Seafarers- heart and soul of the industry

Sep 11 2015

Seafarers must continue to be seen as the ‘heart and soul’ of the shipping industry, shipmanagement organisation InterManager said.

President Gerardo Borromeo stressed that InterManager will continue to support initiatives to enhance personnel skills and competencies on board ship and ashore.

Addressing InterManager’s Annual General Meeting held in London this week, coinciding with London International Shipping Week (LISW), Borromeo said InterManager was working closely with partner organisations and member companies on initiatives, such as the Martha Project, which addresses concerns on seafarer fatigue, as well as introducing psychometric testing aimed at better identifying core skills and excellence in seafarers.

He said: “We have also completed a wide ranging crew communication survey and helped produce a glossary of terms used in satellite communications in co-operation with Futurnautics.”

A lot of work still needs to be done in areas such as the continuous professional development of human resources on board ship and onshore. He explained: “It is through quality people that we will ultimately achieve the results we strive for. But by using benchmarking tools, such as the Shipping KPIs, we can help to better manage and define processes and expected output. It is important that InterManager engages all shipping stakeholders to encourage long term strategic thinking, planning and decision making.”

A significant development in the last 12 months was the finding of a permanent home for the Shipping KPI project, which was originally developed to help provide an industry wide benchmark standard. 

“Last June, we concluded an important agreement with BIMCO to take the shipping KPI project into its next phase. As a standalone initiative under the stewardship of BIMCO, it is undoubtedly on the way to serving the industry as a sustained benchmarking tool.

“This is a collaborative achievement that InterManager can be proud of, and is testament to the vision of our past leaders and the tenacity of our many members who have helped to create an important standard, driving towards safer and sustainable shipping in the future.

“At this year’s CMA annual conference I shared the view that ‘in an environment challenged by cost constraints and uneven cycles of boom and bust, InterManager’s mantra should remain steadfast and espouse the need to drive and press for enhanced operating efficiencies through focused outsourced management services.

“This approach is encapsulated in what I referred to then, and suggest again today, direction focused on a ‘Triple C’ approach - Consolidation, Collaboration and Co-operation. This approach fosters scale in operations and serves as an effective way to diversify operating risk, which I firmly believe should be the name of our game. If we are to ensure the sustainability of our businesses and of shipping as the industry that ‘moves the world’, the ability of shipmanagers and crew managers to deliver a significantly more complete platform of support services is not only an important strategic consideration, you might almost say that it is - the way forward,” he said.

InterManager will continue its NGO presence at the IMO. Borromeo said: “Through the comprehensive summaries prepared by Capt Paddy McKnight, covering in particular technical matters involving the human side of shipping, we will continue to keep our members updated on the latest discussions and developments coming from Albert Embankment. We will also maintain an active role in discussing international legislative matters on behalf of the shipmanagement sector.” 

InterManager has been active over the past year submitting and or co-sponsoring the following papers at the IMO - PSC Guidelines under the Ballast Water Convention; Places of Refuge; Implementing e-Navigation to enhance the Safety of Navigation and Protection of the Environment; Information Paper on Safe Manning Levels; and the Fair Treatment of Seafarers.


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