Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Vessel Classification Boss Speaks Out On Changes Affecting Maritime Freight and Autonomous Ships  

Advance of Digital Systems, Cyber Safety and Survey Techniques Require Gradual Evolution

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Shipping News Feature US – WORLDWIDE – Speaking at Shipping 2018, the Connecticut Maritime Association’s (CMA) annual conference, and an event that attracts over 2,400 major domestic and international freight and logistics stakeholders each year, Knut Ørbeck-Nilssen, IACS Chairman and CEO of DNV GL - Maritime, looked at some of the current initiatives, including cyber safety, autonomous vessels survey techniques under the scrutiny of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) that are changing the industry. He said:

“It is my duty and honour to encourage the world’s biggest classification societies to pull together to adapt to this rapid pace of change and create a strong foundation for IACS as the leading maritime technical association. [The changes are not] a sudden revolution, where we throw everything we know overboard and start back at one, [but rather] an evolution, a gradual transformation to becoming more advanced, more transparent and more efficient in serving our industry.”

To help the maritime community ensure the cyber-resilience of their assets, IACS established and is taking the lead in an industry working group focused on cyber safety. The working group addresses common safety issues with interconnected systems, sharing best practices and keeping up to date with new developments. To facilitate the use of modern survey technology, IACS is also taking a fresh look at its survey requirements. Potential revisions could cover advanced non-destructive testing and remote inspection techniques.

The DNV boss noted that the IACS was embracing the challenges of the digital transformation of shipping and had already launched several projects to help the industry adapt to recent shifts in markets, regulations and technologies. In a dedicated working group, IACS has examined all the relevant resolutions, to identify which standards present potential regulatory barriers to autonomous ship operations. In addition, IACS is supporting the industry by leading the work on the development of a common terminology for different levels of autonomy.

IACS itself was a focus of the changes as well, added Ørbeck-Nilssen: “As our way of working changes, the Association has taken a fresh look at its internal procedures. Our focus is to ensure that the services delivered by both new and existing members keep up with regulatory developments and meet the highest quality standards.”

Even in a rapidly changing world however, IACS and the classification societies would stay true to their ideals, said Ørbeck-Nilssen, concluding:

“And when everything around us is in motion, class aspires to be a beacon of light setting the course ahead - with modern requirements, transparent processes and the highest quality of service. The industry is changing. Our ways of working may be changing. But the purpose of classification remains the same: To protect life, property and the environment.”

Photo: Mr Ørbeck-Nilssen addresses the Conference.

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