ABS: Tech, Safety Drive Shipping Leadership
ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki spoke about the important role of the U.S. continuing to shape the future of global maritime energy, safety and sustainability during a keynote address at the opening session of the CMA Shipping 2019 Conference.
“The U.S. energy landscape has been and will continue to be shaped by a relentless focus on improving technology and safety. When we speak about shaping the future of maritime energy use, we are really speaking about technology and safety driving energy leadership,” Wiernicki told attendees. “Through technology leadership we have seen a liberation in the energy markets that has enabled, and continues to enable, us and others to pursue the dream of cleaner, more sustainable industrial operations.”
Challenging targets from IMO for 2030 and 2050 are pushing the industry to find new solutions around fuel and operations that are not only environmentally responsible, but also commercially viable, technically feasible and safe—the only way any environmental solution will ever be sustainable, he cautioned.
He went on to highlight how ABS is responding by “innovating across a range of sectors, including the use of digital technology,” which he singled out as a key enabler to enhancing efficiencies, reducing risk and assessing alternative fuels, new energy sources and new operational strategies.
He added ABS was “laser focused” on ensuring the industry managed the transition to a low carbon economy safely and highlighted the key role the ISM code would play in the digital future.
“What will safety look like tomorrow in a digital world or even next week in a smarter more autonomous world? Today, we live in a world where safety in our industry is focused on the systems we see and can touch - the structure, the equipment. Tomorrow, safety will be focused on the systems that we don’t see such as software and data.
“ISM will be the leader of safety in this digital world. Its systems thinking framework was built for this. It is not just a compliance requirement but a framework that has the muscle to address two important trends: first that technology will become an even greater safety enabler and drive the safety risk protective frontier and, second, that safety will become more synonymous with cyber and digital security and improved reliability.
“Safety success and determining sufficient safety in a shipping 4.0 and low-carbon world is a team sport. Regulators must recognize this and work even closer with industry to become collective global safety shapers.”
CMA Shipping is an annual meeting of 2,500 leaders of the maritime industry from around the world, the largest gathering of maritime executives in North America.