The 3rd SAFETY4SEA Singapore Forum took place on Thursday 26th of October 2023 at the Ballroom 1 (Level 3) of The Westin Singapore, where it became apparent that shifting from a reactive to proactive approach involves embracing emerging technologies, such as digital navigation tools, and prioritizing the development of soft skills for seafarers. This transformation also encompasses a focus on ESG performance, fostering a safety culture 2.0, and complying with evolving regulations like STCW and ILO MLC.
he event was organized by SAFETY4SEA having SQE MARINE as lead sponsor. More sponsors of the event included the following organizations: Arcadia Shipmanagement Co. LTD, Blue Planet Shipping Ltd (BPS), Capital-Executive Ship Management Corp., Capital Gas Ship Management Corp., Capital Shipmanagement, Columbia Shipmanagment, Dorian LPG, Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Limited (EASTMED), EURONAV, Green-Jakobsen A/S, Inmarsat, INTERNATIONAL REGISTRIES INC., Latsco Marine Management Inc., NAVTOR, OneLearn Global, RISK4SEA, SEAFiT, and V. Group,
Supporters of the event included: International Windship Association (IWSA), Maritime and Port Authority Singapore, and The Nautical Institute.
Main issues discussed
- ·Best practices for proactive crew management
- From being reactive to becoming proactive: How to transform the shipping industry
- An overview of the current state of ESG performance in the shipping industry
- PSC Focus: Recent trends in PSC performance and inspection outcomes
- Reducing Human Error in the Age of Smart Shipping
- Addressing the human aspects that shape the onboard environment, fostering unity and collaboration
- Embracing Technological Evolution in Shipping: Understanding the pulse of the young seafarers
- Embracing Safety Culture 2.0: Recognizing the critical role of leadership in redefining and strengthening safety norms and practices within the industry.
- Exploring the role and future of STCW, ILO MLC, SIRE 2.0 and other regulations regarding human factor
- Adapting to Industry Changes: Understanding the impact of soft skills in maritime operations
- Prioritizing Seafarers’ Social Skills & Well-being: Emphasizing the importance of interpersonal relations and maintaining mental health while at sea
- Equipping Crews for an Eco-friendly Future: Identifying necessary skills and training for the green transition
- Post-MEPC Landscape: Evaluating current standings and envisioning the roadmap to achieve 2030 to 2050 sustainability goals
- Importance of digitalization in safe navigation: Exploring the role of digitalization in enhancing situational awareness for mariners
- Navigational safety & the future of navigation: Trends in digital navigation tools and their impact on safety
- Training and competency requirements for navigating in a digitalized environment
Opening the event, Apo Belokas, Managing Editor, SAFETY4SEA, welcomed the delegates and speakers and thanked all sponsors and supporters of the event. He also presented key findings from the 2023 SEAFIT Survey. According to Apo Belokas, key findings of the survey include that communication with home is the number one priority for seafarers. Seafarers still require more internet privileges on board. Additionally, recreational facilities are in the same level of concern for seafarers, as the physical wellbeing, and onboard time for relaxation play a significant role to their satisfaction and their ability to prepare themselves for the demanding daily program.
Panel #1 Industry’s best practices: Learning from innovative approaches
Capt. Andre LeGoubin, President, The Nautical Institute gave a presentation on how the continuity of onboard training will ensure that today’s modern vessels will continue to be operated in a safe, efficient, and commercially viable way. He highlighted that they do this through a system of onboard training, familiarization, and informal experiential knowledge transfer using one of the oldest methods of knowledge sharing known to humankind that is still so relevant today, mentoring. This method of passing on company’s knowledge and experience is free, does not require auditing or checklists, and can have a profound effect on seafarers’ lives.
Capt. Yves Vandenborn, Head of Loss Prevention Asia-Pacific, NorthStandard Club, referred to best practices that are evolving as businesses seek innovative approaches to stay competitive and efficient in an ever-changing landscape. In an era of rapid advancements, remaining open to new ideas and best practices is a fundamental part of any business’s journey toward excellence.
Thom Herbert, Senior Marine Surveyor and Crew Welfare Advocate, Idwal Marine, gave a presentation on ways to benchmark EGS matters in shipping. He explained that shipping organizations need to move beyond pledges and evaluate on-board sustainability in practice. As he pointed out, standardised ESG evaluation methodologies will aid significantly in achieving the goal of ESG performance benchmarking. Finally, he expressed the opinion that pinpointing areas for improvement via granular insights can greatly benefit the industry.
Dimitris Psarros, Business Development Manager, RISK4SEA, highlighted that to address the PSC challenge and achieve key objectives such as eliminating detentions, minimizing deficiencies, and reducing noise in maritime operations, automation offers a compelling solution. Leveraging technology, a key approach is the implementation of an Automated Port Call Risk Assessment (POCRA) system. By utilizing POCRA, ships can predict when they will undergo inspections, allowing them to prepare efficiently. Moreover, automated systems can generate ship and PSC Focus Checklists, properly prioritized for the specific context, ensuring thorough preparation.
Session #2 Setting key priorities: Managing human factors in an era of change
Lennart Ripke, Director of Sales, Green-Jakobsen, explained that human performance is influenced by many factors, but some are more important than others. According to the presentation, developing human and safety performance requires a focus on team performance, which is strengthened when people experience psychological safety and focus on the tasks at hand. Referring to Green-Jakobsen’s own data, he also presented the most important human performance influencing factors, and argued why it is beneficial to make performance reviews on a continuous basis. Additionally, he explained the relation between task reflectivity and social reflectivity.
Praveen Shukla, Deputy Head of Ship Management and Technical Director, Wallem Group, presented that setting key priorities for managing the human factor is paramount to the success and sustainability of organizations. Recognizing that the workforce is very important for a company, leaders must prioritize the well-being, engagement, and adaptability of their employees.
Capt. Sanjay Mittal, Chief Executive Officer, Racon Marine Consultants Pte. Ltd., gave a presentation which centred on the vital theme of human factor in current and industry initiatives. Capt. Sanjay Mittal also presented three key topics that are driving change and development within this sphere. First, the Captain explained how OCIMF’s Human Factors Management and Self-Assessment is crucial for improving safety and performance by considering the human factor in maritime operations. Next, the presentation highlighted the integration of Human Factors in SIRE 2.0, emphasizing how this industry initiative aims to elevate inspection standards and address human factors as a fundamental component of safety assessments.
Capt. Debashis Basu, Founder & Partner, Navguide Solutions LLP, focused his presentation on the younger generation of seafarers, highlighting that in today’s digital age, the maritime world is evolving faster than ever before, so adapting to change is crucial. Furthermore, he explained that as many seafarers fall between young ages, understanding their psyche and behavior has never been more important. Overall, his presentation was a deep dive into the thought process of GenZ and young millennials to bust myths and emphasize the importance of staying attuned to the unique needs of the modern-day seafarer.
Session #3 Sailing Strong: Crafting a future ready crew via training & development
Capt. Sundeep Sequeira, Sales Director, OneLearn Global, highlighted that by investing in the growth and skills enhancement of crew members, companies not only ensure that they remain adaptable and proficient in the face of changing industry dynamics but also foster a culture of continuous improvement and innovation. This culture of continuous improvement and innovation can lead to increased productivity and competitiveness in the market. Additionally, investing in crew members’ growth and skills enhancement can also result in higher employee satisfaction and retention rates, as they feel valued and supported in their professional development.
Evros Damianou, Education Program Lead, KeelX, highlighted how upcoming changes in their industry, including new regulations, new technologies and global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, will impact both the industry itself and the training of individuals involved in shipping. These changes will require the industry to adapt and implement new practices to comply with regulations and reduce their carbon footprint. Additionally, individuals involved in shipping will need to acquire new skills and knowledge to effectively navigate these changes and contribute to sustainable shipping practices.
Capt. Atul Vatsa (MNI), Founder / Director, AV GLOBAL MARINE PTE. LTD (AVG), presented that compliance within an organization is a multifaceted concept that can be effectively categorized into four essential segments: culture, consequence, education, and auditing. The culture of a company, often a complex and context-dependent term, plays a pivotal role in defining the working environment and how employees perceive and prioritize compliance, the Captain explained. The captain also explained the important difference between implementing a ‘real’ programme over a ‘paper programme’ in which the actions in the office and in the fleet do not match what is set out in SMS.
Capt. Pravesh Diwan, Director, KARCO, highlighted that effective training for seafarers is a paramount concern in the maritime industry, and it can be enhanced through several key strategies. First, the use of effective visual communication tools plays a crucial role in crew training. Visual aids and materials facilitate better understanding and retention of vital information. Additionally, engaging software solutions, both online and offline, provide interactive and accessible platforms for seafarers to acquire and practice essential skills. These software tools can include simulations and e-learning modules, making training more dynamic and tailored to individual needs.
Session #4 Switching Green: Strategies & Alternatives for a smooth transition
ShuYong Koh, Global Sustainability Director, ABS, presented decarbonization and sustainability insights in the maritime industry, saying that the green transition in shipping is increasing with various challenges based on the current regulations towards envisioning roadmap to achieve 2030 to 2050 sustainability goals. Additionally, ShuYong Koh pointed out that new advances in digitization, applied research, and renewable energy technology are driving a technological revolution in the maritime sector. These advancements are driving the industry toward a more efficient and sustainable future by encouraging lower emissions, better operating capabilities, and more cooperation across maritime organizations.
Capt. Hari Subramaniam, Regional Head – Business relations, Shipowners’ Club, covered that the clock is ticking as the industry continues to hurtle towards 2030 where the first waypoint of the IMO GHG strategy will be reached. Further to the initial 2018 GHG strategy, the IMO, in 2023 has revised the goals, introduced a KPI on the uptake of the GHG strategy, and made small amendments with further goals. As a result, vessel operators are under increasing pressure to adopt new technologies to try and meet these deadlines. However, all stakeholders will eventually have to come together in their efforts to support their goals, thus supporting each other.
Ansuman Ghosh, Director Risk Assessment, UK P&I Club, centered his presentation on the critical topics that need to be addressed as soon as possible, so that the shipping industry may go ahead with confidence in the direction of net zero. According to Ansuman Ghosh’s presentation, some of these unsolved concerns relate to topics such as technological challenges, legal issues, intricate contracts, and difficulty with training. Tackling these challenges will pave the way for a smoother and more confident transition.
Capt. Satinder Virdi, Principal Consultant, Head of Research and Development, Maritime Advisory, DNV Singapore Pte. Ltd. gave a presentation on the future of MARPOL regulations. His presentation included a thorough exploration of compliance strategies, shedding light on the various options available to the industry. Captain Satinder also emphasized the pivotal role that alternative fuels are set to play in ensuring adherence to these regulations, offering valuable insights into the evolving landscape of maritime compliance and sustainability.
Session #5: Sailing into the future: Smart Shipping and New Technologies
Eleni Polychronopoulou, President & CEO, METIS Cyberspace Technology SA, supported the idea that new technologies not only optimize route planning and fuel consumption, but also contribute to reduced environmental impact. According to Eleni Polychronopoulou, by embracing these innovations, the industry will be able to set sail towards a more sustainable and technologically advanced future, where efficiency and eco-friendliness coexist harmoniously, promising a smoother voyage for global trade and the environment alike.
Abhishek Iyer, Customer Success Manager, Navtor, highlighted that the maritime industry’s digital journey has seen positive impacts, including improved situational awareness and reduced errors. However, challenges persist, with fragmented data and limited integrated tools hindering effective digitalization. Yet, the presenter pointed out that the potential for reduced operational costs and enhanced efficiency keeps driving the industry towards developing digital solutions.
Justin Yi, Director Direct sales, APAC, INMARSAT, gave a presentation which underscored the dynamic landscape of the maritime industry and the transformative changes on the horizon. While acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead, Justin Yi also highlighted the immense opportunity within these changes, the chance to not only sustain but elevate safety standards. Moreover, recognizing and pointing out the paramount importance of safety in the context of the shipping sector’s increasing digitalization, the presentation delved into strategies for prioritizing safety in this evolving environment.
Sanjeev Namath, Chief Business Officer, Alpha Ori Technologies Pte Ltd, presentation delved into three critical aspects of navigating the evolving landscape of industry and technology. Firstly, it explored the concept of data-driven decision support with real-time automated data. Secondly, it underscored the importance of retaining human involvement and expertise within the context of digital transformation, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between humans and technology in achieving optimal outcomes. Lastly, the presentation advocated for the essential role of digitalization in the pursuit of decarbonization goals, emphasizing the potential for technology to drive sustainability and environmental responsibility.