SAFETY4SEA: Your organization has been shortlisted for the 2018 SAFETY4SEA Awards in the ‘Technology’ category alongside many other distinguished nominees. What is the background behind this nomination?
Benny Carlsen: VIKING is a global company with more than 55 years of technological innovation and leadership in maritime and offshore safety. Our products and solutions protect passengers and crew on many of the world’s largest cruise liners and cargo ships as well as workers on the most advanced offshore platforms. At the same time, we safeguard the ability of shipowners and offshore asset owners or operators to manage their businesses by ensuring safety and regulatory compliance on board at all times. Cutting-edge technology, unbeatable quality and no-compromise service the all cornerstones of VIKING’s offering. This is supported and delivered by a network of local experts at 72 locations and 260 certified servicing stations across the globe.
S4S: What is the key feedback from your existing & prospective clients on the barriers and drivers towards a more technology friendly future?
B.C.: The shipping industry and related maritime organizations face intense pressure to operate more efficiently and profitably while catering to the increasingly sophisticated, digital demands of their customers. Market overcapacity, paired with a relatively stagnant global demand, is putting pressure on rates and profit margins of shipping organizations. Meanwhile, customers themselves are looking for faster, more streamlined services that afford integrated, end-to-end logistics capabilities versus port-to-port offerings. We expect that even the most loyal customers will be turning to providers that offer solutions empowered by digital and automated technology designed to deliver deeper value along the supply chain. In this context, VIKING embraces digitalization as a means to raise the bar for safety and efficiency.
S4S: Do you have any new projects on the pipeline and/or plans, related with your safety performance that you would like to share with the industry?
B.C.: When it comes to novel technological solutions, we are currently focusing a lot on the interface between technology and the human element, as way to boost efficiency of our products and ultimately safety at sea. For instance, we work to include digitalized training as part of our larger systems and provide advanced instructions – often 3D video – for the rest. In our opinion, keeping the crew up to date on how to operate life-saving equipment is paramount to secure optimal performance in case of a real-life emergency. On the product side, we are launching an upgraded range of lifejackets for tough maritime applications. Also, we’re streamlining and uniting our entire range of personal protective equipment (PPE) under a uniform global brand.
S4S: If you could change one thing about the shipping industry, what would it be and why?
B.C.: Technology is evolving faster than ever, also when it comes to life-saving equipment. Often, this development surpasses the pace at which international rules and regulations are updated. This leaves maritime suppliers and operators to specify potentially outdated or less efficient solutions, simply for the sake of compliance, rather than turning to new and more intelligent solutions that utilize the latest technology. We believe that maritime regulatory bodies, and safety for that matter, could benefit from adopting a more holistic and goal based mindset.
S4S: What is your key message for enhancing safety culture onboard?
B.C: It all comes down to having the right equipment on board and knowing how to use it. When it comes to the last part, attention to training and crew skill development is essential to ensure the right level of readiness in the case of an emergency.
You may cast your vote for VIKING at 2018 SAFETY4SEA Awards dedicated webpage till 7th of September 2018!
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.