It is worth mentioning, that Intercargo is currently developing 'DRY-SAS', a risk based, tailored Self-Assessment Scheme specifically for the dry bulk sector, for which consultation within its membership is ongoing.


Q: What is the key change that the introduction of Dry Bulk Management Standard (DBMS) will bring in the dry bulk market?


Capt. Andreas Togantzis, Safety- Quality & Marine Manager, DPA/CSO, Alpha Bulkers Shipmanagement Inc.

Dry Bulk Industry is currently in need of a lever that will be able to lift the weight of all the requirements and all the new regulations that come into force for implementation. This extremely demanding environment is disorienting Crews from their initial scope and aim, which should be none other than Safety First. This lever, that will provide the appropriate balance between “what the Industry requires” and “what Safety requires”, is the DBMS. DBMS is a new tool for the Dry Bulk Industry. Some will see this tool positively, some will see it negatively and some will not see it at all. DBMS is neither a requirement nor a regulation that you have to comply with. This is not the way to see DBMS. DBMS needs a very different approach. You have to understand in depth its role and what it really serves. Then, you decide – step by step – by using the tool, where you want to stand, how high you want to climb or how low to walk. You set the standards and you decide where and when you want to be. DBMS purely depends on Operator’s dedication to Safety and the model of management he has chosen to follow. If you fall in the mistake of filling out a papers and not looking into what is actual happening on board your Fleet, then the project fails.

Kostas G. Gkonis, Secretary General, INTERCARGO

INTERCARGO has long recognised the need for companies in the dry bulk sector to have a common quality benchmark. Our Association has been developing DRY-SAS, a quality Self-Assessment Scheme, which focuses on shore management, is risk based, and tailored to be effectively utilised irrespective of company size.

INTERCARGO had made many efforts to achieve synergy and contribute to the ‘DBMS standard’, but has objections in principle and thus does not endorse DBMS, whose consultation was launched with very bad timing, when our sector has been dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and supporting our Seafarers.

Recognising that our sector would not welcome multiple separate schemes, INTERCARGO is aiming at a scheme which will be widely accepted.

Mrs Ioanna Vernadou, DPA/ CSO, Blue Planet Shipping Ltd

Dry Bulk Management Standard (DBMS) will eventually align safety and quality standards across the Dry Bulk industry. It will assist the quality operators to clearly distinguish themselves and the charterers to have a  standardized bench marking system to select these quality operators. There will be however a challenge for the Dry Bulk Industry to adapt in its entirety the requested standards and not only the ship operators. In particular, the shore facilities should also adapt a standardized bench-marking tool similar to the Marine Terminal Management And Self Assessment tool provided for the Oil and Gas industry.

Antonis Sakellis, S&Q Director/ DPA, Neda Maritime Agency Co, Ltd

DBMS had been missing from the drybulk sector and will assist companies individually as well as the drybulk industry as a whole to gradually raise the safety level. It shall provide a common guideline of what the industry expects at each stage and, thus, the companies through self assessment as well as through benchmarking can plan their actions towards attaining a higher stage in line with continual improvement. The DBMS draft created by the working group (comprising industry stakeholders such as owners, managers and risk experts) is now uploaded for the whole shipping world to see and comment upon, meaning that when it is finalized it will be a tool created by the industry for the industry, with shipping companies extensively participating in its development

Capt. Panagiotis Nikiteas, HSQE Manager, DPA/CSO, Maran Dry Management Inc.

The initiator(s) of DBMS either did a huge expression error or revealed the true purpose of DBMS existence; i.e. a “license to trade”. I do hope this is not the underlying intention for DBMS. If it is, it will fail. It will be another “stars chasing” exercise and the butter on consultants’ bread, who gladly will commence procedures and papers generation. The industry (Iron ore majors, terminals, charterers, investors, principals, managers, operators and crew) needs a – one - standardized self-assessment scheme. This has been voiced and worked upon through Intercargo repeatedly over the last 2-3 years. What is needed is synergy, collaboration, transparency, no unilateral actions from private entities and management by a widely accepted NGO. What is not needed is politics and big egos.

Evangelos Liadis, Operations and Q.A. Director, Carras (Hellas) S.A.

Dry Shipping today is defined by ships’ specialization, over-Regulation, multicultural labour  and application of highly advance technologies. These factors make the need of a self-assessing management system a real necessity. However such management system should not be developed in a hurry by individual or fragmented initiatives but it should be a common effort enjoying industry's general consensus. Presently there are two systems under development and review, the DBMS of Rightship and DRY-SAS of Intercargo International Association. For the benefit of Dry Shipping industry only one system should be finally developed under the hospice of an non-commercial entity, recognized both by Dry shipping Companies worldwide and other International Organizations. Every effort, therefore, should be made by all parties involved to cooperate and develop one management system that will really enhance safety culture and promote efficiency improvement through self-assessment and continuous monitoring.

Capt.Nestoras Grigoropoulos , DPA & HSSE Manager, Sea Traders S.A.

Dry Bulk Management standard marks a new era in the dry bulk market. It is widely accepted that since the initiation of the ISM code back in July 1998 a lot of inconsistencies noted among shipping companies worldwide related to the proper implementation of the code. The inconsistencies in the tanker sector were somehow addressed and dealt with the introduction of TMSA (Tanker Management Self-Assessment). Similarly, the key change that DMBS will bring is the “standardization” of company’s safety procedures and not only. From DBMS implementation and onwards, dry bulk shipping companies wishing to be competitive and prominent in the market, will now have a compass to continually improve their SMS and be a “world class operator”, a definition used by RIGHTSHIP to describe the level of “Excellence”.

"It's the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" is a song by American rock band R.E.M., which first appeared on their 1987 album Document.