|Two weeks ago, I had the honor of meeting Richard Schiferil who is the Secretary-General of the Paris MOU. A Master Mariner, Richard has been working for the improvement of our industry for the past 29 years at the Paris MOU, an agency which is committed to eliminating substandard ships through a harmonized system of Port State Control. Regrettably, he is retiring shortly (if you know Richard, please urge him to reconsider this decision!).
Just today I saw the infographic produced by the Paris MOU, which both astonished and dismayed me. I was astonished by the number of inspections conducted (over 17,000!); I was dismayed that over half of the inspections identified deficiencies. “Well”, you might think (as I did) “they are looking for minor issues in order to justify their existence”. I was very wrong.
Take a look at the top 5 deficiencies:
- Safety of Navigation
- Fire safety
- Labor Conditions
- Lifesaving Equipment
- Certifications and documentation
These are fundamental issues to the safe and efficient transport of trade; these are a “given” in modern society. In our world of transparency, these deficiencies stand out as a violation of both safety and commercial standards for an industry. And this is in Europe! Imagine what the situation is in areas with less oversight!
As an industry, we have an opportunity to raise our standards, and our commercial viability. Existing, and future, regulations should be the baseline with a goal of exceeding them. We are accelerating towards a future that is murky with the only known quantity being that change is inevitable. “Let go or be dragged” easily comes to mind.
At SHIPPINGInsight this year we will be examining the many opportunities our industry must manage and embrace to be a more efficient, profitable, and safer industry. Businesses can either grasp the mantle and transform to play a defining role in the future…or be left behind.