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Friday, December 15, 2017

Seatrade Tanker Industry Conference on the need to maintain safety and environmental performance in a weakened market

As part of Singapore' s Maritime Week (26-30 April), INTERTANKO and OCIMF joined with Seatrade to host a Tanker Industry Conference drawing together those from the owning and chartering sides of the industry to engage on commercial, technical and operational issues.

 

The Seatrade Tanker Industry Conference (STIC) was opened by INTERTANKO Managing Director, Dr Peter Swift. In his opening remarks, Swift set the scene for the day' s discussion, linking the issues of tanker market supply and demand trends with the operational performance of the industry in terms of maintaining the industry' s strong safety and environmental performance in a weakened market (click here to view presentation).

 

Views and perspectives were also provided on the oil market by Jeffery Goetz of New York shipbroker Poten & Partners and BP Shipping' s Gavin Kramer, who both joined Swift on the markets panel discussion. The panel considered the good record of continuous improvement during the previous strong market and the ability of the industry to maintain that record during a weakened market. Further discussion focused on the possible benefits to the market from new building cancellations, slippage in deliveries, and some accelerated removals/demolition.

 

During consideration of the owner/charterer relationships, panellists agreed with comments made by INTERTANKO' s Chairman, Graham Westgarth, that there is a need to work on the issue of trust and openness in communications. Westgarth added that with greater trust and openness, inefficiencies in the industry could be overcome to the benefit of both the owner and the charterer. OCIMF' s Garry Hallett introduced the concept of Virtual Arrival, which was seen by the panellists as an example of how a greater openness between the owner and the charterer can produce benefits for both parties.

 

Turning to the challenges for the next decade, Westgarth, in his capacity as session moderator, highlighted the challenge of bringing people into the industry and then ensuring that they receive the correct training to meet the increasing environmental and safety standards of the tanker sector.

 

The final session of the day brought the terminal element into the debate. INTERTANKO' s regional manager Asia-Pacific, Tim Wilkins, provided an overview of the Terminal Vetting Database (click here to view). During the panel discussion, Wilkins highlighted the need for terminals to not only meet the safety standards of the tanker industry but also the environmental expectations. He suggested that the provision of adequate reception facilities was an example of where terminals must play a more proactive role as a key industry sector. During the same session, OCIMF' s Garry Hallett observed that while the industry now has assessments for ships, managers, owners and terminals as part of the quality assurance system, such an assessment is still missing for pilotage.

 

In his closing remarks for the Conference, Graham Westgarth opined that the wide range of industry representation at the Conference signalled that there is acknowledgement that we are mutually dependant, and that as an industry we are committed to continuous improvement. Westgarth concluded by suggesting that the value of such events is that they promote cooperation and a mutual understanding which will eventually lead to solutions to the industry challenges and an overall positive effect on the tanker sector.

 

Contact: Tim Wilkins