Impact of Maritime Crises - Coping and Prevention

                                                                                                                                                                                        - Prisilla Nadar

The socio-economic crises around the world have risen due to the pandemic that has had an adverse effect on several industries, especially the maritime industry. The maritime industry has been facing several challenges, namely crew change, restrictions at different countries, etc. Other than the pandemic there are several issues that have had an impact on the maritime industry.

Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA) Asia Pacific on 27th July organized a well-timed webinar on the ‘Impact of Maritime Crises- Coping and Prevention.’

Experts from different sectors of the maritime industry were invited by WISTA to spread awareness about the maritime crises that can arise due to different reasons.

Moderator Randima Krishnaratne, Country sales- Manager, AP Moller Maersk, Srilanka, invited the ace panelists Ms Belinda Koh, Regional Logistics Risk Manager, Nacora Insurance Agency Pte Ltd; Mr Andrew Meadow, Vice President, Head of FDD at Skuld; Mads Skov-Hansen, Head of Operations, West and Central Asia, AP Moller Maersk, and Mrs Dharshani Lahandapura, Chairman, Marine Environment Protection agency, Sri Lanka.

Ms Koh, spoke on Container Ship Casualties- Freight Forwarder’s role. Every freight forwarder has a major role in transportation of goods, and naturally it becomes their duty to avoid any incidents that can be caused by containers. She listed major reasons for Containership casualties such as cargo shift, collision, fire or explosion, flooding, grounding, etc. “Freight forwarders may have an important role in cases, which are attributable to cargo onboard,” said Ms Koh. She mentioned that it is their responsibility to check even the minor details of the container. 

The ship-owners perspective on Global conventions that cover maritime accidents and incidents was covered by Mr Meadow, who stressed on crew safety and creating awareness among the general masses about what happens in the ocean that keeps the world going.

“We learn through incidents,” said Mr Hansen. He spoke on the importance of safety culture that a company needs to follow to make logistics safe. Mr Hansen through his speech made the audience aware about the importance of the logistics sector.

The major maritime accident that shook the maritime world was a cargo ship MV X-Press Vessel carrying chemicals that caught fire off the coast of Sri Lanka, and left an environmental disaster that the island will likely have to live with for decades. Mrs Lahandapura explained in detail the damage caused due to fire and chemicals that spilled in to the ocean. According to her more than 6,000 families have been effected, which turned this incident in to an economic and socio-political issue. She also described it as the largest chemical spill ever in the world.

The session highlighted the factors other than the pandemic that caused maritime crises recently. Several questions and suggestions came up during the panel discussion to reduce maritime incidents.

“This topic is a need of the hour,” said Ms Debbie Jones, Vice President of WISTA, Sri Lanka, while delivering her concluding address. She thanked the panelists for sharing their knowledge and their valuable suggestions.


(Courtesy: Marex Media)

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