SAFETY4SEA: Tell us a few words about your organization. Do you have any new developments/ or any new projects on the pipeline that you would like to share with the rest of the industry?

David Barrow: We are really focusing on the marine and offshore sectors in meeting the commercial and technical challenges, not only today but for tomorrow as well. It is really important to look ahead and look at how the decisions we make today will affect how we operate in the future. We are providing our clients with the technical support to make sure that they can meet those ever fast pacing technical and regulatory changes in the world that we are facing today. Keeping our clients in the forefront is our absolute focus. We are looking to the future to make sure that the decisions we make today will have a positive in the future. During SMM, we looked at blockchain and how we can digitalize class to make it more efficient, safer so that ships can operate safer as well.

S4S: What is your wish list for the industry and/or regulators and all parties involved in order to minimize the impact of the uniform global deadline of 2020?

D.B.: We have to start thinking 2020 as an industry now, but there are no right or wrong ways at the moment. Each of our clients has a very different approach. As there are no right answers we have to work together to make sure we can achieve those requirements. We launched an options evaluator, where our clients can put in the parameters, just to say what decision is right for them based on today’s prices for fuel. We have to start training our people as well. It is not just about having a plan in place, it is making sure the people are trained both in the office and on board ship, so they are trained on the use of alternative fuels, when to switch over fuels and how to use them more effectively.

S4S: What should be the top priorities for the shipping industry stakeholders toward a more sustainable future for the shipping industry?

D.B.: The regulation needs to be practical and global. We need to get consistency as we go forward; Advances in technologies provide opportunities to achieve that consistency. We need to reduce GHG emissions, so we have to start thinking beyond 2020 as well. We have to look at 2050, what alternatives fuels there are going to be. So it is important to work collaboratively to make sure that it is sustainable for the future, that future fuels are tested properly and adopted properly across the whole industry as well.

S4S: If you could change one thing about the shipping industry, what would it be and why?

D.B.: Collaboration. We don’t tend to share data with each other, the shipowners tend to consider that their data is their competitive differentiator. We have to use data properly and work in a collaborative way. Digitalization can assist in that, but we have to work collaboratively. Digitalization has to give more efficiency on board ships. Far too often in the past, people have confused autonomous shipping with unmanned shipping. There is a real differential there. We work closely with Rolls Royce and Sfitzer on the world’s first unmanned ship, but there are no specific rules. We worked to set gold standards to achieve the same safety standards. We have also been working with yards in China about innovations and autonomy on board ships. The main point to remember is, you can have lot of autonomy on board the ship but still have people on board the ship. We have to make sure it is efficient, safe and if we work collaboratively that would ensure success in the future. The decision we make today will impact how we operate in the future!


View here below video interview with David Barrow, LR Commercial Director – Marine & Offshore at SMM 2018, September 4-7, Hamburg, Germany.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.