Page 37: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2011)
COYNE (GL) Ship classification services are provided with the primary goal of protecting life, property and the environment.
Due to the technical expertise of classification societies, they contribute to the efficient design, construction and operation of a ship, and thus to its economic success. Furthermore, the knowledge and experience of those working for class soci- eties provide the basis for innovations in the design and oper- ation of ships, as well as for a safe working environment onboard ship.
Classification societies establish and apply technical stan- dards for the design and construction ships. Thereafter, they check the ship's technical condition by means of periodic sur- veys throughout their working lives. This remains a core topic of classification.
However, like the entire shipping business, classification societies have undergone significant changes throughout the last decades. The most significant one is certainly the devel- opment from administration-like acting bodies towards worldwide acting service providers.
Changes in the regulatory environment, in the business mod- els of ship owners, ship management companies, ship yards and Flag States and last but not least, public perception, influ- enced the recent development of classification societies.
Every couple of years, the issue of conflict of interest is brought up. Is there any difference compared to certification bodies in other industries? No, the one requesting the service is paying the bill. Indeed, a couple of years ago the issue was raised during a tripartite meeting between owners, yards and class. Interestingly owners and yards were more reluctant to touch the system than class.
Today classification societies are the centers of technical expertise for the maritime world. During the last years one of the most popular management trends was a focus on core competencies and the desire to reduce or source out all other activities. Subsequently ship owners focused on operations and reduced their design know how. Ship yards focused on production and reduced their R&D activities. Flag States focused on registration and regulation and reducing their technical resources and various other concepts, have been relying on external technical expertise. And classification societies are the prime source for the necessary technical expertise. Even IMO counts on the technical expertise of
IACS members. Looking into the future, there is no doubt that these centers of expertise will flourish. There seems to be no feasible alternative. Just the opposite, against all criticism the tendency to rely on the knowledge and the international network of classification societies is increasing.
SADLER (LR) Shipowners, shipbuilders and regulators need class more than ever. The marine classification model has evolved over 250 years and the evolutionary process will con- tinue. There will be an increased demand from those wishing to move well beyond compliance even as compliance grows more arduous. But we must still ensure we are able to support those who just need to know they meet requirements, as well as those operators who are using increasingly sophisticated risk management tools.
Our role is to minimize risk while maximizing opportunity for our clients. Lloyd’s Register’s Marine business will seek to grow in quality and expertise more than in size. With more competition in the market we cannot always expect to see rapid growth as compatible with growth in technical excel- lence, breadth of service and delivery capability: quality of service is always more important than volume.
Our focus will be doing more of what we are doing, and try- ing to do it better. The opportunities presented by the search for environmental efficiency will be the priority in the year ahead. With the exception of a very few specialist trades, new regulation and new technologies have yet to be translated into changed designs. Our role is not to predict when this will happen, but to be ready to support the safety and environ- mental performance of any technological evolution when it does.
Looking further ahead we can expect to see the dominance of the diesel engine fired by heavy fuel oil to be challenged by
LNG, nuclear power, fuel cell or other technologies. We will help ensure that all players in the shipping industry under- stand the risks involved in managing change and help to ensure that all commercial decisions are predicated on safety and environmental protection pri- orities. MARPRO
Coyne (GL) Quality in shipbuilding is always high on the agenda. At GL, an Internal Quality Support Team (IQST) was introduced a few years ago to supervise the implementation of GL's quality standard in shipbuilding apart from the approximately 300 surveyors in China.