This move reflected a concerted effort by the class society to expand its presence in a region of strategic importance to the marine industry.
With over 40 offices in its network, the Northern European marine operations centre provides service support to client operations in 24 countries across the region. Of these, the German maritime sector represents a growing client base for ABS. Its clients include owners across all shipping sectors and increasingly in the offshore market.
ABS provides classification services to 28.1% of the German-owned tanker fleet with well-known clients in this sector including Ernst Jacob, V Ships, Hellespont and Columbia Shipmanagement. ABS employs 26 surveyors in Germany with stations in Haan and Augsburg in addition to the Hamburg office.
The Hamburg office allows convenient access to ABS’ global resources, including its growing number of researchers and operational and environmental performance professionals.
Together with the broader industry, ABS is moving from a rule development process that was traditionally prescriptive to one where we are able to collaborate with industry and the regulators themselves. The application of a more risk-based approach to rule-making enables us to assess novel concepts and have fundamental methodologies in place to make an assessment and facilitate the approval of that concept.
Our core classification efforts are backed up by a programme of research and development on a global basis, driven from the ABS Corporate Technology department in Houston. This ‘ecosystem of innovation’ spans Brazil, Canada, South Korea, Singapore and China, enabling us to engage with industry and academia on joint development projects that anticipate future needs and developments.
Local tanker owners are increasingly looking to the Hamburg regional office as the gateway to vessel optimisation and performance verification services provided by the ABS Asset Performance Management (APM) group.
The APM Group, which combines the operational and environmental performance (OEP) team, the asset integrity performance (AIP) team and ABS Nautical Systems works across newbuilding and existing vessels, developing the concepts, tools and practices needed by clients to improve their vessels’operational efficiency, simplify regulatory compliance and improve safety.
ABS is also providing support to owners during the implementation of ballast water management systems. Whether seeking to comply with incoming global, or US Coast Guard rules, the ABS Environmental Solutions Group provides expert advice on the latest regulatory developments, as well as resources, to assist owners in selecting the equipment and systems that best fit their needs.
*This article was written by Wolfgang Buttgereit, Vice President, Northern European Region, ABS.