The tanker industry has been concentrating on winning the emissions’ battle, but is there an even bigger issue over the horizon?
I have been talking a lot recently about the current battle being fought in tanker shipping, namely emissions. With the 2020 sulphur cap on the horizon we can see the next round of skirmishes, and by looking at California, we can see how that particular war will develop.
But by concentrating on emissions and the environment, are we being out-flanked by an unseen force?
Last week I asked the captain of a chemical tanker “What is the biggest challenge you face?”He said that safety of the crew, ship and environment were his priorities, and the number one issue that compromised safety was seafarers’ hours.
Seafarers’ hours are covered by STCW and he had no issue with this. The problem for him as a man manager, was ensuring his crew had met instructions from head office and were adequately trained to work safely. This often meant the crew were working several hours overtime to meet these requirements.
In some cases, he had refused to work cargo as the crew with the required qualifications were on rest. He said the company he worked for understood this, but not all would.
In my opinion, this is an issue we need to keep an eye on. Indeed, if seafarers’ hours really is the next battleground, then we as an industry need to prepare, make sure we are in front of the issue and not stumble into another war we cannot win.
Do you think seafarers’ hours is the next issue to affect tanker shipping, and if not – what?Let me know your thoughts.
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