The Maritime Advocate–Issue 828


1. Pressing on regardless
2. Illegal recruitment fees
3. Emissions data
4. Safety innovation
5. Chamber website
6. Oil movement
7. Port practice
8. Mooring safely
9. Outlook for markets
10. Low carbon study
11. Carbon capture
12. Incompetence allegations
13. Recruitment guidance

Notices & Miscellany

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

1. Pressing on regardless

By Michael Grey

It all seemed so obvious. Rather than ships rushing across the oceans drinking huge quantities of expensive bunkers, to post a Notice of Readiness and then spend days or even weeks waiting at anchor for a berth, how much better it would be to coincide their arrival with a berth coming available. Efficiencies would be multiplied, less fuel would be consumed and most virtuous of all, harmful emissions would be minimised. What is there not to like?

The principle of this obviously desirable change, to a practice that has been around since well before mechanical propulsion, let alone marine radio communications, has been talked about for years. And in theory, all the various interests, when pressed, will affirm their support for a more modern and dynamic system that could do away with such a waste of effort, and the associated problems of crowded or unsafe anchorages. Shipowners’ organisations, regulators, organisations of port authorities, agents and charterers’ bodies will all appear enthusiastic about such a change. Indeed, one might have thought that some change has already taken place. In the liner trades, there has been something of an effort to improve matters, although good intentions were somewhat torpedoed by the post Covid chaos and terminals trying to cope with the attendant delays.

But it is clear that despite all the public expressions of good intentions, the requirement for ships to post Notice of Readiness on arriving at a port is a habit that persists. As always, it is seafarers who tend to inhabit the real maritime world and are able to detect the difference between what people might like and what really happens. In the latest Nautical Institute Seaways journal is a letter from a shipmaster who points out the costs, in terms of fuel and environmental harm that the retention of the “old ways” inflicts upon everyone.

He writes about a recent case where his ship was required by the charterer to steam at full speed in order to tender NoR at the port upon arrival. But having made his number, he was then, because of port congestion and rough weather that made the anchorage untenable, forced to steam up and down for a week before he could finally get alongside. He computed that his ship consumed some 126 MT of fuel during this period, while putting an additional 395.6MT of CO2 into the atmosphere. And at this one port that week, there were another five ships motoring up and down off the storm-wracked coast, awaiting their turn, wasting fuel and polluting.

Given good will between all the various parties – the charterer, port, agent, owner and stevedoring operation, it ought to be possible to put together a strategy that will mitigate, if not eliminate, all this wastage and environmental harm. But maybe that good will is the absent factor, as each of the various parties thinks about its own priorities. The charterers, who have an inbuilt mistrust of the owners and the veracity of the ship’s logbook, will still suspect that the ship is failing to perform as specified in the C/P. The owner will invariably mistrust the charterer and will be concerned that the ship will be blamed for a late arrival (even if it was not, in reality, late).

The port will have all its own problems with its schedules affected by all manner of imponderables, from rain to the shiploader breaking down, the landside logistics bunged up,  or the dockers all walking out and even if everything is running smoothly, has no effective means of keeping in touch with an approaching ship, via its hard-pressed agent. Even the master, who anticipates the worst in terms of delays when he gets there, may be far happier pressing on, just in case of a breakdown or weather delay. The waste of effort and environmental harm is just “what happens” in our imperfect world.

But there are ports where a real effort is being made to sharpen up communications between all the various parties, which is surely the key to improvement, with advanced data systems put in place. It is suggested that all parties gain from the efficiencies thus implemented by these best practices, with the poor old environment also helped. And with the world fleet slowing down to “save the planet”, the case for this promotion of efficiency becomes ever more urgent.

Michael Grey is former editor of Lloyd’s List

2. Illegal recruitment fees

The results of a new study of seafarers launched recently finds that over two thirds (70%) of seafarers who have experienced violations of their workers’ rights say they were either charged recruitment fees – an illegal practice that can result in significant levels of debt leading to forced labour conditions – or were victims of fake job offers after making advance payments. 

The Seafarers and Recruitment Fees research briefing, published by the Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB) and the Sustainable Shipping Initiative (SSI), surveyed almost 5,000 seafarers between September 2022 and February 2023. The research shows that of those who experienced illegal charging of recruitment fees, the large majority (71%) did not report it, in most cases because they didn’t know where to report such abuses.

The survey was conducted by TURTLE and designed by TURTLE in conjunction with the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN).

Frances House, Senior Advisor, Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB), said: “No worker should have to pay for their own job. But the reality remains that far too many seafarers continue to confront the illegal practice of recruitment fees. With 90% of world trade carried by sea, there is almost no company immune from needing to carry out their own due diligence on the issue of recruitment fees – from the shipping industry itself to commodity companies and high-street brands. This research exposes just how prolific recruitment fees are for seafarers – the time has come to end this illegal practice, and we will continue to work to ensure respect for the rights of seafarers everywhere.”

Seafarers interviewed for the research, whose identities have been protected, commented:

“In India, there are no jobs for seafarers who don’t give a bribe – only money or help from relatives will get you onboard.” (respondant from India)

“I have not seen a single company that does not deceive sailors or extort their money from them.” (respondant from Lithuania)

Mark Dickinson, General Secretary of seafarer union Nautilus International, said:  “Recruitment fraud and job scams are outrageous practices that can leave seafarers jobless and/or in serious debt. The charging of recruitment fees to seafarers is expressly prohibited under the Maritime Labour Convention – if it is as widespread as this research indicates, then governments and the shipping industry must take urgent and determined action to stamp out this illegal practice.”

According to the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN):  “Seafarers are instrumental in escalating and sharing data on integrity challenges; and the success of many companies’ Anti-Bribery and Corruption programmes lies in the engagement and empowerment of seafarers.  

“MACN’s efforts to support seafarers will deepen in the coming years, focusing on capacity building of young seafarers (the next generation of seafarers) and through collaboration with organisations and companies who work with seafarers daily.”

To rid the industry of illegal recruitment fees and minimise the risk of forced labour among seafarers, the research findings point to important steps and recommendations: 

● Shipping companies need to ensure that seafarers employed on board their ships have not been charged recruitment fees to secure their work contracts.
● Customers of shipping companies – including charterers, commodity companies and traders, and container cargo owners – must carry out human rights due diligence in line with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights across their value chains – this includes their shipping suppliers.
● As the payment of recruitment fees is prohibited under the Maritime Labour Convention, port state authorities must investigate any reports of the charging of recruitment fees.
● Home states (where recruitment agencies are based) must ensure that recruitment agencies do not charge fees for jobs, and importantly must enact and enforce penalties for such practices.
● Much greater awareness is needed of the illegality of the charging of recruitment fees, among seafarers, national authorities, ship operators and cargo owners.
● Effective mechanisms are needed to penalise offending agencies and as a remedy for seafarers who have paid illegal recruitment fees, including possibly, reimbursement by employers of fees already paid.
● Seafarers need to know how and where to report such practices.

Further qualitative research on this issue will be forthcoming from Mission to Seafarers.  

IHRB will be hosting a two-part panel on seafarers and recruitment fees on 14th June at the Global Forum on Responsible Recruitment.

The report is available on the IHRB website:
IHRB Recruitment Fees Briefing:

3.  Emissions data

DNV has launched Emissions Connect, an emissions data verification engine and data management platform, designed to help the maritime industry accurately assess and work with emissions data. The solution provides a trusted, verified source of emissions data that can be shared securely with all relevant stakeholders along the maritime value chain.

“Reducing emissions and reporting on progress is becoming increasingly important for the maritime industry and is set to have an impact on business that goes beyond regulatory compliance,” said Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, CEO, DNV Maritime. “Through providing real-time verified emissions data that the entire maritime value chain can share, trust and act on, Emissions Connect can serve as an important enabler to help the industry achieve its decarbonisation goal.”

While designed to support with the operational impact of multiple regulatory requirements and decarbonisation trajectories, Emissions Connect specifically addresses the needs emerging from the introduction of the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) to the maritime industry.

The EU ETS, due to be phased in from 2024, will require the Document of Compliance (DoC) holder – typically the ship manager – to surrender EU Allowances (EUAs) based on the annual level of emissions. Additionally, the CII rating measures how efficiently a vessel transports goods or passengers. The EU ETS will expose DoC holders to significant financial risk, as emission costs will be factored into contracts between stakeholders to ensure fair distribution. CII is becoming a factor in charter terms, creating balance sheet risk and impacting shareholder value, access to capital, and commercial attractiveness. In this context, the collecting, managing, and sharing of accurate and reliable data will be crucial.

“Reliable, verified data is necessary at every stage of the value chain for operational control and accurate accounting of emissions in order to facilitate commercial agreements,” explains Pål Lande, Digital Business Development Director at DNV Maritime. “Annual aggregated data reports will no longer be sufficient to manage and control ETS allowance and CII performance. Transparency on a trusted and verified voyage statement based on daily real-time reporting of data will be an essential basis of commercial contracts.”

Built on the Veracity Data Workbench that supports customers with a strong emissions data management solution, Emissions Connect offers a high-quality emissions data baseline that is digitally verified. Furthermore, it provides verified voyage statements that can be used as a trusted basis for emissions accounting and to facilitate ETS allowance settlements. The tool’s emissions performance simulation allows for projections of a vessel’s future CII score and for planning of EU ETS allowances, facilitating informed decision-making.

High-quality emissions data provided by the shipowner is verified by DNV and shared with customers for self-service in settlement of transactions or other purposes such as compliance reporting, exporting and secure sharing with partners and third parties, including banks and insurance companies adhering to the Poseidon Principles.

“Emissions Connect enables all parties in the value chain to work on the same trusted, verified and standardised dataset, or a single source of truth, which eliminates many of the data governance and trust issues arising from the traditional method of exchanging data via email,” says Lande.

4. Safety innovation

TT Club and ICHCA are once more partnering with TOC Europe to present the Safety Village at the Conference and Exhibition in Rotterdam (13th to 15th June).  The three organisations are providing a focal point for discussions, presentations and promotion of innovations that have either already led to a safer supply chain, or aim to in the future.

Following   last year’s Safety Village launch at TOC Europe and the Innovation in Safety Awards presented in February TT and ICHCA are continuing with their joint campaign to make the international supply chain a safer working environment for everyone involved in cargo handling, and more secure and sustainable for the cargoes and equipment involved in global trade.

Featuring an enlarged networking area and a stage with presentation facilities, the Safety Village will be the venue for workshops and panel sessions throughout the three days of the TOC Europe event. It will also provide opportunities for companies to showcase their innovative safety devices, processes and products. Dedicated exhibition pods for past entrants of the safety award will be available within the Village at a discounted rate offered by TOC.  The united aim is to champion safety in the supply chain and to help develop new solutions for managing risks.

Peregrine Storrs-Fox, Risk Management Director at the TT Club comments. “It has been TT’s consistent mission to increase the levels of safety across the myriad of operational functions that constitute the global supply chain. We are delighted that our campaign has continued to attract substantial interest across the industry, again demonstrating the depth of commitment that exists to enhance safety and the will to employ significant resources to minimise risk. The prominent positioning and extensive facilities of the Safety Village at TOC Europe will help bring together such like-minded companies and individuals to further the visibility of their innovations at this leading industry forum.”

Richard Steele, CEO of ICHCA International, the representative body for cargo handling operators  comments, “In the recent past, our efforts together with TT have helped promulgate safety innovations including Hapag-Lloyd’s Cargo Patrol that detects suspected mis-declared dangerous goods; terminal automation advances from Kunz and Yardeye in cooperation with CSX Terminals; VIKING Life-Saving’s fire suppressant systems, as well as safety devices developed by PSA International and Cargotec.”

“The awards early this year added to these with APMT’s Vessel Inspection Mobile App; Exis Technologies and Intermodal Telematics BV (IMT) innovative Tank Container Temperature Monitoring.  However there are many, many more innovative ideas  out there and we are committed to giving them the oxygen to grow.  The Safety Village at TOC in June will certainly fill the air with a fervour for safety.”

5.  Chamber website

The UK Chamber of Shipping has just launched its new website.  
 The new website will
·         allow users to tailor the content they want to see on their own member dashboard and automatically sign-up to the Chamber’s committees and panels
·         has a more in-depth events area allowing us to communicate more clearly about forthcoming events
·         provides a better platform for the Chamber to promote the issues that matter to members.
To make full use of the new website, including accessing the new member area, users will need to register for an account.

6. Oil movement

Signal Ocean has been considering  the evolution of oil flows amid the enforcement of EU sanctions on Russian oil.
The European Union embargo on Russian petroleum products took effect on 5 February and is based on the $60 oil price cap introduced on 5 December by the major G7 (Group of Seven) countries. In the first quarter of 2023, China, India and Turkey, in particular, increased their purchases to partially offset the decline in Russian crude oil exports to Europe.  Russian oil continues to enter Europe through the key Druzhba pipeline and via tankers across the Black Sea to Bulgaria, which are exempt from the EU embargo.

In January and February, Russia became the largest exporter of crude oil to China, overtaking Saudi Arabia, which last year ranked first among oil suppliers to the world’s second-largest economy. Despite the recent slump in Brent crude prices, China remains interested in buying cheaper Russian crude, and it remains to be seen whether this trend will continue for other Asian countries. 

As for oil prices, the first quarter has been characterised by a strong current downward correction, strongly supported by the turmoil in the European and American banking sectors. Brent crude oil prices have fallen about 10% since mid-March to less than $70/barrel, one of the lowest levels in the past year. However, the momentum reversed in the first few days of April, and oil prices are now on the rise again, with Brent crude trading above $80/barrel after Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and several Gulf states announced plans to cut oil production by more than one million barrels per day. Meanwhile, Russian oil production is expected to reach its monthly target of 500 million barrels per day, and this trend will not change through June.

In the wake of recent geopolitical tensions and oil price developments, seaborne oil flows have shifted from importing to exporting countries, with European and Asian countries rebalancing their sources of origin. Since Signal Ocean’s last Crude Oil Tanker Annual Review 2022, when the European ban on Russian crude was already in place, they have been looking at the new patterns of oil flows that have been emerging since the end of 2022. At this point in the year, following the enforcement of the EU ban on Russian oil products, Signal Ocean is reviewing the tanker market in the crude oil and clean tanker segment with a focus on oil flows using data from the Signal Ocean Platform.

7.   Port practice

On 18 April 2023, the European Parliament adopted the final EP-Council agreement for the revised EU Emissions Trading System (ETS).

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) said it welcomes the inclusion of maritime in the EU ETS as part of decarbonising shipping. “Europe’s ports have consistently called for an ambitious maritime EU ETS that makes the green transition of maritime possible, whilst protecting the competitiveness of European ports.

Whilst ESPO welcomes that a price tag is being put on the emissions produced by ships, the geographical scope of the EU ETS Maritime agreement could still lead to evasive port calls where shipping companies can avoid paying into the ETS by adding a call to a port outside the EU, or by reconfiguring their routes.

Evasion from the maritime EU ETS is a serious concern that continues to pose a threat to the credibility and robustness of the EU ETS for maritime. ESPO is therefore calling for the Commission to start monitoring and ensuring effective prevention of carbon and business leakage from EU ETS Maritime.

“Any evasion will threaten the integrity of the ETS, leading to higher emissions from longer voyages whilst failing to push shipping companies to green their operations. It will negatively affect employment and business activity in certain ports in the EU, and undermine their strategic role as hubs of transport, renewable energy, and connectivity.

“Early action is crucial as changes in port traffic and the reconfiguration of shipping routes are almost impossible to reverse once they occur,” the organisation says.

“It is a positive signal that the political agreement takes the risks of evasion into account, and ESPO appreciates that the Commission will monitor and report on the impacts of EU ETS Maritime on port traffic, port evasion and traffic shift of transhipment hubs. Europe’s ports strongly support that the Commission acts as soon as evasion is identified.”

ESPO also supports the co-legislators’ efforts to introduce a definition of “port of call” which excludes stops in container transhipment ports neighbouring the EU. “This will however not be enough to ensure that evasion cannot take place. The changes in traffic patterns and routes should not only cover the +65% transhipment neighbouring ports but all non-EU neighbouring ports.”

Finally, ESPO calls for the strategic use of revenues from EU ETS, where the decarbonisation of the sector will require significant investments in green refuelling and recharging infrastructure in ports. ESPO says revenues from the maritime ETS will support maritime decarbonisation through dedicated calls under the Innovation Fund, and calls for a significant part of the ETS revenues to be invested in ports in the EU via dedicated EU and national calls.

“We believe that the EU ETS maritime can be an effective instrument to boost the decarbonisation of shipping. With the current scope we fear however that shipping lines still have the choice either to go green, pay, or to divert their journey to limit or avoid the ETS charge altogether. This would have a reverse effect on emission reductions and would seriously harm the business of certain ports in Europe. The Commission must keep a serious eye on this from day one. If there is evasion taking place, the rules have to be adapted.” says Isabelle Ryckbost, ESPO Secretary General.

8. Mooring safely

The International Group of P&I Clubs has launched its second safety animation to help prevent injuries and loss of life during mooring operations.

Seafarers and shore personnel continue to be injured or killed during mooring operations. In the five policy years leading up to 2021, the International Group Clubs were notified of 858 injuries and 31 fatalities that occurred during mooring operations. To assist the industry to tackle the technical aspects of mooring operations, The ISM Code, the Code of safe working practices for Merchant Seafarers (COSWP) and the Oil Companies International Marine Forum’s (OCIMF) Mooring Equipment Guidelines have been developed.

This animation focuses on the human factors and influencing circumstances on human performance in the lead up to and during mooring operations.

The overriding message of the animation is Stop, Think, Stay Alive and each scenario is accompanied by guidance notes which can be downloaded below.

The six acts comprise:

1.       Understanding the operation and risks
2.       Time pressure
3.       Staying aware of risks
4.       Rushing tasks
5.       Using the master’s overriding authority
6.       Speak up when in doubt

For more details see the International Group website at

9. Outlook for markets

Law firm Seward & Kissel has published its market outlook for the industry going forward with an analysis of how things developed during the last year.

“The outlook for the US and global shipping capital markets at the start of 2022 was optimism. The strong rate environment in the container and the dry bulk sectors that began the prior year was continuing and the fundamentals were in place for the recovery in the tanker sector that began during the first quarter. The strong earnings results fuelled by this rate environment resulted in stock prices across many sectors not seen in recent years, typically a key indicator of opportunities in the equity capital markets. Equally important, the most extreme and uncertain impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had dominated global economic outlook since early 2020, were finally receding. Despite these favourable conditions, or in some cases because of them, 2022 did not meet the expectations established early in the year.

“One contributing factor to the relatively low level of capital market activity was the strength of the shipping sector itself. The strong balance sheets of many container and dry bulk operators going into 2022 meant that they simply did not need additional capital, and the use of those balance sheets to de-lever was a popular strategy in 2022. Additionally, the disciplined orderbook across all sectors, driven in part by  reluctance to invest in new tonnage until there was greater consensus on the next generation of propulsion and other decarbonisation technologies, reduced the immediate need for capital.

“Macro-economic forces also posed considerable headwinds to shipping and non-shipping markets alike in 2022. As the economic uncertainty of the global pandemic was waning early in the year, it was quickly replaced by the impacts of the tragic events occurring in Ukraine. This continuing conflict, together with increasing fears of a pending global recession and stubborn inflation, contributed to a persistent market volatility that is not conducive to investor confidence, and, as a result, robust capital market activity. While the significant decline in new SPACs may account for a large portion of reduced IPO activity in the US, global capital market transactions by value were down more than 60% from the prior year.”

For more details see: Shipping Capital Markets: 2022 Highlights (

10. Low carbon study

A study on the readiness and availability of low- and zero-carbon ship technology and marine fuels, commissioned by IMO under its Future Fuels and Technology for Low- and Zero-Carbon Shipping Project (FFT Project), has been submitted to the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 80).

Amongst the key findings, the study suggests that achieving a more ambitious decarbonisation pathway than business as usual is feasible, with a strengthened level of ambition and implementation of further GHG reduction measures.

The study was completed by Ricardo-AEA Ltd and DNV, under the first phase of the FFT project. The project was launched in September 2022, to support GHG emissions reduction from international shipping. It provides technical analysis to the Organization in support of policy discussions held in the Committee and its subsidiary bodies.

On the basis of the identified state-of-play and projections on global uptake and dissemination of low- and zero-carbon marine technology and fuels, the study assesses different decarbonization scenarios for international shipping.

The main findings, including a summary report of the study, have been submitted to MEPC 80 (MEPC80/INF10), in order to help inform Member States as they work towards the revision of the Initial IMO GHG Strategy by providing a feasibility analysis on possible strengthened levels of ambition.

The study was partly funded by the IMO GHG TC Trust Fund. The final report can be downloaded from the FFT project webpage.

11.  Carbon capture

The Lloyd’s Register (LR) Maritime Decarbonisation Hub’s Zero-Carbon Fuel Monitor has found that although technology readiness is high, the formation of viable economic cases for each player in the supply chain is needed to scale up adoption of Onboard Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage (OCCUS).

The research has found that technology readiness for OCCUS is significantly higher than its investment and community readiness, largely due to the development and usage of carbon capture technology outside of the maritime industry.

To see the potential benefits of OCCUS adoption, the readiness assessment highlights that regulations will need to be updated to address the practical challenges, including carbon accounting and how OCCUS aligns with MARPOL regulations. There is also a need for significant infrastructure scaling and investment for onboard and offloading solutions to drive adoption. Additionally, safety and operational factors surrounding offloading of liquified CO2 as a result of the carbon capture process need to be considered.

Outlining the need for an increase in investment readiness for OCCUS, the report concludes that evidence is required to validate the real-world performance of onboard capture technology, to ensure adopters can be assured of the technology’s emission reduction credentials.

The research suggests the solutions could play a significant role in the shipping industry’s journey towards zero carbon emissions, with OCCUS considered as a mid-term ‘step’ for ship operators and owners. OCCUS technology has potential for existing vessels where conversion to zero carbon fuel is cost prohibitive, thus increasing the lifetime of an asset.

Charles Haskell, Director, LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub said: “The maritime industry needs decarbonisation solutions that reduce emissions in the short to mid-term, and carbon capture can be a transitional tool for operators and owners to do this. LR Maritime Decarbonisation Hub’s research emphasises the need to focus on providing demonstrable evidence that OCCUS systems can help owners in meeting interim emissions regulations with existing vessels.

“The research also underlines the need for maritime supply chain stakeholders to come together, to ensure that the required infrastructure is developed and implemented to allow the industry to use the solutions which score high on technology readiness.”

The publication of the research follows this week’s announcement that LR has been selected by the Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation (GCMD) to carry out an industry first concept study into offloading liquefied CO2 as part of the carbon capture process, addressing the requirement for infrastructure and safety as part of the OCCUS process. LR has also been involved in a number of other carbon capture projects, including the Approval in Principle for Value Maritime’s Filtree system and Rotoboost’s pre-combustion carbon capture solution.

Download the report here

12. Incompetence allegations

Caution is advised before attacking a pilot’s capability or the safety status of a port warns an article to be found on the Baltic website penned by Tom Macey-Dare KC, Martin Dalby, and Joshua Thomson, Ince.

 In the charterparty dispute London Arbitration 2/23, (2023) 1129 LMLN 2, the arbitral tribunal rejected the owner’s claim for damages for breach of the safe port warranty in a time charterparty, after a laden bulk carrier grounded at the entrance to the port of Chaozhou, China, while under compulsory pilotage. It also held that the vessel was unseaworthy, in breach of Article III.1 of the Hague Rules, due to lack of proper charts, but found on the facts that this was not causative of the grounding.

In this case, the owner chartered its panamax bulk carrier to the charterer for a time charter trip via safe ports from Indonesia to China with bulk coal. The charterer ordered the ship to load at Muara Satui and discharge at Chaozhou.

Ships entering the port of Chaozhou are required to proceed along a buoyed approach channel and then make a turn to starboard into the harbour basin. The port entry is not difficult and does not require tug assistance.

Because of the ship’s laden draft, it had to remain within the dredged deepwater channel which runs along the centre of the buoyed channel. The channel buoys mark the fairway, which is wider than the dredged channel.

For the full story see

13. Recruitment guidance

The British International Freight Association has launched this week a regular monthly online event for members that may be thinking about hiring apprentices but need some help navigating the perceived red tape surrounding the apprenticeship landscape.

The online events, which started today (April 21) will last 45 minutes. Participants will gain an understanding of the administration involved including school engagement, the recruitment process, candidate onboarding, cost implications, as well as some tips from BIFA’s own experience. There will be further events on May 26 and June 16 and interested persons can register on BIFA’s website:

The trade association that represents UK freight forwarding and logistics businesses has been vocal in its assertion that apprentices can be a key component for members as they seek to address the recruitment difficulties facing the sector.

Carl Hobbis, one of BIFA’s executive directors, who has responsibility for the trade association’s training and development programme, including apprenticeships, says: “It is vital that we continue to attract the younger generation to the sector. The recruitment of freight forwarding apprentices will do that whilst equipping them with the knowledge and skills to face the challenges ahead in the post-Brexit and post Covid-19 world.”

He says that the International Freight Forwarding Specialist Apprenticeship, which BIFA helped create in 2018, is an ideal entry point for the industry with over 1,000 apprentices already having started on the pathway, with great success.

Most of BIFA’s 1,600 members are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and the trade association will be using its own experience of employing its first apprentice to showcase to those members the actions needed to take the first steps in the apprentice recruitment process.

Hobbis adds: “BIFA members that are large organisations are likely to have their own teams to look after processes involved in apprentice recruitment, and we know that many have programmes in place that are already delivering results.

“As an SME ourselves, when we considered recruiting an apprentice, we had some concerns, but like many things that can appear daunting on paper, the recruitment process and subsequent administration work has proved to be straightforward.

“So, we hope that a demonstration of our own experience will encourage even more of the BIFA members that are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to do the same and hopefully give a young person, or two, an opportunity to develop a career in logistics.

“I will be hosting the monthly events, but participants will hear first-hand from communications manager Natalie Pitts and our apprentice Brooke Neilson who will share their experiences.

“Industry promotion is one of BIFA’s key roles and part of that is encouraging logistics as a career path and attracting new talent to the freight forwarding and logistics industry.
“Apprenticeships are one avenue, as is our school engagement programme, as well as our Freight Development Pathway initiative, which aims to help identify, attract and train suitable candidates from outside of the freight forwarding and logistics sector for career opportunities with members of BIFA.”

Notices & Miscellany

Spinnaker conference

Spinnaker’s Maritime People and Culture Conference is  due to take place in London on May 11th and 12th at the Grand Connaught Rooms. Diversity, equality and inclusion will be topics on the agenda and more details of the conference are available on the website:

Click here to find out more and book your ticket


MLC update
The International Chamber of Shipping says the new edition of Guidelines on the Application of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention can now be pre-ordered. Order your copy today. More than ten years have passed since the entry into force of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention (MLC), which is now strictly enforced on a global basis and subject to Port State Control inspection. This ICS publication is the comprehensive and definitive guide to the MLC.
The revised fourth edition addresses the wide range of MLC provisions including the 2022 updates, which will enter into force in December 2024, covering:
• Appropriately-sized personal protective equipment;
• Drinking water quality;
• Repatriation of abandoned seafarers;
• Repatriation of deceased seafarers;
• Medical care;
• Social connectivity;
• Information on rights concerning compensation; and
• Recording and reporting of deaths

The new edition of Guidelines on the Application of the ILO Maritime Labour Convention is priced at £150, find out more and order direct from ICS Publications. This guide is available in print and digital ebook.


Safety at sea

NAMEPA (North American Marine Environment Protection Association) has announced that it will be holding its annual Safety at Sea Seminar as an in-person event at The AGU Conference Center in Washington DC, on Thursday, May 18th beginning at 1:30EDT. This annual event will be enhanced by the presentation of the United States Coast Guard’s AMVER awards to shipowners.

Geo-political stressors, decarbonisation initiatives, at risk implementation of new technologies, inflationary pressures and the cost-of-living squeeze impact the day to day of shipowners, their crews and supportive industries. Join RDML Wayne Arguin of the United States Coast Guard, as well as the American Club’s Joe Hughes- Chairman of NAMEPA and INTERMEPA- along with Diana Shipping’s CEO Semiramis Paliou- Chairman of HELMEPA and Vice Chairman of INTERMEPA- as they along with industry colleagues participate in the discussion of “Safety at Sea” in these pivotal times.

The afternoon event will be followed by Vice Commandant Steven Poulin of the United States Coast Guard presenting the AMVER Awards for industry voluntarism and commitment to Safety at Sea.  

View The Agenda!
Register Here!

Mare Forum

Mare Forum is back in Oslo on June 5, one day before the start of NorShipping. Historically all top executives in Norway have backed and attended the yearly event in Oslo. There is an interesting mix of panelists from Norway and beyond to start the discussion about various shipping topics.

Register and more Information

Stella Maris appointment

Stella Maris has announced that Tim Hill MBE has been appointed as the new National Director and CEO of Stella Maris, effective from 1st June 2023. Tim succeeds Martin Foley who has held the post for the last 13 years and has moved on to be the CEO of Arise, an anti-slavery NGO.

Please notify the Editor of your appointments, promotions, new office openings and other important happenings:

And finally,

(With thanks to Paul Dixon)

Murphy’s Laws Of Computing

* When computing, whatever happens, behave as though you meant it to happen.
* When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, it’s probably obsolete.
* The first place to look for information is in the section of the manual where you least expect to find it.
* When the going gets tough, upgrade.
* For every action, there is an equal and opposite malfunction.
* To err is human .  .  .  To blame your computer for your mistakes is even more human, it is downright natural.
* If at first you do not succeed, blame your computer.
* A complex system that does not work is invariably found to have evolved from a simpler system that worked perfectly.
* The number one cause of computer problems? Computer solutions offered by family members. No one ever says “It’s only a game,” when their team is winning.



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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