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Conference, a strategy in bond building at EXMAR

Posted to Conference, a strategy in bond building at EXMAR (by on March 15, 2012

Besides helping to keep abreast of regulatory developments, EXMAR places stress on holding conferences as they help the ship board personnel to work as a team

The reason for it being able to buck the downtrend as claimed by EXMAR Shipmanagement is the management’s policy of consistently striving to enhance the mariners’ level of proficiency and maintain a higher quality standard than what is prescribed by regulatory authorities. A basic way of achieving this has been to bring together the sailing staff while on shore leave to attend conferences and training seminars which greatly helps in bond building. Their 6 Annual Conference held yesterday and today in Mumbai is a remarkable evidence of these endeavors. 

According to the directors, who make it a point to fly down from Belgium to participate in these events, although such ventures are high on ‘cost’ factor, especially to fly down seafarers from various quarters of the country and from overseas to attend conferences and seminars, yet the company attaches the greatest importance to such programs.

“We ensure that we get world renowned and knowledgeable speakers to give presentations and initiate discussions at these workshops in order that the participants are able to amass necessary information and knowledge in the shortest possible time,” informed one of the heads at the Indian office. “This time issues including Vetting, SIRE inspections, Dry docking, Maritime Labor Convention (MLC – 2006), Crewing, Tackling piracy, Importance of maintaining the right attitude on board were some of the topics that were brought into focus.     

Capt. Jureskin Niksa in his inimitable approach to Vetting Inspection revealed his strategy that has never failed in any vetting inspection despite the heavy odds. “It is team work,” he guaranteed. “The response from the ship owner has to show the implementations of best industry practices through continuous improvement and not merely compliance with the flag and classification requirements.”

He further explained about the type of answers to queries raised by the inspectors that are bound to get rejected or accepted. He also outlined the accepted norm for replies that needed to be given against non-conformities, human error or deficiencies. If strictly adhered to, he claimed, there is no question of the ship ever getting rejected.  

On the other hand, Mr. Fadra from PAC Marine highlighted some out-of-the-box approaches to tackle SIRE inspection reports. This process he informed would always ensure that inspection standards were maintained and closely monitored.

EXMAR was one of the first to use armed guards at the request of the ship owners. Moreover, though they carried dangerous and explosive cargo they have never faced attacks, not just because they have the youngest ships but because they have a good defense system in place. At this conference a top Indian Navy expert specializing in tackling piracy showed how it can be smooth and safe sailing in pirate-infected waters if the right measures were complied with. Besides the Best Management Practices he unraveled strategies that could be used to frustrate pirate attack. What was interesting to note was that the techniques employed by the pirates to attack merchant vessels are not all that crafty as it is made out to be.

Bringing the participants up-to-date with the new regulations Kaushik K. Seal, Head of GL Academy for South Asia gave an in-depth presentation on the International shipping regulations. These included STCW, SOLAS, MARPOL, and Maritime Labor Convention 2006. All issues from competency and proficiency, requirements, how seafarers are expected to comply with these regulations, certification up-gradation, etc were explained   

There is much that the ship board personnel can do to cut down costs. Besides preventing wastage, judicious use of consumables such as oil, spares, etc., conservation, besides the planned & proper management of supplies along with good team work would, at the end of the day help the company curtail losses. These were amply brought out during the workshops and discussions.

Most importantly it is the “Attitude on board” that counts. Tony Fernandez, well-known for helping several ship manning company to chalk out strategy for making ‘shipboard life an empowering experience through committed, concerned, involved and proactive behavior’ was brought in to show the way to the participants in how best this can be achieved. At the end of the session it was unanimously felt that various tips provided by Tony Fernandez in his presentation helped to make the day.

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