Shipping industry prepares for major changes

The shipping industry is on the verge of major changes requiring  strong collaboration between ship builders, ship owners and classification societies.  

The shipping industry is on the verge of major changes requiring  strong collaboration between ship builders, ship owners and classification societies.  The 70 plus participants of the 2018 Tripartite Forum held in Seoul, South Korea on 11 and 12 October, agreed.

Human-centred design

The Tripartite promotes ship design to be more focused around the ship’s crew, the “human-centred design.”
In simple terms, ships, on board systems and fittings should be

  • designed around people/crew
  • helping them to operate in proper manner with higher efficiency
  • reducing the risk of human error
  • reducing the consequences of any errors that may still occur

Designers can incorporate crew feedback into the new building design process.
Future work on this subject should also involve the following.

  • Manufacturers of marine equipment, systems and installations
  • Representatives of the IT, automation and digitalisation industries

Working to reduce CO2 emissions

Tripartite continues on finding the most efficient solutions to reduce CO2 emissions and to decarbonise shipping though innovation.
This objective being a key driver leading to the anticipated changes in ships of the future. The Tripartite Forum agreed that the 2050 IMO targets will require significant changes in hull design, propulsion systems, fuel types and automation.
But these will not be enough without an equivalent review and major changes to the current business/commercial models and logistics.
Further developments should strictly be based on a holistic approach. It should assess and understand the greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity of alternative fuels.  And to consider ships as part of a whole logistic chain.
Other key elements are port optimisation and port efficiency.
A holistic approach should assist in ensuring that further measures on GHG emissions reduction do not introduce market distortion.
Good data can facilitate professional understanding and identification of optimum  solutions to achieve IMO 2050 target.
Tripartite will work intersessionally to find ways to accelerate both technological and business model innovation, to further improve operational and technical energy efficiency, as well as the transition to zero-carbon fuels and new propulsion systems.

Ship safety to remain paramount

Whatever the changes, there should not be compromise on the safety of ships and crew.
Hence, designers should consider reducing CO2 emissions and any consequential impact on ship safety.
Decisions that  lead to underpowered ships are unacceptable.  And consequently, it was felt that the IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee should at an appropriate point in the future address the minimum power required to keep ships safe under SOLAS.
In the meantime IMO should ensure that the minimum power guidelines it has developed remain in place and are fit for purpose.

Sulphur cap on 1 January 2020

The introduction of the 0.5% Sulphur Cap represents a dramatic change for ship operations.
A great challenge is that of preparing ships for use of the range of compliant fuels that are yet to be placed on the market.  And also ensuring that bunkered fuels which may  be incompatible with each other are not mixed in the same bunker tanks.
2020 Sulphur Cap compliance requires significant planning and challenging decisions for fuel system design.
Ship owners, class and ship builders must jointly define minimum standards on layout, volumes and performance of the on board fuel systems.

Ballast Water Management Convention

Tripartite noted the IMO’s Experience Building Phase (EBP) relating to the Ballast Water Management Convention has commenced.  Also, the installation and use of ballast water management systems will increase significantly in 2019.
Therefore, Tripartite recognised the need for the members of the forum to gather, collate and discuss operational feedback relating to the implementation of the Convention in practice.
Hence, for the purposes of possibly developing future industry guidance or industry feedback to the IMO, Tripartite will set up a related joint working group.

About Tripartite

Established in 2002, the Tripartite Forum facilitates ship builders, ship owners and classification societies being able to address complex issues.

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