Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Where have all the boxes gone?

I know it is summer time, and all the best stories have gone to the seaside, but why is there this fixation about containers? People are hunting them like Snarks, allegedly complaining that their goods are stacking up in warehouses, because there are no boxes into which they can be stuffed. Continue reading

Defining exceptional

I am flexible. You are pragmatic. He is b…… unreasonable! Every picture, it has been said, (possibly by William Blake before he went mad) depends on the identity of the artist and where he is standing. It is really quite enlightening to read the various comments emerging from the participants at the IMO Diplomatic Conference on the STCW Convention and its various amendments held in Manila in June. Continue reading

The ISM code comes into its own

The many victims of maritime paperwork fatigue may, in the wake of Deepwater Horizon, soon have even more to bewail. Continue reading

Shout a little less

mikethumbI suppose with half a million tons of oil so far ejected into the Gulf of Mexico one is entitled to feel pretty angry with the response. Just as long as it is flowing, nobody will ever have done enough to mitigate its effects. Continue reading

Planning for next time: Matching resources with reality

Nostalgia, as the saying goes, isn’t what it used to be. Reminiscence is kinder; when we look back, in the mellow afterglow of selective memory, it often seems that everything either went according to plan or, at any rate, went just as we said it would. Hindsight is more rigourous. It means examining, understanding and learning from experience. Continue reading

A glimmer of hope?

Could it be that the circle of responsibility is widening? When the Clay Maitland blog was founded, one of its guiding principles was that matters of safety were by their nature matters of common responsibility too. Continue reading

Getting serious about risk management?

The Gulf of Mexico postmortems are landing with explosive force, even if the well has not yet been sealed. At what Churchill liked to call the root of the matter, there wasan inability to appreciate and apply a safety or risk management system to the drilling and operation of at least some exploratory and production wells on the U. S. outer continental shelf. Continue reading

Of whales and men

Live and let live is not a bad sort of maxim for the tolerant mariner, although he or she probably would distance themselves from the Norwegians, Japanese and citizens of the Faroe Islands in their enthusiasm for whale hunting. Continue reading

Quote and unquote

When Barack Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, is quoted – again and again – for having said “never allow a good crisis to go to waste”, we’re driven to grub through memory’s attic for other appropriate one-liners, adaptable for oil spill bloggery. Continue reading

Time to tackle the bottom feeders

Good to see that David Dearsley, who was once a mighty man in the International Shipping Federation, is enjoying his retirement and chairing an International Committee on Seafarers’ Welfare, which is undertaking a strategic review of the industry’s welfare provision. Continue reading