Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Data sharing is a prerequisite to enabling the successful implementation of Just-In-Time (JIT) operations – which can cut the time ships spend idling outside ports and help cut emissions as well as save on fuel costs. This was the message in a media briefing by IMO in the first week of May
Participants at a roundtable meeting of IMO’s Global Industry Alliance to Support Low Carbon Shipping (GIA) in London on 1 / 2 May, agreed that increased transparency of information through data sharing was imperative, while this should be achieved through standardized functional and data definitions.
IHMA Project Officer, Captain Ben van Scherpenzeel, (Port of Rotterdam) participated in this roundtable and is seen in the accompanying illustration at IMO HQ, fourth from right.
It was learnt that more frequent exchange of information would lead to better predictability of when a berth is available. Additionally, it was reported that the roundtable identified the need for a global, neutral, not-for profit data sharing platform, to allow frequent updates from terminals and vessel service providers on completion times.
At its meeting at IMO the roundtable also identified the potential benefits of regulating data sharing, while incentivising data quality.
Furthermore, the roundtable meeting was reported as the latest in a series organized by the GIA, to identify and discuss the operational, contractual and regulatory barriers – and potential solutions – to the adoption of Just-In-Time operations.
Cutting greenhouse gas emissions
It was reported that the meeting heard of operational measures helping to substantially cut greenhouse gas emissions from ships. In 2018, IMO adopted an initial IMO strategy on reduction of GHG emissions from ships, setting out a vision which confirms IMO’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions from international shipping and to phasing them out as soon as possible.
Global Industry Alliance
The GIA is an innovative public-private partnership initiative of the IMO, under the framework of the GEF-UNDP-IMO Global Maritime Energy Efficiency Partnerships (GloMEEP) Project that aims to bring together maritime industry leaders to support an energy efficient and low carbon maritime transport system.
In conclusion, it was reported that the roundtable was attended by more than 30 GIA and non-GIA members (including representatives of shipping companies, ship agents, ship brokers, ports, terminals, bunker providers, nautical service providers, maritime organizations, maritime law firms and so forth).
More women are joining the maritime ranks in a variety of professions within the industry. To encourage this trend, IMO supported a training course aimed at female officials from maritime and port authorities. (See illustration here kindly provided by kind courtesy of IMO © along with valuable background material in a media briefing).
A total of 25 women from 17 developing countries took part in the two-week Women in Port Management course, hosted in Le Havre, France from 24 June to 5 July.
This course covered lectures on port management, port security, the marine environment, facilitation of maritime traffic, marketing, port logistics and other topics. Participants learnt about the necessary skills required to improve the management and operational efficiency of their ports.
Visits were organized to the Port of Le Havre and the Port of Rouen, giving participants the chance to experience the day-to-day operations of a port, with a view to applying this knowledge back in their respective countries.
The port management course was delivered through IMO’s Women in Maritime programme, supported by the Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China and in partnership with the Port Institute for Education and Research (IPER) and the Le Havre Port Authority. It comes as part of IMO’s ongoing and increasing efforts to support the UN Sustainable Development Goal No 5* to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
The Council of the IMO (see illustration here kindly provided by IMO © ) condemned recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman at its meeting in London held from 15-19 July.
After debate, the IMO Council decided to condemn the attacks and expressed its concern over the grave danger to life and the serious risks to navigational safety and the environment to which such incidents may give rise. The Council also emphasised the need for flag States and ship owners and operators to review the maritime security plans for their ships and implement necessary measures to address the heighted security risk to ships operating in the Strait of Hormuz and Sea of Oman.
Addressing the IMO Council, Secretary-General Kitack Lim also emphasised his personal condemnation of the attacks, asserting that: ‘…threats to ships and their crews, peaceably going about their business in any part of the world, are intolerable.’
On 12 May 2019, Saudi Arabian-flagged vessels Amjad and Al Marzoqah, the Norwegian-flagged vessel Andrea Victory and the Emirati-flagged vessel A. Michel, were attacked off the coast near Fujairah and suffered sabotage damage, and on 13 June 2019, the Marshall Islands flag Front Altair and Panama flag Kokuka Courageous were attacked, suffering hull damage and fire, while located in the Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz.