Page 30: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2013)

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30 Maritime Reporter & Engineering News ? MARCH 2013 tas for example has become a massive global organization, and maritime is one of its smaller business sectors. With the merger of DNV and GL, we are seeing the birth of another such organization. Their success and growth outside tradi-tional ship classiÞ cation is truly impres- sive.For us at ClassNK, we are solely fo-cused on the maritime industry, but we have also had enjoyed this success, be-coming the Þ rst classi Þ cation society in history to have more than 200 gross tons our register last year. Of course, the real beneÞ ciary is the maritime industry. We are seeing an incredible number of new treaties and new regulations enter force, and it is classiÞ cation societies that are developing the tools and technologies necessary to address these changes. We have grown to become organizations that can effectively answer the many technical challenges faced by the indus-try, and that is an incredible achieve- ment.We noted with interest of the world Þ rst ?Ballast Water Management System in a Box? solution from MOL and Mitsubishi, which was classed by ClassNK. As you well know, shipown- ers in general feel overburdened with new rules and regulations regarding the manner in which they out Þ t their ship. From where you sit, as environ- mental regulation (and the related costs of doing business) continue to evolve, what effect(s) do you see it having on the marine industry as a whole? As I mentioned above, while there are costs associated with new regulations, they can also provide own-ers with numerous beneÞ ts. This is es- pecially true with regards to regulations ClassNK?s physical footprint in the Americas is growing but will need to ramp up to meet new business re- quirements ? additional USCG autho- rizations and subchapter M. How will you do that and to whom can you look for help? Since Þ rst starting to discuss the new brown water regulations with tug and barge owners in 2009, we?ve steadily increased our resources in the U.S. and with the authorization we have received from the USCG, we can now begin to fully expand our operations to better serve the industry. We are already examining sites for new ofÞ ces to better cover the Mississippi and other rivers, and hope to make some announcements regarding our expanded operations with-in the next month. How has the recent global economic problems speciÞ cally impacted the business of ClassNK, and if you could, please put in perspective the scale and scope of this downturn versus down-turns in previous years. I have been in the maritime in- dustry for more than 40 years now, and so I have seen downturns like this one before. One thing that makes this down-turn particularly difÞ cult is that even as the market has faltered, fuel prices have increased, and new regulations are put-ting even greater pressures on owners and operators. While this poses its own difÞ culties, it has also inspired us an organization. Following the crash in 2008, we realized that high costs and low revenues, com-bined with the burden of new regulation would place a major toll on the industry, and Joint R&D for Industry program was started in 2009 as a response. Under this program we provide research funding and support to maritime organizations in order to develop new technologies and processes to improve efÞ ciency and re- duce costs at all stages of a ship?s life. The program has been so successful that it now accounts for more than half our R&D budget. If we can bridge the gap through technology and reduce costs for shipowners, yards and operators, we can help re-ignite growth in the industry, and that we that is an important goal. As you re ß ect on the role of CLASS in general (not ClassNK speciÞ cally), there has been quite a transformation in the last decade, punctuated by the recent announcement of the merger of two major class societies. In your opinion, what do you consider to be the most positive changes in class in regards to the way in which it inter- acts with the industry? I think the most important change has been the success of classiÞ ca-tion societies these past few years, with some classiÞ cation societies expanding far beyond just maritime. Bureau Veri- CLASSMR #3 (26-33).indd 30MR #3 (26-33).indd 303/4/2013 9:13:40 AM3/4/2013 9:13:40 AM

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