Clay Maitland

On a quest for quality in shipping

Quality? …. Far too expensive!

If you so desire, you can send 20 tons of cargo all the way from Antwerp to Shanghai, or, indeed, from the Chinese superport to North Europe, for less than the price of sending one person in economy class in an aeroplane. I was listening to a French shipowner last week Francis Vallat, speaking at the BIMCO 39 meeting in Paris, noting that when marine transport was concerned, the cost of transport “has ceased to count”. Continue reading

Sustainability – who pays for it?

Sustainability has been the theme of German shipowner Robert Lorenz-Meyer, during his two years as BIMCO President which ended last week in Vancouver at the organisation’s General Meeting. Continue reading

Crime without punishment is crime without end

Having invoked the ire of Intertanko with my last blog entry on, I thought I would try to provide some constructive ideas on tackling piracy as urged to do by the association’s security officer. Continue reading

Beware of regulatory protectionism in shipping

Who remembers the picture of a six foot high tanker captain standing on the deck of his ship with a terrifying pile of rules, regulations, recommendations, byelaws, and other improving texts towering over him? I cannot recall the caption but the stark warning was that if he failed to read any of this immense wordage, he could end up in the slammer. Continue reading

Solutions for EU manning crisis

Sir Robert Coleman, who once ran the transport directorate in Brussels and now monitors the EU for BIMCO, is to head up a taskforce to find solutions to the regional crisis facing maritime recruitment. It is one of those problems which sounds a lot easier to solve than it really is, once the full scale of the problem is revealed. Continue reading

You need to know the numbers

Like it or not, seafaring skill is a global commodity, and it is important to know what is what, and who is where. Seafarers are not the flexible friends they were in the past, but becoming as specialised as their ships are, and the provision of their skills are as important as the ships themselves. Continue reading