident often takes shippers (beneficial cargo owners, BCOs), and sometimes forwarders by surprise. Especially those without adequate cargo insurance.  GA’s complexities, owing to the amount and variation in value of cargo onboard modern-day large container ships, can be baffling.  The additional financial burden and extended delays in cargo delivery are also frustrating.

“This situation gave TT and our partners ample motivation to create one of our StopLoss advisory publications on the issue, as there is obviously a need for a clear explanatory guideline,” said Mike Yarwood, MD of Loss Prevention at TT.  “Experience shows that the system is an effective means of dealing with large and complex casualties.  However with container ships now capable of carrying in excess of 23,000 TEU, GA adjustment is likely to be an extremely complex calculation and the administrative burden placed on the interested parties is significant.”

GA is a globally applicable legal principle of maritime law by which extraordinary additional expenditure incurred during a voyage because of a defined incident can be recovered from all parties involved in the ‘maritime adventure’ on a pro rata basis against the ‘arrived’ value of goods and other property aboard.

“The concept of ‘maritime adventure’ sounds quaint,” comments Yarwood.  “But describes the total group of stakeholders involved in the voyage. GA is the system whereby the ship owner can recover the extraordinary expenses that are necessarily incurred following some maritime incident, in protecting the cargo and/or preserving the ship. The costs are apportioned between the ship, its bunkers (sometimes owned by a charterer of the ship) and stores, and the cargo (including the containers) in proportion to their value.”

The StopLoss publication   explains in detail the circumstances in which GA can be declared and who declares it, as well as the process of declaration and the appointment of a GA adjuster.  It goes on to outline the role of the adjuster including how bonds and guarantees are assessed and lodged, and how uninsured and LCL (less than container load) cargo is dealt with.

“It is essential that all freight forwarders understand GA to efficiently manage matters and set realistic expectations for their clients and represent their interests effectively.  Equally, BCOs need to understand their obligations, particularly where they have chosen not to purchase cargo insurance,” concludes Yarwood. As such a section of the StopLoss is dedicated to the actions required by each party and includes a useful checklist of preparations each can make in anticipation of a GA declaration effecting any of their cargoes.

The StopLoss publication can be downloaded free of charge HERE


11. Women in shipping

A new report identifies best practices to encourage women into a rewarding and safe career in shipping, combating the “outdated” image of the industry.

The shipping sector is working on attracting women and younger talent while trying to combat the stigma associated with a working industry often referred to as “outdated” and “old-fashioned”.

A project commissioned by the European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ECSA) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) addresses the issue of women being underrepresented in the sector. It reflects the necessity to adopt a creative approach to attract and include more women in the maritime industry, particularly in Europe.

The report, part of the joint Contributing to an Attractive, Smart and Sustainable Working Environment in the Shipping Sector (WESS) project (2020-2022) and funded by the European Union, is centred on Pillar 2, named “Enhanced participation of women in European shipping – The opportunity to increase gender balance in the EU maritime sector” and co-authored by Dr Kate Pike, Field Research, and Sue Terpilowski, of Image Line Communications .

The research was conducted throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, influencing the practice through the availability of research participants and the responses to the questions raised.

It consisted of literature reviews, industry surveys, expert interviews, an audit of European countries and three roundtable discussions. The findings that formed the basis of this robust and substantial research are all detailed in the full report.COVID-19 has notably increased the impact of issues experienced at sea, such as uncertain crew changes, closed borders to seafarers and heightened job insecurities. It has also “significantly changed the outlook for women’s employment status in the global job market, reducing their opportunities and work/life balance.” as mentioned in the report.

A clear message was repeated throughout the focus groups and the research. The maritime sector needs to show its commitment to being diverse and inclusive. Whilst there are many ways this can be done ashore, it can be more challenging to get these messages across onboard.

It is vital that companies take diversity seriously and act quickly if inappropriate behaviours are highlighted in the research if they wish to attract and retain women seafarers. Some of the issues raised from the research that need addressing are bullying, harassment and anti-social behaviours toward female seafarers. As part of this work, Image Line produced a set of free-to-download and personalised Diversity and Inclusion posters to be displayed onboard vessels and a booklet authored by Captain Ayse Asli Basak.

These are available from https://eumaritimewomen.org/, allowing companies to easily display this commitment on board and ashore.

Recommendations for immediate implementation include:

Centralisation of information – Encourage companies to implement best-sharing practices without waiting for legislation to force them into action. The EU Maritime/WESS websites can be expanded to become these central points. They will contain best practices, sample policies, guidelines and links to other useful information, such as gender-neutral vacancy adverts guidance etc.

Setting Targets – The International Chamber of Shipping Diversity Index (published November 2020) includes a set of objectives to significantly increase the number of women on board from 7.5% to 12% in the next three years and 25% in 20 years. This report recommends that everyone work to achieve these goals instead of trying to set others up and reduce the impact of these agreed goals.

Increase the percentage of women in the industry, including in management positions. The recommendation is to agree to set a target of at least 40% of women in maritime management positions within 20 years. Once the baseline data is gathered, percentages should be set for interval years starting from 2026.

Suitable PPE that meets the needs of all employees – Include in companies’ health and safety policy requirements for the provision of ergonomically suitable PPE that meets the needs of all employees. All vessels should stock feminine hygiene products and easily have proper procedures for their disposal.

Social dialogue and collective bargaining are crucial in promoting the role of women in the maritime industry, supporting life-long learning, work-life balance and tackling the gender pay gap, for instance. Strengthening social dialogue at all levels is essential in promoting gender diversity and equality, fighting gender stereotypes and gender discrimination

In addition, companies’ policies must include the following:
• Anti-harassment and bullying
• Flexible working
• Corporate diversity and inclusion policies
• Ensure suitable onboard accommodation and requirements for women seafarers

Companies’ best practices should include: Guidelines for stopping the usage of overly masculine language, which is widely used and associated with the maritime sector; a Code of Behaviour; Corporate diversity and inclusion; Flexible working patterns; Ensuring suitable onboard accommodation and requirements for women seafarers; Family friendly policies and practices; Maternal and Paternal policies; Childcare policy; Loss and miscarriage; Care for a family member; Breastfeeding; Remote working; Lone woman general best practice; Include in Health and safety policy requirements the provision of ergonomically-suitable PPE that meets the needs of all seafarers; Menstrual health and hygiene support.

Recommendations for policy changes include:
• STCW Basic Training to have a greater emphasis on diversity, culture and gender training.
• HELM, increase and enhance the diversity, culture and gender training to be a substantial part of the training with action plans and accountability. The DPA should undertake HELM training as well.
• Complaints and the role of the DPA – the DPA should be legally accountable for taking the appropriate actions in formal complaints of sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination.



 

Notices & Miscellany

Hapag-Lloyd award

Classification society DNV has awarded Container shipping line Hapag-Lloyd the DNV Excellence 5 Star Award for its use of international management systems to enhance its quality, safety, and environmental standards. Hapag-Lloyd was the first container shipping line to be certified with the Award in 2007 and has maintained compliance ever since.

Diversity publication

ICS has announced the release of the first edition of the Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit for Shipping. An essential new guide, developed to create awareness and inspire change in the strategies, policies and practices that will enable the maritime industry to meet the needs of the diverse seafarer community.

Order your copy of the book today. The Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit for Shipping is available in both print and ebook versions and is priced at £140. It will be officially launched in January 2023. See below for more information on what’s inside.

Find out more and order

GHG ambitions
A major discussion is taking place at MEPC 79 in July 2023 centred around the revision of the GHG ambitions as well as possible future carbon pricing and requirements.

DNV will be holding a briefing to discuss the issues on 20 December 2022

09.00 – 10.00 a.m. CET or

04.00 – 05.00 p.m. CET (UTC+1)

Choose session and sign up

Reducing emissions
ICS has today officially launched the first edition of an essential new guide to reducing GHG emissions from ships. Order your copies today.

The guide will help decision makers chart their way through the major technical and operational changes required to achieve the reduction targets for 2030, agreed by the UN International Maritime Organization (IMO).

Place your order now to be the first to receive delivery of this industry-leading Guide which is available in both print and ebook versions.

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)

TEN TOP THINGS NOT TO SAY ON YOUR ANNIVERSARY
 
10. I stopped caring about anniversaries when you stopped caring about cooking.

9. Today is our what?

8. Okay, let’s celebrate, but do we have to celebrate together?

7. I thought we only celebrated important events?

6. You can celebrate anniversaries with your next husband.

5. You don’t like what I pick out, so I thought why bother.

4. I got you a present worth a dollar for every time you were nice to me this year. Here’s a $5 gift certificate for McDonald’s.

3. If you want me to pretend like I care about our anniversary, I will.

2. You want to go out to dinner? Okay, okay, I’ll take you to Pizza Hut if it’ll shut you up.

1. I thought you only had to celebrate anniversaries while you were still in love.


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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