Page 28: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2014)

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W hen International Registries, Inc. and its af- fi liates (IRI) and Republic of the Marshall Is- lands (RMI) Registry recently pushed through 100 million gross tons, the impressive number kept RMI fi rmly planted in the number three position within the ranks of global open registries. And, yet, that enviable mar- ket position obscures so many other metrics which are more important. With a world-leading average bluewater vessel age of just 7.9 years, IRI’s safety and quality numbers – according to ICS, the U.S. Coast Guard and the IMO – are even more impressive. How they achieved those metrics is the real story.

Over time, IRI, who provides administrative and technical support to RMI, has perfected the decentralization of Registry services. According to William Gallagher, IRI President, one of the key competitive advantages of a quality fl ag state is the ability to provide competent and timely services to clients, anywhere in the world. He adds, “The backbone of the organi- zation is truly the experienced maritime personnel positioned in our network of 25 worldwide offi ces. Shipowners are able to reach a Registry representative in their own time zone and language, using a 24/7 duty offi cer system that enables indus- try stakeholders to reach a representative in emergency situa- tions.” Beyond this, says Gallagher, “Our robust vetting pro- cess for ships entering and remaining in the Registry enables us to ensure that only quality owners and operators make up the fl eet of the RMI Registry.”

At local RMI offi ces, technical and marine safety status boards enable RMI personnel to ensure timely responses, even when an event crosses from one time zone to the next. These status boards also enable personnel to see all issues associated with a particular vessel.

Decentralization: The key to Quality and Safety

In most business models, when volume goes up, the qual- ity correspondingly goes down. Not so with RMI. Growing from just 39 vessels and 2 million gross tons in 1990 to 100 million gross tons and more than 2,250 vessels today, fl eet quality nevertheless remains at an enviously high level. And, the numbers simply don’t lie.

RMI’s white list status on the Paris and Tokyo Memoran- dums of Understanding (MoUs) and being included on the

United States Coast Guard’s (USCG) Qualship 21 roster for nine consecutive years is unprecedented. Started in 2011 by the

U.S. Coast Guard, QUALSHIP 21 recognizes high-quality ves- sels and their commitment to safety and quality. Bill Gallagher explains the ratings even further. “The scorecard from the port

State control (PSC) jurisdictions is really a clear measurement of how a Registry is doing. While the RMI fl eet has grown sig- nifi cantly on an annual basis, it has still been able to maintain the same level of quality on a global basis with the various MoUs.”

Separately, the latest ICS “Flag State Performance Table” has the Marshall Islands with no less than 18 out of 18 “posi- tive performance ratings” or Green indicators. Very few other fl ags can boast the same performance, still fewer in fl ag fl eets as large as the Marshall Islands. The numbers did not come about by accident. That said; IRI is not sitting on its hands.

Improving IRI’s unique, decentralized Registry model is an ongoing process that involves further refi nement of internal systems through IT resources to enhance the ability to com-

REGISTRIES 100m gt strong, International Registries and the Republic of the Marshall

Islands Registry prove that quality and safety are not mutually exclusive.

By Joseph Keefe

Strength in Numbers

RANK Flag Type Age # Vessels m.GT %Chng 2014 1 Panama Open 16.2 8547 231 + 2.3 2 Liberia Open 9.5 3172 131 + 2.7 3 RMI Open 7.9 2252 93 (*) + 10.2 4 Hong Kong Open 8.9 2326 84 + 8.2 5 Singapore Open 9.2 3535 68 + 13.1 6 Bahamas Open 14.2 1422 55 + 1.3 7 China PR National 15.8 3685 48 + 6.6 8 Malta Open 11.5 1794 47 + 6.6 9 Greece National 23.7 1534 44 + 2.4 10 Cyprus Open 11.1 1048 21 + 1.9

Source: Clarkson Research Services / (*) RMI passed 100 million tons in late January 2014. 28 | Maritime Professional | 1Q 2014

MP Q1 2014 18-33.indd 28 2/27/2014 12:37:12 PM

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Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.