Risk management is still not widely practiced in the shipping industry, according to Sanjeev Bhandari
of Mumbai-based P&I Club representative
, Crowe Boda. Speaking at the Shipping: Changes & Challenges seminar in Chennai, India, on February 22, Bhandari said that not only should companies ensure they have effective risk management tools in place, they must also involve all levels of staff in the risk management process.
"Risk management must not remain the concern of top management alone. Staff at all levels should be encouraged to look for areas of vulnerability in both the company and its ships," said Bhandari. For the shipowner, good risk
management should mean a reduction in costs whether it is the replacement or repair of property, compensation to an injured person or the settlement of liabilities. A constant emphasis on education and training is also important to not only deal with main emergencies but also minor occurrences from which
major disasters may develop.
Also speaking at the seminar, which was hosted by the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers and BIMCO, commander Vijay Sakhuja
, a maritime security analyst, highlighted seaports as the "weak link" in the maritime industry's fight against terrorism. "Given the potential dangers," he said, "the security of seaports is far from adequate." Sakhuja called for the assessment of port vulnerability, the limiting of waterfront access to essential personnel, new training standards for port security employees and the introduction of vital security equipment such as cameras and vessel tracking devices.
Other topics covered at the two-day seminar, which attracted over 250 delegates, include maritime training, ship agency, fraud and piracy, and the maritime environment. Chief guest was Michael Everard, president of BIMCO and chairman of the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers' education and training committee.