Page 15: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q4 2012)

The Environment: Stewardship & Compliance

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Experience teaches us ? and we hear it at conference after conference ? that ship operation is largely about metrics, algorithms and key performance indi- cators. Does this mean, as some fear, yielding to the temptation to cut corners on quality, safety and risk management? A decade ago, great faith was placed in the International Safety Management (ISM) Code, and a hopeful new dawn in the achievement of ?safer ships, cleaner seas.? The tanker, containership, dry and liquid bulk, and cruise shipping sec- tors, as well as  ag and port states, rose to the occasion. The statistics gathered by the International Maritime Organiza- tion, and the leading port state MOUs, bear witness to signi cant progress. What is less clear is whether this is last-ing progress, or just a ?golden age,? fad- ing into the past. The ?education minis- try? embraced by NAMEPA?s members is aimed at addressing the declining role of experienced seafarers in the shore-based operations of shipping companies. This problem began to appear during the last major shipping recession, in the 1970s. Today, increasingly, management deci- sions are made by businessmen (rarely women) whose experience is more likely to originate in the ?C-suite? or board-room, rather than on the bridge of a ship. The decline of risk awareness, and risk management, is admittedly a long story. We can measure it in the casualties of the past: Torrey Canyon, Amoco Cadiz, and Deepwater Horizon, just to mention a few celebrated environmental disasters. There have been changes, down through the years. The cost of liability, and a failure to embrace sound safety management practices, has grown vastly in recent years. A relatively small con- tainership, aground on the coast of New Zealand, can drown any owner or opera- tor in extraordinary costs and expense. So there is a very practical aspect to NAMEPA?s mission: when the cost of bunkers has soared to something in the area of 50% of total operating costs, and where, as we are now seeing, aggressive regulation is forcing new ships to reach a 10% improvement in energy ef ciency by MP #4 1-17.indd 15MP #4 1-17.indd 1511/12/2012 12:09:57 PM11/12/2012 12:09:57 PM

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Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.