Standardisation in vessel vetting: webinar Q&A

We recently held a webinar focused on the importance of standardisation in vessel vetting, hosted by RightShip’s Chief Product Officer, Christopher Saunders. Here, we share some key questions and responses from our expert panel 

Q: Why is vessel benchmarking so important? 

A: Captain Raymond Peter – MD BSM Singapore: 

Benchmarking is very important – we want to see improvements in areas to strengthen openness and transparency. We want to see everyone go home safely. That’s the heart of our business. Ensuring the crew are safe in a safe manner. Through Covid 19, we have seen some good owners, terminals and charterers collaborating, share information and building partnerships. Through benchmarking, we can improve transparency, collaboration, communication for the industry. 


Q: What does benchmarking look like from the owner’s perspective?  

A: James Yeap, Frontline – Global Head of Dry Bulk Fleet 

RightShip has set the standard for the dry fleet, we can certainly expand on that. You have created the Safety Score and GHG Rating, that covers everything on safety of ship. Ship managers have to ensure the DOC is not affected by Safety Score. We want to see benchmarking expanded to crew welfare. We see that as the step forward. We also have the DryBMS, this goes along with what we see with the tanker industry with SIRE and oil major vetting. With that we can elevate the bulk carrier standards to a higher level. We have seen more incidents on bulk carriers – such as Wakashio and Stellar Daisy. These incidents are a result of industry standards for dry ships not being high enough. This is where better collaboration between stakeholders such as charterers and port authorities can have a profound effect on standardisation. 


Q: How can we get better at standardisation of safe operations? 

A: Andrew Watt, Principal - Supply Chain Sustainability Maritime & Supply Chain Excellence 

Standardisation towards safe operations is a critical area. There are different challenges because no port or terminal is identical. But improving standardisation really helps to align our chartered vessels with shipowners or technical managers. That’s been a real milestone. When we have so many people involved in safe operations, standardisation can help us. But there are conflicting industry expectations: where does the accountability sit when developing a standard? It’s not always a perfect agreement. Sometimes we have contrasting views, standardisation can be tricky when it doesn’t align. 


Q: What role do ports play in standardisation? 

A: Heathcliff Pimento – Harbour Master Port Hedland (Pilbara Port Authority) 

One of the common expectations of the ports is get the ship in and out safely. We would like to see some standard practices for moorings, loading and navigation. This is an opportunity for operators, we can’t force them to do anything, but if the industry sits down together and say, ‘this is what we’re commonly doing,’ we develop best practice standards in the industry. It is an opportunity for those who are not performing very well to see what is expected from them. 


Q: Where does sustainability fit into standardisation? 

A: Captain Raymond Peter – MD BSM Singapore 

Now with carbon reduction requirements, the burden is coming back again on the ship staff. We need to develop solutions in a very informed manner. That’s why collaboration is key. There are more regulatory requirements coming and we don’t yet have all the answers. we will overcome but this requires implementable best practice solutions, so we don’t burden our staff more than what is required today. The burden comes down on the crew, so standardisation has to be applied in such a way that makes life easier for crews and benefits the operations.  

For us, the biggest barrier is to bring all stakeholders together to align them, their interests and expectations. We have a host of 230+ vessels with 5400 crew, managed by 10 ship managers across the world. With a lot of managers, we need to align our expectations with the industry.  


Q: How are organisations exploring standardisation technology? 

A: James Yeap, Frontline – Global Head of Dry Bulk Fleet 

We have completed a fleet-wide evaluation on EEXI CII with the help of class, invested in high frequency data. We have fitted sensors on board to generate real-time data that we’re able to monitor and show in optimum manner. We’ve developed a digital platform that ties in all the managers. They have all the data streaming in, so we monitor the KPIs and collate valuable insights from different places, which allows standardisation of data to take place. 


Q: How do ports collect data? 

A: Heathcliff Pimento – Harbour Master Port Hedland (Pilbara Port Authority) 

Within the port, we do a lot of data collection now that’s linked to environmental emissions, traffic moving in and out, and navigation. Our data collection is focused on improving efficiencies. 

We have 20 ships coming in every day, we can't look at the data for every vessel every day. We don’t have access to anything that happens after notification of arrival. There should be some kind of system where they notify us immediately. It's not about hindering the vessel coming in, but it’s about managing it. This all assists in the planning and scheduling, adjusting time of arrival, it allows for safe and efficient operations. 


Missed the webinar? You can watch it here