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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

World Maritime Day focus on the vital role of shipping and on the reduction in maritime casualties

The theme of this year’s World Maritime Day was "International Shipping - Carrier of World Trade". The idea is to draw attention to the huge contribution that shipping makes to international trade, and to the vital role that shipping plays in underpinning the global economy. Also to focus on shipping as the most efficient, safe and environmentally friendly method of transporting goods worldwide.  

Click here for a message on that theme from the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization, Thimio Mitropoulos.

Click here for an IMO background paper. 

The Round Table of international shipping associations (ICS, BIMCO, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO) has published a booklet entitled ‘International Shipping – Carrier of World Trade’ making the point that shipping is the life blood of the global economy, responsible for the carriage of 90% of world trade. It gives some practical examples of the efficiency and low cost of maritime transport. This is being widely distributed worldwide by Round Table members and is available on www.shippingfacts.com  

The occasion of World Maritime Day also gave the European Commission-funded Pollution Prevention and Control (POP&C) project a good airing with an article in Lloyd's List by Dr Nikos Mikelis highlighting the dramatic reduction in the number of maritime casualties over the last 25 years. 

POP&C project research has established that the average frequency rate for all categories of accident for the period between 1978 and 1990 was reduced to about one eighth in the last five-year period 1999-2003. And whereas it can be argued that the frequency of casualties was too high in the 1970s and 1980s, the improvement that has taken place since must be recognised as remarkable.  

Mikelis starts with two questions. How safe does society want shipping to be? And what is the acceptable cost for the safety of maritime transport? He goes on to introduce the POP&C project and its methodology, which focuses on the aframax tanker since this is the biggest class of large oil tanker trading internationally. 

As first reported in Weekly NEWS No. 09 of 27 February 2004, a three-year collaborative project was initiated in January 2004 to research the development of a rational methodology for the assessment of pollution risk from oil tankers. The European Commission provided funding for the project, which is entitled “Pollution Prevention and Control – Safe Transportation of Hazardous Goods by Tankers” (POP&C). The project is managed by INTERTANKO and StrathclydeUniversity and has brought together 15 organisations from the European maritime sector with expertise in maritime safety covering design, construction, classification, and operational aspects. The IMO also participates as an observer.  

To mark the half-way point of the project, and its already promising interim results, a Newsletter was produced describing the project’s objectives and its participants, and providing short articles on the work that has been completed or which is currently in progress.  

Mikelis’ recent essay, covered in full by the Lloyd’s List article mentioned above, is available here, and the graphs are available here. 

Contact: Dragos Rauta