News Digest 04-Jul-2022

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Following Stories compiled in this News Digest for the week from 27 Jun 2022 to 03 Jul 2022 in descending order:


India: Towards greener marine shipping: MDL launches FCEV

03 Jul 2022
In a step towards achieving green shipping, Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited (MDL) located in Mumbai has successfully launched Fuel Cell Electric Vessel (FCEV) prototype. This is the very first hydrogen boat prototype which has been conceptualized and developed by MDL with technology partners – Tata Advanced Systems Ltd & Vijai Marine Services Pvt Ltd.

Hydrogen fuel cells can be used in a wide range of applications, including transportation, material handling, stationary, portable, and emergency backup power applications. Image Source:

This FCEV will use a green hydrogen cell system and it is a 6 passenger boat. The boat according to an official statement of MDL is fitted with a 6 KW Electric OBM, a 10.2 KWH Battery Fuel Cell System.

It has the capability to run for almost 22 hours with compressed Hydrogen filled in PESO approved Cylinders. Hydrogen fuel cell systems have zero toxic emission, few moving parts with low heat and acoustic signature.

Earlier this year, keeping in pace with Global Maritime Transitions, Cochin Shipyard Ltd (CSL) was identified by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to develop the country’s indigenous Hydrogen Fuelled Electric Vessels.

It is based on Low Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Technology (LT-PEM) called Fuel Cell Electric Vessel (FCEV).

This new Hydrogen Fuel cells technology is environment friendly, with zero emission, direct current (DC) power source is now being developed for marine application. This technology has several applications and can be used not only in transportation but in material handling, emergency backup power applications, and stationary, portable, and emergency backup power applications. Reference


Mayflower Autonomous Ship Completes Historic Atlantic Crossing

02 Jul 2022
Just over two months after setting off from England, and with two unplanned “pit stops,” the uncrewed Mayflower Autonomous Ship (MAS) arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts on June 30. Towed the final 25 miles due to U.S. Coast Guard regulations against the operation of uncrewed vessels in coastal areas, the vessel is now docked alongside a replica of her namesake.

Mayflower made a service call in Halifax (IBM photo). Image Source: The Maritime Executive

She became the largest uncrewed vessel to complete the trans-Atlantic crossing and is being hailed as a turning point in the development of autonomous technologies. The project was launched in 2016 by the non-profit maritime research organization ProMare with the goal of using artificial intelligence to aid in the collection of marine research data. IBM and others joined the project helping to develop the technology including six AI-powered cameras, more than 30 sensors, and 15 edge devices, all of which input into actionable recommendations for the “AI Captain” to interpret and analyze.

According to the technology team, the data coming from the sensors and the programming of the systems made it possible for the AI Captain to adhere to maritime law while making crucial split-second decisions, like rerouting itself around hazards or marine animals, all without human interaction or intervention.

Having set out from England in April, it was the second attempt by the vessel to cross the Atlantic after a 2021 voyage was canceled due to a mechanical failure. The 2022 crossing was not without its mechanical problems causing the vessel first to divert to the Azores where problems were diagnosed and she was refueled. The team monitoring the voyage decided in June to divert to Halifax, Canada after experiencing additional mechanical problems. The Mayflower departed Canada on Monday, June 27 for the historic final leg of her journey, completing an estimated 3,900 nautical miles without a crew aboard. Reference


World’s largest ocean carrier MSC signs UN Sustainable Ocean Principles

02 Jul 2022
Swiss Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), the world’s largest ocean carrier by operated container vessel capacity, has joined over 150 stakeholders in signing on to the UN Global Compact Sustainable Ocean Principles.

Image Courtesy: MSC. Image Source: Offshore Energy News

Building on and supplementing the Ten Principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, the Sustainable Ocean Principles provide a framework for responsible business practices across ocean sectors and geographies covering ocean health and productivity, governance and engagement and data and transparency.

The world depends on a healthy, productive and resilient ocean for food security, climate mitigation and economic livelihoods. Climate change, overfishing, pollution, and unsustainable and inequitable development are damaging the health of the ocean and seas.

MSC said it recognises the collective responsibility of companies to assess their impact on the ocean, protect ocean health and take action on ocean sustainability, which for the company is both a strategic imperative and a key business priority.

As a member of the UNGC Ocean Stewardship Coalition and the Maritime Just Transition Task Force, MSC believes in working with a variety of partners to make an impact beyond its own operations. These collaborative platforms form part of MSC’s Sustainability Roadmap in response to the rapidly evolving landscape and its efforts to address the complex set of global challenges the world faces today, leveraging strategic alliances across the maritime ecosystem to protect and restore the health of oceans.

The UN Ocean Conference and UN Decade of Ocean Science (2021-2030) serve as ongoing reminders of the importance of the maritime industry’s role in the health of our oceans and enabling resilient and sustainable supply chains. Reference


Back to the Future? Cargo Giant Cargill Turns to Wind to Cut Carbon

02 Jul 2022
In a new take on ancient technology, Cargill, one of the world’s biggest charterers of ships, is to add state-of-the art sails to a vessel early next year to test whether wind power can cut its carbon emissions, a top company executive said.

BARTech WindWings by Yara Marine Technologies. Image Source: :gCaptain

With about 90% of world trade transported by sea, shipping accounts for nearly 3% of the world’s CO2 emissions, yet environmental campaigners say efforts by the sector to cut emissions are slow.

Leading agri group Cargill will start testing a dry bulk vessel with two wind sails in the first quarter of 2023, Jan Dieleman, president of Cargill’s ocean transportation division, told Reuters.

“There will be cargo on board, this will not be sea trials but real commercial use. We might want to use a period of three to six months to see how it works and then be ready to pull the trigger on an additional series of ships and that will depend on availability of the right ships,” Dieleman said, adding that a ship fully optimised for wind could cut emissions by 30%.

BAR Technologies, which has designed boats for the America’s Cup, is developing the sails that are being built by Norway’s Yara Marine Technologies. Earlier this week, the two companies also signed an agreement with dry bulk owner Berge Bulk to fit wind sails on a vessel, which will be installed in the second quarter of 2023.

The group is part of an initiative called the Sea Cargo Charter that tracks emissions for ships by companies. Cargill’s emissions were 5.9% above the trajectory set. Reference


World’s first hybrid-electric anchor handler completes sea trials

01 Jul 2022
Denmark-headquartered Maersk Supply Service has revealed that one of its anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels, which is believed to be the world’s first hybrid-electric anchor handler, has completed sea trials offshore Norway, following upgrades.

Image Source: Offshore Energy News

Maersk Supply Service has steadily been reducing its emissions since 2018 through a combination of initiatives, such as energy-efficient operations and technical upgrades. In line with this, the firm set targets to halve its carbon intensity by 2030 and reach net-zero operations by 2040.

Maersk Supply Service informed on Wednesday that its AHTS vessel, Maersk Minder, has “successfully completed” sea trials off the west coast of Norway, following a hybrid-electric propulsion upgrade. The company added that this vessel is now “believed to be the world’s first hybrid-electric anchor handler.”

Back on 31 March 2022, the vessel docked at Fitjar Mekanisk Verksted in Norway for the installation of a battery – a container-based hybrid power system built by Wärtsila – which is expected to reduce the anchor handler’s fuel consumption, and thus carbon emissions, by 15 per cent, along with curbing the vessel’s maintenance needs and improving operational performance.

The company explained that the battery system entails an energy storage system (ESS), comprised of 132 smaller batteries, and a transformer, which is controlled and monitored via an energy management system (EMS).

According to Maersk Supply Service, one of the emissions-reducing advantages of the hybrid system is the facilitation of peak shaving, meaning the batteries can deliver extra power quickly to avoid spikes in power consumption.

In line with this, a Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR) system was fitted to the exhaust to reduce the vessel’s nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions – produced by the ship’s combustion engine – by an average of 80 per cent.

Based on Maersk Supply Service’s statement, the final “major upgrade” was the installation of a Ballast Water Treatment System (BWTS).

Upon completion of these three installations, the AHTS Maersk Minder took to the sea on 11 June 2022 to undergo six days of sea trials offshore Bergen, Norway. Reference


Disney unveils first new cruise ship in a decade, dips toe into metaverse

01 Jul 2022
Chief Executive Bob Chapek introduced Walt Disney Co’s (DIS.N) first new cruise ship in a decade on Wednesday, the culmination of the first project the former theme parks executive championed to the company’s board of directors.

The Wish,’ the Disney’s new cruise ship is seen in this undated handout picture. Robert Fiebak/ Walt Disney/Handout via REUTERS. Image Source: Reuters

The launch of the 4,000-passenger Disney Wish is a bright spot for Chapek, who became Disney’s CEO in February 2020 and secured a three-year contract extension on Tuesday following recent controversies that prompted questions about his tenure.

It took more than six years to bring the 144,000-ton Wish to the market, Chapek told guests at a christening ceremony that featured fireworks and appearances by Mickey and Minnie Mouse, Ant-Man, Chewbacca and other characters from Disney’s vast portfolio.

The Wish, the fifth vessel in Disney’s fleet, “kicks off the largest expansion in Disney Cruise Line history,” said Josh D’Amaro, chairman of Disney’s parks division. Two more ships will be delivered by 2025.

The company will seek to entice vacationers to the Disney Wish with what it touts as its first attraction at sea, the AquaMouse. The theme-park-like ride incorporates animated short films featuring Mickey and other characters as guests float through 760 feet (230 meters) of winding tubes suspended above the upper decks.

Dining experiences place families inside the worlds of Disney’s “Frozen” and Marvel’s Avengers. For adults, Disney created a Star Wars-themed hyperspace lounge that evokes the look of star cruisers in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”

The ship also boasts an interactive experience that marries the physical and digital worlds. A Disney Cruise Line app turns a user’s phone into a virtual “spyglass” for peering at constellations in the night sky (which appear as Disney and Pixar characters) and embarking on adventures.

The interactive game marks a step toward Chapek’s goal of establishing a presence in the metaverse. The executive has advocated virtual experiences as a way to keep consumers connected to Disney characters and stories in between movie releases and park visits.

The Disney Wish will set out on its first voyage on July 14 from Port Canaveral in Florida. Reference


The wellbeing of seafarers is crucial to safety

01 Jul 2022
To mark IMO Day of the Seafarer on 25 June, Lloyd’s Register and Lloyd’s Register Foundation have published a report titled ‘Shining a light on seafarer wellbeing’.

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It identifies the link between wellbeing and safety and stresses the need for structural support for seafarers, better assessment of mental wellbeing, and a closer look at which interventions have been most welcomed by seafarers.

Lloyd’s Register’s Chief Marketing Officer Philippa Charlton said: “Seafarers cannot be expected to operate vessels safely without an environment that fosters good psychological wellbeing and mental health. We’re seeing some good examples of progress within the industry towards a more supportive and human-centric working environment for seafarers – but there is still a long way to go.”

Several anonymous comments from seafarers around the world are included in the report, which calls for more research and development to better assess and protect seafarers’ wellbeing, including the use of innovative technology as a supportive tool.

Additionally, maritime employers should recognize the importance of maintaining the practical changes first introduced during COVID-19 to make long-term, structural improvements to seafarer wellbeing. Reference


Cruise Industry Faces Challenges of Sustainability and Crewing

30 Jun 2022
With many of the major cruise brands reaching full fleet deployment, the cruise industry is back after its long pause and regaining its momentum. Working to recover from the effects of the pandemic, cruising however faces new challenges ranging from solutions to create a sustainable future to the difficulties of staffing and onboarding to support its rapid growth. To meet the current challenges, cruising is adopting new technologies and approaches to the issues that lay ahead.

E-learning is providing a vital tool to address the crewing challenges (OTG). Image Source: The Maritime Executive

While all the maritime sectors are looking for long-term solutions for green operations, the cruise sector has been an early adopter of technologies ranging from LNG-fueled ships to heat recovery plants, emissions scrubbers, batteries, wastewater systems, communications, shore power, and more. DNV for example calculates that a quarter of the cruise ship orderbook is for LNG-fueled passenger ships. Cruise lines are also working with shipyards, engine manufacturers, ports, and regulators to develop future solutions.

While all the maritime sectors are looking for long-term solutions for green operations, the cruise sector has been an early adopter of technologies ranging from LNG-fueled ships to heat recovery plants, emissions scrubbers, batteries, wastewater systems, communications, shore power, and more. DNV for example calculates that a quarter of the cruise ship orderbook is for LNG-fueled passenger ships. Cruise lines are also working with shipyards, engine manufacturers, ports, and regulators to develop future solutions.

In addition to the massive investments these new systems require, they also bring new challenges. “Seafarers need to be trained on these new technologies and learn new ways of operating their ships to achieve the sustainability goals,” explains van Ree. “You can put all these new technologies on board a ship, but if people do not know how to effectively operate these systems it is useless.”

The rate of growth in cruising is multiplying the challenges. While the pandemic resulted in a rescheduling of future deliveries, the major cruise lines did not cancel any of their newbuild orders.

While a commercial vessel such as a tanker or containership might have an average of 20 crewmembers, a large cruise ship can have upwards of 2,000 crewmembers and they all must have their safety training, STCW certificates, and be prepared and qualified to work at sea. Van Ree points out that the cruise industry is global in its hiring, often staffing a cruise ship with as many as 40 different nationalities. Having to turn to new and less familiar sources for crew, pre-employment assessment has become a critical tool.

Beyond having the proper number of people to operate the ships, having people with the right experience and skills is critical to providing a high-quality guest experience. Recruitment tools such as those developed by OTG can provide an accurate and objective picture of a candidate. Recruiters can assess a crewmember’s technical knowledge, English language proficiency, which is critical to interacting with guests, as well as ability, and personality profiling that can help in building the right teams. Using cloud-based simulation, OTG can help employers to assess the skills of deck and engine officers at scale. Using OTG’s pay-per-use model offers cruise lines a cost-effective approach accessible by the technical teams who are responsible for hiring and promotions.

Recruiters also need the ability to coordinate a broad range of documentation from certificates or required endorsements to medical and travel visas and other documentation for each candidate. Software tools provide the capability to manage the hiring and onboarding process as well as planning for future crewing needs. Crew management systems such as OTG’s Compas software provide the capability to process all this data freeing up crew managers to focus on planning crew rotations and ensuring smooth succession in all areas of the ship’s staffing.

E-learning technologies have already been accepted by the shipping industry. OTG’s Ocean Learning Platform, as an example, provides more than seven million e-learning training sessions each year. Many flag states already accept and approve e-learning and van Ree expects increasing recognition for e-learning among more flag states. The Maltese registry recently joined the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency, the Bahamas Maritime Authority, and other leading flag states in recognizing e-learning, while OTG is also working to have e-learning incorporated into more flag states’ protocols.

To complete the build-back of its operations after the pandemic, the cruise sector will continue to trail blaze in the adoption of new technologies. Reference


Berge Bulk to install wind propulsion system on its vessel

30 Jun 2022
Singapore-based dry bulk owner Berge Bulk has decided to equip its Newcastlemax bulker with a wind-assisted propulsion system WindWings developed by Norwegian technology company Yara Marine Technologies and the UK-based marine engineering consultancy BAR Technologies.

Image Source: Offshore Energy News

As disclosed, the three companies have reached an agreement to install four BARTech WindWings by Yara Marine Technologies on board the 210 dwt bulk carrier Berge Olympus.

The large, solid wing sails on board the bulker will measure up to 50 metres in height and will be capable of reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 30% through a combination of wind propulsion and route optimisation, Berge Bulk explains. WindWings will be installed on board Berge Bulk’s vessel in the second quarter of 2023.

By becoming an early adopter of wind-assisted propulsion technology, Berge Bulk intends to further bolster its commitment to the decarbonisation of the shipping industry’s decarbonisation journey.

To remind, Yara Marine partnered with BAR Tech to design and implement wind-assisted propulsion for the shipping industry in April last year. A few months later, the solution received approval in principle (AiP) from the classification society DNV. Reference


The Future of Shipping: We Are Nearing a Turning Point

29 Jun 2022
Whether you like it or not, the maritime industry is the usual suspect when the talk focuses on environmental pollution and emissions. However, this is no surprise as this industry is carrying over 90 percent of world trade. The ships are massive and with most of them being powered by fossil fuels are anything but environmentally friendly. But that is changing.

Image Source: The Maritime Executive

We begin with the Van Dam Shipping. In cooperation with India’s Tata Steel, the Dutch shipping company is planning to have a hydrogen-powered vessel by 2024. Such a vessel would be completely CO2 free and therefore would save around 3000 tons of CO2 per year (in comparison to fossil fuel powered ships).

We continue our overview of the changing industry with Stena Proman. On June 20, 2022, a joint venture between Stena Bulk and Proman Shipping took delivery of the first of six methanol-fueled tankers that are expected to reduce NOx emissions by 60 percent. The ship, Stena Pro Patria, is equipped with the state of art technologies that will enable this ship to meet and go beyond the regulations set by IMO. What is also exciting is that Maersk and CMA CGM are implementing methanol as a marine fuel as well.

Now let’s turn our eyes to the cruise sector and to Norway, where on June 2, history was made. A Norwegian-based cruise company Havila Kystruten operated its first zero emission cruise through a world heritage fjord. The star of the show was Havila Castor, a ship with a 6.1 MWh battery pack (largest in the world on a passenger ship) that can sail up to four hours. This is an impressive milestone for the whole industry. Another major event in this segment is the record-setting 50 nautical miles journey on a single battery charge by ferry Ellen. Ferry Ellen is equipped with a 4.3 MWh battery pack. It is estimated that there are around 900 ferries in Europe that could be replaced with an electric ferry similar to Ellen.

With all these projects and achievements, it surely looks like the maritime industry is headed in the right direction. The future is green and we are heading that way. Reference


India: MSC To Create Awareness Among Jharkhand, Bihar Students To Opt For Maritime Career

29 Jun 2022
MSC’s Cyprus-based arm MSC Shipmanagement Limited will spearhead this CSR initiative and aim to connect with schools in India, including many primary schools of Jharkhand and Bihar in the current year, it said.

A Geneva-based leading shipping firm will launch an initiative to create awareness Johan Victor via AP. Image Source:

Through ‘Adopt a Ship Programme’, primary school students will be linked with MSC Cargo and Cruise vessels’ senior crew members.

A substantial number of merchant navy officers who are native of Jharkhand and Bihar states currently work as skilled seafarers aboard specialized cargo and cruise ships owned and operated by MSC.

Nita Jha, Head of Group Learning & Organizational Development, Sustainability & Support Services, MSC Shipmanagement said, “The aim of our ‘Adopt a Ship Programme’ CSR initiative is to highlight the positive side and benefits of the shipping industry and its huge contribution to the global economy. This maritime awareness programme will influence thousands of Indian students to opt for the merchant navy as a lucrative career option.”

Jha added that a leading maritime nation like India having a long coastline of around 7,500 km has more than 50 per cent of its population below the age of 25 and more than 65 per cent below the age of 35. MSC’s connect with Indian students through ‘Adopt a Ship Programme’ will act as a major boost for the Indian ship manning industry in the years to come as Indian seafarers have acquired a prestigious position as a major global workforce over many decades, she said.


Cyber Pirates Prowling Ship Controls Threaten Another Big Shock

29 Jun 2022
In February 2019, a large container ship sailing for New York identified a cyber intrusion on board that startled the US Coast Guard. Though the malware attack never controlled the vessel’s movement, authorities concluded that weak defenses exposed critical functions to “significant vulnerabilities.”

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A maritime disaster didn’t happen that day, but a warning flare rose over an emerging threat to global trade: cyber piracy able to penetrate on-board technology that’s replacing old ways of steering, propulsion, navigation and other key operations. Such leaps in hacking capabilities could do enormous economic damage, particularly now, when supply chains are already stressed from the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, experts including a top Coast Guard official said.

BlueVoyant, a New York-based cyber-defense platform that recently analyzed 20 well-known shipping companies, said some strides have been made since 2021, but “there are more cyber-defense actions the industry can take to make things more secure.” A wider survey into third-party cyber risks showed 93% of respondents acknowledged suffering direct breaches tied to supply-chain weaknesses, with the average number of intrusions rising to 3.7 last year from 2.7 in 2020, according to Lorri Janssen-Anessi, BlueVoyant’s director of external cyber assessments.

Hackers have hit major logistics operations several times already this year. Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust, India’s busiest container port, suffered a ransomware attack in February. A targeted attack on Expeditors International of Washington Inc., a large freight-forwarding company, crippled its systems for about three weeks and led to $60 million in expenses. Blume Global Inc., a supply-chain tech company based in Pleasanton, California, said in early May that a cyber incident temporarily made its asset-management platform inaccessible.

The ocean shipping industry is the backbone of global goods trade but when it comes to cyber vulnerabilities, its broad reach is an Achilles heel. The biggest companies are playing catch-up and, after years of struggling to make money, now have the resources to invest in upgraded ship-to-shore technology.

To help guard against the threats, the International Maritime Organization, a United Nations agency responsible for safety and security, issued guidelines that companies were supposed to adopt starting in 2021. Some analysts said those regulations haven’t had enough of the intended effect and led to a wide range of responses.

For some observers, a wakeup call about the stakes involved came in March 2021, when the Ever Given — one of the world’s largest container ships — ran aground and blocked traffic in the Suez Canal for almost a week. The accident, blamed partly on strong winds, cut off much of Europe’s trade with Asia and threw supply chains off kilter for several weeks. Reference


Indian Register of Shipping lambasts western views on sanctions against Russia

28 Jun 2022
he Indian Register of Shipping (IRS), the fastest growing classification society in the world this quarter, has sought to explain it stance on taking so many Russian-linked ships onto its books in recent months.

Image Source: Splash 247

Using data from the website of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS), Splash reported earlier this month on how more than 50 Russian-linked ships have moved to be classed by the Mumbai-headquartered IRS as Moscow seeks solutions to keep trading despite being faced with an ever growing range of sanctions in the four months since war began with Ukraine.

IRS pointed out in a release today that it has been asked to provide safety related classification and survey services to a number of vessels by Dubai-based entities whose vessels are registered in Liberia and Cyprus. None of the companies which own the ships are registered in Russia, IRS stressed.

The class society then went to lambast media reports that refer to “international” and “global” sanctions.

India, as a whole, has been welcoming Russian business while other nations have shunned Russia this year. Indian imports of Russian crude from the Black Sea have grown seven-fold since the war started and are up ten-fold from the Baltic, significantly altering the fortunes for various classes of tankers.

Meanwhile, at the G7 summit in Munich, where leaders of some of the world’s wealthiest countries are meeting, further measures against Russian shipping are being discussed. G7 leaders have been debating a cap on the price of Russian oil that would work by imposing restrictions on insurance and shipping. Reference


Smart container boom expected in next five years

28 Jun 2022
The global smart container equipment fleet is forecast to grow eight-fold over the next five years and account for 25 per cent of global box inventories by 2026, according to Drewry analysis.

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Drewry estimates that by the end of 2021 around 3.6 per cent of the global container equipment fleet was fitted with smart technology devices following growth of over 30 per cent through the year.

Already as much as a third of the maritime reefer container fleet is smart-enabled, while the figure is over 40 per cent for intermodal containers, according to Drewry estimates.

Smart containers have increased in prominence following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant supply chain disruption which has highlighted the need for better cargo visibility to cope with longer and more volatile transit times.

A container becomes ‘smart’ when fitted with a telematics device that provides real-time tracking and monitoring, enabling operators to increase turn time of their containers and so improve equipment availability.

Drewry forecasts that the number of smart containers in the global fleet will accelerate in the five years to 2026 to reach over 8.7 million units, representing as much as 25 prer cent of worldwide box inventories. As technological innovation lowers the cost of devices and enhances their value to both transport operators and BCOs, uptake is expected to hasten. Reference


Idwal adds crew welfare to ship inspection grading

28 Jun 2022
Cardiff, Wales-based international ship inspection specialist Idwal has added 12 key crew welfare questions to its rigid and standardized inspection process.

Image Source: Idwal

With its extensive international surveyor network, Idwal has several representatives on board all types of vessels every day. While it has traditionally only covered data points related to ship condition and management, the company says that it is passionate about improving awareness of crew welfare issues and has long wanted to enhance its ship inspection reports by covering this often overlooked aspect of a vessel.

“We have added 12 new questions to our vessel checklist with the focus on objective questions to make the findings harder to ignore and focus on areas where any problem has a clear solution,” says Idwal senior marine surveyor and crew welfare advocate Thom Herbert. “Questions cover areas such as onboard Wi-Fi, gym facilities, onboard training facilities, access to bonded stores and catering services, and whether additional periods of rest are available.”

These crew welfare points will feed into the overall Idwal Grade, which is programmatically calculated from over 500 individual data points, captured during each vessel inspection and represented as a number between 1 and 100 for easy visualization of the integrity of the vessel.

Raising awareness of crew wellbeing is one of Idwal’s corporate objectives and it has recently strengthened this aim by becoming a co-sponsor of the Seafarers’ Happiness Index. Reference


Kenya tops in enlisting more women in the maritime sector

27 Jun 2022

Kenya and Comoros are among the leading countries that are promoting the participation of women in maritime jobs.

Image Source: IMO]

A recent survey on Women in Maritime by the United Nations agency for maritime affairs, International Maritime Organisation (IMO), has placed Kenya and the Comoros women associations at the top.

This is boosted by Mombasa port being the largest and key gateway to the eastern and central Africa region – serving Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and northern parts of Somalia.

Kenya Maritime Authority Director General Robert Njue said the report states that women seafarers still make up less than two per cent of the world’s seafarers and are mainly employed by the cruise sector.

Kenya’s Association of Women working in the Maritime Sector in Eastern and Southern Africa Region (Womesa), whose local chapter was launched in 2010, has been involved in mentorship programmes targeting girls in educational institutions.

Most women seafarers work as ratings or service staff on passenger ships with only seven per cent serving as officers on board ships.

The IMO report states that out of the total number of women seafarers worldwide, about 9.8 per cent come from Latin America and Africa with the majority from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries estimated at 51.2 per cent, and 23.6 per cent from Eastern Europe. Reference


Working hours leaves no time for exercise, suggests SHI Q1 2022

27 Jun 2022
Seafarers Happiness Index (SHI) Quarter 1 2022 results kickstarts the year, but seafarers are off to a rocky start. At an overall average score of 5.85/10, down from 6.41 in Q4 2021, it is the lowest level of satisfaction across 8 years of reporting. This is also the second time that happiness levels across all the questions have fallen.

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Fortunately for many respondents, the food was well received, with options that were nutritious and tasty. Having the right balance when it comes to sustenance has massive implications for satisfaction and atmosphere on board.

Those who responded also reflect vessels that are sufficiently equipped with exercise provisions and those who have access to exercise show an increased level of happiness across a wide range of questions.

However, that is predicated on having time to exercise. Seafarers expressed that the workload is to be expected but perceived shortfalls in manning could be an issue. Subsequently the perennial problem of paperwork and administrative tasks have surfaced once again and there is a sentiment that “the Master is being turned into an office worker”. Reference

Note: All above news items compiled in this digest should be considered as news in brief. For detailed news, please refer to reference link, mentioned with each item.

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