Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Things to do next year

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. Continue reading

Lessons learned again?

April is said to be the cruelest month. It is memorable for disasters, from the Titanic to Texas City, Deepwater Horizon and so on. Continue reading

Does industry lack integrity when it comes to dangerous cargo safety?

Shipping industry conspicuously silent about Vinalines Queen death toll Continue reading

The mind of a man

As everyone from the popular media to the ship’s operators queue up to condemn the master of the Costa Concordia, how many of his accusers takes a moment to consider for a moment what must have been going through the mind of that man as he felt the rocks bite into the port side of his huge ship? Continue reading

The changing face of flag authorities

QUALITY and performance standards are, in these times of economic woe, often more important to the struggling shipowner and operator than back in the days when money grew on trees — or seemed to.

“Value is where you find it,” one owner recently remarked. “Particularly operational value. I have to run my ships. I need professional knowledge to do that. Knowledge — or skill — costs money. Competent professional skills must be two things: available and affordable.”

A great but little-noted change that has taken place in the last few years has been loss of seasoned, competent professional talent. Perhaps because of its expense, shipboard and shoreside establishments are becoming leaner.

There is less experience, at any price it seems, to be found on board ship; less… Continue reading

Marintec China 2011

As NAMEPA’s (North American Marine Environment Protection Association) founding chairman I was asked to speak at the recent Senior Maritime Forum held in conjunction with Marintec China 2011 in Shanghai. Continue reading

Oversight, assessment of risk and management: Part 3

As we all know the ISM Code was adopted by IMO in 1993. The Code was drafted as a self-contained document. However, its provisions were bought into force internationally when, at the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Conference in 1994, compliance with its provisions became mandatory under a new Chapter IX to the SOLAS Convention. The Code differs from other quality assurance systems in that it is mandatory; it has been amended over the years, and is generally incorporated in OPA ’90. Continue reading

Oversight, assessment of risk and management: Part 2

In my last post I began looking at risk management and would like to elaborate further and see how this applies to shipping, the offshore oil industry, and particularly oil spills? Continue reading

Piracy – time to recognise reality

Around the commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, various clever people were trotted out on the media to criticise President George W Bush for his “war on terror” phrase. Continue reading

Dangerous deck cargo?

In the frenetic rush to get a big containership through a terminal, is there enough time to consider exactly what nasties might be in the boxes that are classified as dangerous deck cargo? Continue reading

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