Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Maritime TV’s ‘Mondays with Maitland’- The Importance of Passing the Coast Guard Authorization Bill Now

In this fifteenth interview in the series, Maitland discusses the importance of passing the U.S. Coast Guard Authorization Bill, currently held up in the U.S. Senate over the cargo preference provision… Continue reading

Interview with Clay Maitland, NAMEPA – Posidonia 2014

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The pirate navigator

Talk to any pilot these days and you will hear some tales to make your hair stand on end about the curious forms of navigation being practised aboard many of the ships they see in and out of port. Interesting comparisons are made possible between the ship’s electronic chart display and the pilot’s personal portable pilot unit, which can reveal that the ship appears to be several miles inland, or proceeding down channels which have yet to be excavated.

Worrying revelations emerge from accident investigations, which tell the world that the ship would be normally navigated using the master’s laptop, upon which was some software purporting to be a current chart, and which he bought from a man he met in a bar in Bremen. Pilots due to take… Continue reading

Sea Fever

For somebody who wandered around the world’s oceans without a care in the world some 40 years ago, it is worth considering how very hazardous they have become. Sure, nobody of my generation had to contend with U-boats, either then or now, but the sheer volume of nastiness that there is afloat today sometimes takes the breath away.

Pirates seem fewer in the Indian Ocean, but seafarers still have to be on their guard, still wreathed in razor wire, accompanied by armed guards and rehearsing the mad dash to the citadel, should the blighters be sighted. Sea trade shouldn’t be like this in the 21st century. In the waters of south east Asia the pirates seem to have graduated from stealing Amex cards and the contents of the ship’s… Continue reading

Speak your weight!

The road safety authorities in the Netherlands have a map of their country’s road system, upon which are marked the serious accidents which have taken place when containers, either overweight or inexpertly loaded, have fallen off trucks as they drove around corners or negotiated roundabouts. The German authorities, they say have the same sort of pictorial track of their accidents and joined up, provide a grim catalogue of bad practice stretching all the way into Eastern Europe.

What this perfectly illustrates is the obvious truth that while it is important that people loading containers onto ships need to have verifiable and reliable weights to hand, by the time these boxes arrive at the terminal gates it is already far too late. Last week saw this being emphasised by the… Continue reading