Page 28: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2013)

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28 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News ? MARCH 2013 We have watched with great interest the activities of ClassNK over the past year, as it has expanded its reach into the U.S. further and continued to pass world record milestone after milestone in terms of tonnage under class. In your words, what has been the impe- tus for this growth in the previous 12 months? In 2012, nearly 1000 vessels and more than 25 million gross tons joined the ClassNK register. Even with scrapping at an all-time high, the NK register grew by a net total of more than 16 million gross tons in 2012, a new record. Last year was without a doubt an incredible success for our society. I think that underlying that growth has been a few factors. One, we are 100% dedicated to the maritime industry. 66% of our staff are maritime surveyors, and 70% of our staff are either naval architects or mechanical engineers. At the same time, all of our R&D bud-get, which amounted to nearly $60m in 2012, goes entirely to maritime related research, with the vast amount to joint re-search with companies from throughout the industry. Two, ClassNK is not a business; we are a non-proÞ t service organization dedicated to supporting the maritime in-dustry. We don?t view ourselves as a be- ing a certiÞ cation business, but rather an organization dedicated to supporting the maritime industry. Our clients trust us be- cause they know we are independent and motivated by safety, not making pro Þ ts. These factors, combined with our com-mitment to service and technical excel-lence, are I think the main reasons for our success over the years, and I believe they will continue to be the source of our suc-cess in the years to come. ClassNK is truly a global classiÞ cation society with deep roots in the tradition-al, bluewater markets. But how does that expertise and experience translate to business opportunities in the domes-tic, U.S. inland trades and how will you reach those customers? ClassNK has been active in the U.S. since opening our New York of Þ ce in 1962. Over the past 50 years, we?ve built incredibly strong relationships with many American shipowners, especially in the dry bulk sector, some of which span generations. Today, we are not only the world?s largest class society, we also clas- sify some 35% of the world?s bulk carri- ers, and so ships classed with NK already carry a large part of America?s grain and coal exports. As you likely know, some 60% of America?s grain and 20% of its coal are already transported on river barges, so we are familiar with the indus- try, and with the expansion of the Panama Canal we expect that America?s brown water industry will have an even brighter future ahead of it. ClassNKNoboru Ueda & ClassNK Push Ahead in the United StatesThere has been a decided uptick in activities from Japan?s ClassNK in the last 18 months, as it contin-ues to drive its world-leading ton-nage numbers ever higher. Led by Chairman and President Noboru Ueda, ClassNK has been mak-ing moves to extend its inß uence globally, including a big push for growth in the U.S. Maritime Re- porter & Engineering News was able to visit with Mr. Ueda to dis- cuss the society?s strategy going forward. By Greg Trauthwein, Editor CLASSMR #3 (26-33).indd 28MR #3 (26-33).indd 283/1/2013 2:50:17 PM3/1/2013 2:50:17 PM

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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.