Page 44: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2011)

Maritime Risk

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44 Maritime Professional 1Q 2011

Seeking & Finding the



In a digital world, controlling the physical risks associated with ocean shipping is no longer a subjective task. An increasingly sophisticated and affordable tool at the cutting edge of technology is available for tanker and Drybulk charterers alike.

Finding the right ship has never been this easy. by Joseph Keefe

The prequalification of tonnage, oth- erwise known as vetting, has come of age. Ship inspection reports on the world’s fleet of chemical and LPG tankers can be had from the Chemical

Data Institute (CDI). The Oil

Companies International Marine Forum (OCIMF) system is known simply as

SIRE. That standardized inspection sys- tem – based primarily on safety issues – evolved to the point where it arguably became the standard against which all tankers were judged for suitability for hire. For both systems, vetting person- nel had to possess minimum qualifica- tions and undergo a certain amount of training before being allowed to inspect tonnage to assess risk.

By the mid-1990’s, some charterers and receivers – unsatisfied with rigid vetting protocols that either ignored the commercial aspects of a vessel’s suit- ability or simply did not meet their internal criteria – branched out and cre- ated their own third party rating sys- tems. These systems, although unso- phisticated and largely paper driven at first, also melded the commercial con- cerns of traders with the safety consid- erations of risk professionals. The new approach recognized that the safest ship in the world that can’t perform on char- ter is as much of a loser as a substan- dard, poorly manned and maintained vessel. Culling information from a myr- iad of sources, far beyond the simple physical vetting itself, it was realized that risk management for oceangoing tonnage could be much more than “vet- ting.” At the forefront of that effort was a company named RightShip.


Formed in 2001 as a boutique ship vetting company, aiming to lift stan- dards in dry bulk vetting, RightShip Pty

Ltd has since changed the shape of the global vetting scene forever. Started as a partnership between BHP Billiton and

Rio Tinto, RightShip was to provide services to two organizations that want- ed to roll out vetting as a company-wide and indeed, a global initiative.

Eventually, and responding to outside requests, RightShip began to provide third party services to others.

Speaking from his headquarters in

Australia, RightShip CEO Warwick

Norman described the RightShip sys- tem by saying, “We operate on a differ- ent system and understanding of where the tanker vetting has come to – and

SIRE has come a long way in the last 40 years. We started as a primarily dry cargo vetting system – there was no

SIRE, no industry database from which to tap into. We had to devise a different platform from which to access the silos of information – some of which was untapped, uncoordinated, focusing all of it around a single platform. Using that information, we put together a risk

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Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.