Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Things to do next year

Posted on | November 28, 2012 | 1 Comment

Many of us are compulsive list makers and I’m no exception as lists become more important as memory falters. So, with New Year resolutions little more than a month away, here are a few things for the shipping industry to think about in the upcoming year. There is no particular order and only 20, so you might think, ambitiously, that there is room for more.

  1. Sort out the language problems before a serious accident is caused or contributed to by linguistic incomprehension.
  2. Get to grips with the fatigue problem, now we know what it is through the UK Horizon Project, and why it matters.
  3. Beware of SEEMP and the risk of underpowered ships being terribly green, but washed up on a lee shore, thus angering environmentalists.
  4. Get rational about the environment and tell the greens they must come after sensible economics in the present global situation.
  5. Be realistic about the Ballast Water Convention and the impossibility of fitting umpteen ships with adequate equipment, in time.
  6. Beat off the loonies of the Basel Convention who would kill off a ship recycling sector, trying hard  to improve its safety.
  7. At least begin a revision of the 1969 Tonnage Convention, responsible for frightful designs and dead seafarersalike.
  8. Take a robust line on the criminalisation of people who make errors at sea, telling keen prosecutors who have never taken a risk in their lives, what seafarers deliver.
  9. Keep the manufacturers under control at the IMO before they convince us we need more of their arguably unnecessary gubbins.
  10. Redesign containerships to make them more resilient and less likely to lose half their cargo overside and to flood if holed.
  11. Empower the seafaring profession by showing them a modicum of respect when you board their ships.
  12. Fend off shippers and charterers interfering in operational matters beyond their legitimate rights.
  13. Revisit the ISPS Code – 10 years on it must be capable of some modest improvement, with some port/ship parity being welcome.
  14. Stop e-navigation getting completely out of hand and causing practitioners to forget first principles – “look out of the b…. window”.
  15. Practice flag discrimination – discriminate against awful or incompetent ship registers.
  16. Don’t wait until doomsday to get proactive on passenger ship safety – like evacuation, recovery or damage stability, for a start.
  17. Devise piracy procedures that can be exported between areas of risk that don’t involve seven kilometres of razor wire.
  18. Promote the coast and short sea shipping – you know it makes sense but it is under threat from green policies.
  19. Take crew welfare seriously – read the small print in the MLC and act upon it and lastly……
  20. Let’s have a blitz on awareness and about why we all depend upon ships and those who run them, afloat and ashore.


One Response to “Things to do next year”

  1. Chris Allport (Retd Captain, FNI)
    December 1st, 2012 @ 1:12 pm


    Put a memo in the diary for 28 November 2013 to review your very relevent list and see if the shipping industry took note and how many of the 20 items they paid attention to.

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