Helm 01 2014

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people power:

Shipping’s human element

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Helm Magazine is a Wilhelmsen Ships Service Customer Publication

people powerED:


Shipping’s human element Page 42


Europe’s largest port is ­expanding once more, while the city continues­to reach ever upwards page 10


Liferaft rental, maritime logistics, cargo hold cleaning & fleet wide safety service page 23

business culture

Understanding how to share specialist knowledge within your global network is vital page 74

helm | Magazine

Ò Issue #03

When this photo of a deckhand's neat rope work was taken back in the late 80s Rotterdam was the world's largest port. It has since lost that title, but its influence, and incidentally the skill of its workers has remained.

Helm Magazine ISSUE #03  PUBLISHED SEPTEMBER 2014 editor David Hopkins Art direction Dinamo Magazine Gaute Gjøl Dahle Fredrik Öhlander PRINTING Merkur Grafisk AS Repro Dinamo HELM is published by Wilhelmsen Ships Service AS Strandveien 20 PO Box 33 N-1324 Lysaker, Norway Follow us on twitter @WSSNetwork This is a customer magazine, and we want to include the sort of information that you most want to read, in the way you want to read it.

people power:

Shipping’S human element

page 42

Helm Magazine is a Wilhelmsen Ships Service Customer Publication

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions regarding the contents or ­presentation of this publication, please send them to Katrin Berntsen, Acting Head Of Communications, Wilhelmsen Ships Service at: wss.communications@wilhelmsen.com

people powereD:

Shipping’S human element page 42

The content of this magazine is fully ­protected and nothing may be reprinted or reproduced without the expressed permission of the p ­ ublishers. Special care is taken in compiling the content of this magazine, but we assume no ­responsibility for the effects arising therefrom. ID Number 806035





0 Trykksak 6



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To learn more about WSS go to: www.wilhelmsen.com/shipsservice RotteRdam

Europe’s largest port is expanding once more, while the city continues to reach ever upwards page 10


Liferaft rental, maritime logistics, cargo hold cleaning & fleet wide safety service page 23

buSineSS cultuRe

Understanding how to share specialist knowledge within your global network is vital page 74

The cover We are incredibly proud to have acclaimed i­llustrator ­Eddie Guy produce a ­bespoke illustration for the cover of this issue. A master of photo collage his work has graced the pages of The New York Times, Rolling Stone, Vogue, The Wall Street ­Journal, Time and a whole lot more. You can see more of his ­incredible work and read about the man himself here: www.eddieguy.net

magazine | Helm


"It seems that many companies are just waking up to the fact that their businesses’ success, or failure for that matter, is largely ­dependent upon the knowledge, skills and dedication of its staff"

Photo getty images

Whether it’s on shore, in port, or

at sea, shipping’s fortunes are carried on the shoulders of the men, and women, whom charter, finance, design, build, guide, load, unload, inspect, command, cook and clean. We took this as a wellestablished truth, but it seems that many companies are just waking up to the fact that their businesses’ success,

or failure for that matter, is largely ­dependent upon the knowledge, skills and dedication of its staff. Regardless of our industry's

late arrival at this realization, the 'human element' has very quickly become shipping's hot topic. Regrettably we may have only finally got here through

accidents, mistakes and misfortune, but we're here nonetheless. Let's hope we stay a while focusing on, and investing in, staff ­training and development and ways of improving how, when and where we work. The benefits could be enormous and they'll benefit all of us.

— David Hopkins, Editor

Helm Magazine


Photo Tor Ola Svennevig

book review:


Offering an unusual and often emotive insight into the lives of Norway’s seamen and a proud era in the country's rich m ­ aritime history, ­Norwegian Sailors’ ­Tattoos is much, much more than just a picture book of traditional tattoo graphics.

Page 78 4

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Photo Getty images, Corbis/ NTB SCANPIC, Wilhelmsen archive, Stutterheim

magazine | Helm



10 more than a port

Rotterdam Forever living in the shadow of its glitzy cousin ­Amsterdam, there is more to this city than its port operations and a guy called Erasmus.

18 our People at work


One of our newest, and youngest, port sales engineers John Kerkhoven has very quickly become an indispensable part of our port operations team based in Europe's logistical heartland, The Netherlands.




Offering predicable costs and standardized servicing, why buy when you can rent?



Getting the hold ready for the next cargo quickly and e ­ fficiently is essential in today's market.



Taking on regulatory and operational burdens so you don't have to.


AGENCY & LOGISTICS Working in tandem to provide the services you and your ­customers need in port.



First hand knowledge of fire equipment is important to have, and especially if you're selling it every day.

page 9 - 22

page 23 - 38



people powered

Easy to overlook, but our ­industry's most valuable ­commodity is actually flesh and bone, it's us, you and I.



Facts, comments and quotes highlighting just some of the issues facing 21st century mariners.



A global standard for seafarer competence is well overdue. We speak to the IMO’s Andy Winbow, Director of it’s Maritime Safety Division.



Technology may often eliminate unskilled labor, but creates ­opportunities too.

page 39 - 64


66 Gadgets

The traveller

Find the product you wish you’d packed.

67 culture New Media

Practical, or a fun waste of time, we have apps for that.

68 products

Medical Safety

Can medical products be ­dependable and beautiful to look at? We think so.

70 Green issues


Consistently regulating the vessels working in polar areas is both environmentally ­important and vital for our industry's continued growth.

page 65 - 71

72 historic view

76 comment

82 Afterword

A relaxing game of deck ­croquet anyone?

Spreading experiences across ­network organizations isn't easy.

Hans Christian Kjelsrud has the ­final word on the state of the market.



the full stop

Helm Magazine


helm | observations

Photo Getty Images



Having slowly slumped into the bleak South ­Philadelphia landscape for the past seventeen years, it is oddly fitting that arguably the SS United States’ final chance of redemption rests on the shoulders of one of its own. Well sort of. Susan L. Gibbs, the leader of the SS United States Conservancy Group attempting to raise sufficient funds to preserve this once iconic vessel is actually the granddaughter of its pioneering designer, William Francis Gibbs. Built for speed and costing over $78 million to construct back in 1952 this large, super-fast luxury passenger liner demolished both eastbound and westbound Atlantic crossing records, securing the Blue Riband in its celebrated, if sadly short, seventeen-year service career. Now costing upwards of $80,000 a month to maintain, here’s hoping Gibbs’ ­granddaughter can achieve what numerous others couldn’t and ­somehow save this unique piece of maritime history.

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Helm Magazine


helm | observations


Facts & Figures



hile the ­traditional ­ isruption and d ­slowdowns, which typically accompany contract negotiations between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and port operators on the U.S. West Coast haven’t occurred, the two sides still haven’t signed on the dotted line. And as the previous labor contract expired back in July, it is a nervous time for U.S. retailers wary of their Christmas stock being stuck in supply chain limbo by port strikes. The negotiations cover 29 U.S. ports along the California, Oregon and Washington coastline including all the major container ports

(Los Angeles, Long Beach, Oakland, Portland, Seattle and Tacoma). Responsible for over 40 per cent of all container shipments into the U.S., concerns about the potential impact stoppages could have on the country’s ­economic recovery are well founded. Discussions around new longshore labor agreements are typically when the risk of disruption obviously peaks. 2008’s renegotiation featured only minor disruptions, but in 2002 the expiry of a previous labour contract resulted in a ten-day lockout and traffic chaos, which was only resolved following the federal government’s intervention. Only time will tell if this latest round of talks will be concluded without incident.

“Any kind of disruption at the ports would add costly delays to our members’ supply chains and other industries relying on U.S. West Coast ports, and it likely further threatens the fragile economic recovery.” National Retail Federation President, Matthew Shay


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The amount Singapore-based AMK securities is believed to be paying Jinhai Heavy Industry for each of the ten Newcastlemax bulk carriers it has on order from the Chinese yard. With delivery expected in the third quarter of 2016, AMK has options on an additional 20 vessels.


Is once again the maximum size of vessels allowed to transit the historic waterfront of the city of Venice. Reinstating a ban that was only lifted back in May, from the start of 2015 vessels of this size will be blocked from entering the Giudecca Canal and San Marco Basin. In addition, ships of more than 40,000grt will also face, as yet unspecified, restrictions.



Still at the table

Is the number of passengers Royal Caribbean’s new 167,800 ton Quantum Of The Seas cruise ship can accommodate. Floatedout from the Meyer Werft shipyard in Papenburg, Germany this month it will now undergo sea trials before e ­ ntering service. Initially s­ cheduled to sail between New York and the ­Caribbean, this winter it will then be homeported in Shanghai.


10 More Than A Port - 足Rotterdam

16 Our People At Work - Port Sales Engineer

Rotterdam's Erasmusbrug (Erasmusbridge) is just named after the city's most famous son, it's not actually designed by him as some locals think. That honor belongs to Ben van Berkel. Photo Getty Images

Helm Magazine


Kunsthal Rotterdam. Arguably one of the most intelligently designed art spaces anywhere in the world, let alone Europe, Kunsthal is a must see if you visit the city.


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Home to Europe’s largest and ever expanding port, this focused, but refreshingly modest city continues to express its efforts ever more ­eccentrically skyward in concrete and steel.

Photo Getty Images

Text David Hopkins

Helm Magazine


Photo Getty Images

PEOPLE | more than a port

Euromast Tower. It's very unlikely tostis are on the menu at the Euromast Tower restaurant, but unrivaled views of the city most definitely are.

hough we’re rightly very sceptical about

phrases and sayings quoted verbatim on Wikipedia and the like, there’s one about this port city which we actually heard on several occasions, and with our own ears. And that is, ‘Amsterdam to party, Den Haag (The Hague) to live, Rotterdam to work’. Now, whether this clearly popular mantra on Rotterdam’s status and its relationship to its clear, and often bitter rivals in the case of Amsterdam, has become prevalent based on actual fact, rather than fashion is…well, debatable. For starters,

looking at the OECD’s numbers, Amsterdam actually pips its port city rival on both GDP per capita, GDP growth, and it also has a lower unemployment level. But our gut feeling, which may be in part affected by the unholy trio of bread/eggs/ cheese that our Dutch diet almost totally consisted of, still leads us to believe that the saying rings true. Sort of, data be damned. Wandering around the city day and night, while it isn’t strictly business, Rotter-

dam seems focused and immersed in the world of work in a way you just don’t pick-up wafting through the smoky red haze of Amsterdam, or for that matter luxuriating in


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••• Facts TIME ZONE: CET (UTC+1) CURRENCY: Euro (EUR) POPULATION: 617,693 (municipality

2013 est.)

EXCHANGE RATE: Approx 0.76 Euro to

1.00 US Dollar

NETHERLANDS GDP: $41,400 Per Capita

(PPP) (2013 est.) $696.3 billion (PPP) (2013 est.) ROTTERDAM GDP: $36,000 Per Capita (PPP) (OECD est)


6.8% (2013 est.)



Photo Getty Images, NTB Scanpix / Corbis





[1] Cafe Unie. Cafe life is a little less psychedelic in Rotterdam [2] Feyenoord. It's not all work and architectural obsession, the Dutch love football and Rotterdammers love Feyenoord. [3] Rotterdam native Rem Koolhas' influence on the world of architecture is significant, so its no surprise he's responsible for some of the most iconic buildings in the city of his birth. [4] The annual North Sea Jazz Festival brings the great and the good of the international jazz fraternity to the city. Here's Omar Hakim performing at Lantaren Venster last year.

the picture postcard, historic charm of The Hague. Bereft of large quantities of ­tourists, rabid revellers, transit passengers or coffee shop seeking backpackers, the city feels more reserved, stoic and dare we say, more grown up than its most immediate sibling rival Amsterdam. Sure there’s a thriving nightlife scene, this is the city which gave the world the ­headache inducing electronic dance music gabba after all, and the galleries and museums would be the envy of any c­ apital. Kunsthal, designed by native ­ architectural icon Rem Koolhaas, for e­ xample, should be the de-facto template for modern ­galleries ­worldwide. It’s exceptional, and the collection at the B ­ oijmans Van ­Beuningen museum peppered as it is with Rembrandts, Cézannes and Breugels, is almost as out of this world as the Kop van Zuid skyline. But there seems to be a ­subtly and quiet c­ onfidence to the city, which sets it apart, it feels very ordered, busi-

ness-like and sensible, for want of a better word. This, as we would soon found out is in stark contrast to its, more just isn’t enough, ­extrovert ­architecture. by the German air force on the 14th of May 1940, prior to the invasion of Holland, with 2.6 square kilometres of the city’s buildings flattened, the city also suffered once again in 1942/43 in the so-called ‘forgotten bombardment’ of its docks and shipyards by allied forces preparing to liberate the country. Few large buildings in the city centre survived, but Europe’s first skyscraper, built in 1898, the 45 meter tall, Witte Huis or White House building, is one of the few which did. It, along with the small enclave of posterity that is ­Delfhaven, provide a visual cue as to what the city may just have looked like if the Second World War hadn’t intervened. But while history, sadly, can’t be undone,

All but levelled

a city can be reborn and while slurping up a coronary-inducing portion of mayonnaise drenched, Bram Ladage frites we stumbled upon the inauspicious icon of Rotterdam’s triumphant early rebuilding, the Lijnbaan. Named after the rope produced

here in the seventeenth century, ­ urope’s first purpose-built pedestrian E shopping street was completed in 1953 and quickly became a template for how a city’s retail areas could be designed. Now home to a frankly bewilderingly large amount of training shoe shops, while there’s ­ little to admire aesthetically about this ­ modest concrete arcade, it was a t­ railblazing, innovative benchmark for retail ­architecture and urban planning. In many ways it helps to explain the city’s almost ­ fanatical preoccupation with challenging ­design and why it’s one of the few cities on earth where you Helm Magazine


Photos NTB Scanpix/ corbis

PEOPLE | more than a port




[1-3] SHORT BACK AND SIDES. Schorem (scumbags) is a classic old-school barbershop specializing in traditional cuts and hot towel shaves. Typically packed day in and day out and with a queue round the block, sadly it's men and dogs only as women aren't allowed.

spend more time s­ taring ­upwards, than actually l­ooking where you’re g­ oing. Shuffling through early ­ evening shoppers t­owards nowhere in particular via the u ­ nderground shopping mall Beaurstraverse, also affectionately known as the Koopgoot, or shopping gutter, we temporarily leave architectural c­ oncerns behind and finally lower our gaze on a man, with a big open book. Erasmus.

old Rasmus that many even believe he designed the bridge that now bears his name (he didn’t by the way, it was designed by Ben van Berkel). Spanning the Niewe Maas, the cable-stayed bridge r­ esembles a discarded futuristic harp or a downed Klingon ship from Star Trek, we can’t quite decide which, but it’s a fittingly bold means of getting to our next stop, the ­current site of the city’s ­architectural obsession, Wilhelminapier.

Though abstract expressionist painter Home to the city’s existing, and soon to be Willem de Kooning and Manchester United’s upgraded cruise terminal, it is also the site on Robin van Persie may disagree, Catholic priest, which the Holland America Line (HAL) provided critic, teacher, scholar and the renaissance over a century of one way traffic, taking passenhumanist’s humanist, Desiderius Erasmus gers from the old world to the new. P ­ eaking at ­Roterodamus is by far and away the city’s most the end of the 1800s it’s estimated over 90,000 famous and celebrated son. A prolific writer in cabin passengers and 400,000 third-class pasthe 1500s his body of work on ecclesiastic and sengers made the Transatlantic j­ ourney to North human interest subjects is considerable. In addi- A ­ merica and Canada. But the new ­terminal is tion to his literary canon, there are numerous in- unlikely to be what the 76,000 cruise p ­ assengers stitutions and structures in Rotterdam bearing who passed in the opposite direction through the his name, along with this emerald-tinged bronze city last year ogled at upon their ­arrival. statue we’ve found ourselves in front of, outside St Lawrence church. Holbein and Albrecht Whether it’s the recently completed Rem Dürer also produced portraits of him and there’s Koolhaas’ De Rotterdam, which appears to m ­ imic a wealth of sayings attributed to him. ‘Women, a soon to be over game of Tetris in o ­ ffice block can’t live with them, can’t live without them’, form, Renzo Piano’s razor sharp ­office building that’s one of his believe it or not. He’s kind of a wedge Toren op Zuid, or the s­ urprisingly s­ anitary, big deal here, and Rotterdammers are so proud of deodorant can form of Sir N ­ orman ­Foster’s World 14

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Photo Getty Images

••• ports

BOXING CLEVER. Periscope Houses, designed by Joke Vos Architecten.

• Port Of Rotterdam – Holding the title of the world’s

busiest port for 40 years, it has since been superseded by its Asian rivals, but continues to be Europe’s largest, and the world’s sixth largest port based on cargo tonnage. Covering 105 square kilometres and stretching over 40km, Rotterdam’s sheer size, and the range of terminals and ­facilities it offers is impressive: The Port Authority itself has 1,100 people working there, while the port as a whole provides direct employment for some 87,000 people.

Handled 29,448 vessels last year.

Home to 5 oil refineries, 6 refinery terminals, 45 chemical locations, 1500km of pipelines, 5 deepsea container terminals and 3 shortsea terminals, 6 roll-on/roll-off terminals and 16 dry bulk terminals, the port complex also has tank storage, several power plants, and 70 wind turbines. www.portofrotterdam.com/en • Maasvlakte 2 – An epic civil engineering project, on

2000 hectares of reclaimed land, while the area was officially opened in May 2013 at the end of this year, the first container vessels will be able to visit the Rotterdam World Gateway terminal and the APMT MVII terminal situated at Maasvlakte 2. Offering a depth of 20 meters to make the port accessible to container ships that cannot berth in other European ports it is expected that the new site will triple the Port of Rotterdam's container-handling capacity.


Helm Magazine


HOTEL NEW YORK. Originally home to the Holland America Line offices, this iconic building on the Kop van Zuid is now a luxury hotel. It's name? Hotel New York of course.


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Photo Corbis/ Ntb Scanpix

PEOPLE | more than a port

Photo Getty Images

24hrs in ROTTERDAM Visit

Kunsthal, Delfshaven, Maritiem ­Museum, Laurenskwartier, Erasmus bridge, Historische Werf and the Boijmans-van Beuningen.


• Carry some spare cash. There’s every chance your bank cards won’t work in certain locations, and especially in taxis or at the train station’s ticket machines. Ours didn’t. • Rent a bike. It’s not a big city by European standards, but it’s designed around wheeled transport rather than lost foreign pedestrians with uncomfortable shoes.

Don’t Port of Rotterdam. Taking a Spido boat trip along the Maas is something of a necessity when visiting a city built on the back of the maritime industry.

“It’s one of the few cities on earth where you spend more time staring upwards than ­actually looking where you’re going” Port ­Centre, ­visitors could be forgiven for feeling they’d actually disembarked in The Big Apple, or the set of the ­Bladerunner remake, rather than Rotterdam. It’s ­ genuinely awe-inspiring, irrespective of your take on the designs, especially at night and the superstar a­ rchitectural scuffle within the ­ ‘Manhattan on the Maas’ won’t end for some years yet. As, in ­addition to the 7 million Euro modernisation of the cruise terminal, essential in order to accommodate even larger vessels,­ the transformation of Pakhuismeesteren building into a hotel is in progress, along with the construction of the 50,000sqm Peter Stuyvesant Building. Just who will fill all these offices and apartments, and when, in the current financial climate, is a difficult question which as yet remains unanswered, either by architects, developers or the authorities. But yet again it illustrates the interesting dichotomy ­running through the heart of this unique city. Commerce and creativity, function and fashion, the head and the heart. Indulging in a last moment of La Chouffe-lubricated reflection while gaz-

ing at Piet Blom’s rightly celebrated cubic houses, or Kubuswoningen, ­themselves a creative, rather than commercial success, it does feel that the inscription on the city’s coat of arms, is incredibly ­accurate, "Sterker door strijd", meaning "Stronger through effort". Whether that effort is focused upon

commerce, architecture, abstract expressionism, or even scholarly advancement, this city thrives on pushing itself, but without really feeling the need to shout about it. Like we said, strictly business.

OUR ROTTERDAM Offering our entire range of marine chemicals and products, safety services and equipment along with the complete portfolio of ships agency and logistical services.

• Visit on a Monday. Museums, ­galleries, tourist attractions and indeed most of the more desirable shopping locations will most definitely be gesloten. Closed. • Worry about your waistline. The dominance of broods, omlet and tosti (bread, eggs and toasted sandwiches) on breakfast and lunch menus renders calorie counting pointless.


• Citizen M, Oude Haven www.citizenm.com/rotterdam • Inntel, Leuvehaven www.inntelhotelsrotterdamcentre.nl • Hotel New York, Kop van Zuid www.hotelnewyork.nl


• Kaat Mossel, Oude Haven www.kaatmossel.nl • Lulu, Van Vollenhovenstraat www.lulu-rotterdam.nl • Lof der Zoetheid, Noordplein www.lofderzoetheid.com


• Den Witte Aap, Witte www.dewitteaap.nl • 1Nul8, Meent www.1nul8.nl


Wilhelmsen Ships Service B.V.

Willem Barentszstraat 50 3165 AB Rotterdam Albrandswaard P.O. Box 59130, 3008 PC Rotterdam Port number 2779 Tel: (+31) 10 487 77 77 Email: wss.rotterdam@wilhelmsen.com Helm Magazine


our PEOPLE | At work

“It can be difficult if the superintendent is having a particularly bad day or is stressed, but most of the time it’s fine and they’re usually r­ eally nice, especially around noon time, then you can eat on-board!”

Seemingly immune to the stress and strain port operations put us under, John's positive ­attitude is inspiring.


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MADE TO MEASURE Affectionately referred to as ‘the apprentice’, by his colleagues, what thirty-five year old rookie John Kerkhoven lacks in years on the job, he more than makes up in attitude, skill and p ­ ersonality. As we would soon learn, such a one of a kind, multi-faceted, face-toface role demands unique skills and a ­ ttributes that very few of us have. Welcome to the world of the Port Sales Engineer. Text David Hopkins Photo Kim nuijen

Helm Magazine


our PEOPLE | At work

“Whether it is getting ‘totally lost’ on the Madison Maersk or having to be ­retrieved from a departing vessel by a pilot boat after losing track of time, there’s no doubt John’s enjoyed his eventful first twelve months as a Port Sales Engineer”.


urning up at the Rotterdam office late and ­ totally ­unprepared we can't have made much of an impression on one of our newest, and also one of­ our youngest Port Sales Engineers (PSE). Suggesting we might as well drive around the port so he could point out the different terminals, none of which we would be able to actually enter without somebody’s forgotten passport, in the space of these ten very embarrassing short minutes for us, John showed a personality trait he has in abundance. Charm. A friendly attitude, outgoing, a happy demeanour, whatever you call it, people skills and the ability to put total strangers at ease in often awkward situations is a real asset in this job. We would later find out during a group dinner at an Argentinian steak house (yours truly is a vegetarian) that it is something all our PSEs seem to share.

his working life with alternative, non-nautical ambitions, (John actually studied marketing and communication) he soon entered the industry that dominates this port city. Starting his maritime career as an assistant cargo surveyor, he then joined Stolt Nielsen, working in ship operations before joining us. Currently visiting two or three ships a day, some bulk vessels, but predominantly tankers, and for the most part in Rotterdam, John works alongside experienced PSEs Ralf Fondse and Ronald ­Laaksonen covering the entire Netherlands. Now just over a year into his new role, his enthusiasm for his work is infectious. “I think it’s Though he began


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the best job. I really like to go on board the ship”, he says. Making the stuttering all-day ­otterdam rush hour car journey R towards the second Maasavlakte site ­ past the seemingly endless chemical, dry bulk and container terminals, the time is quickly filled by John’s experiences. Whether it is getting ‘totally lost’ on the Madison ­Maersk or having to be r­ etrieved from a departing vessel by a ­pilot boat after losing track of time, there’s no doubt John’s enjoyed his eventful first twelve months as a Port Sales Engineer. ­However, there have been pressures too. Right from the ­outset. “In the beginning when I started it was

quite difficult because you’re nervous to go on board by yourself, to do a test and then have to explain the chemicals to the Superintendent or Chief Engineer, and make them believe you know a lot”, he says laughing. Often crewmembers’ ­English is also poor, making John’s job even more difficult. An added stress is that whatever tests he administers or assists with are overseen by the h ­ awkish gaze of the crew who are ‘checking ­everything you’re doing’. Maybe they think they might get duped if they don’t pay attention and there might be an ­element of them wanting to cover their own backs. Irrespective of the motives, it can’t be easy testing boiler water or cooling water systems in an engine room huddle of crew who don’t speak your ­second ­language. In addition, even when the test is done, convincing the crew on a course of ­action can be a struggle. “After we do a test on the boiler water or the cooling water systems, then we check the values and based on

the values we advise whether additional chemicals are needed, or ­ alternative chemicals. For example, when we went on board last week we advised that they should change their chemicals over to a newer version, that’s not always so easy”, he explains with a grin. Seemingly taking it all in his stride, including the flat tyre we suffered on our way back from the Maasavlakte 2 site, and the subsequent solid hour we had to wait at the repair shop, patience seems to be another key virtue our port sales engineers have in abundance. As for starters, just getting on a vessel in the busy port of Rotterdam to fulfil an order can be difficult. “Sometimes when we go on aboard it’s at the same time as the bunker barge comes alongside the vessel and then they obviously prioritize the bunker ship and it can then take some time before we can do the chemical service or whatever it is we’re there for. If the vessel has just ­arrived it’s better to wait for a few hours and come back”, he says. Inconvenient at best, infuriating at worst, hanging around to get the job done does however offer PSEs the opportunity to get proactive and use ­another fundamental skill, sales t­echnique. Self booking into the International Ship and Port Facility Security system so they can make an introductory­­ ‘courtesy’ visit to additional vessels to hand out ­information and answer any questions about our products, this often pays ­dividends in the end. Even if they are modest, and sometimes only culinary. “Most of the time they don’t have ­questions there and then, but sometimes we’re lucky and they need a small thing like couplings, or a high-pressure cleaner, or parts”, he says. Adding, “It can be difficult if the super­

What our Port Sales Engineers don't know about test protocols and optimum chemical usage, well, 足 robably isn't worth 足knowing. p

Helm Magazine


our PEOPLE | At work

intendent is ­having a particularly bad day or is stressed, but most of the time it’s fine and they’re ­usually really nice, e­ specially around noon time, then you can eat ­on-board!” Free lunches aside, and as John and his fellow PSEs describe them, they do seem well worth hanging around for, the Port Sales Engineer’s days seem gruelling. With a handful of visits, potentially with several tests at each ship, the d ­ riving back and forth between vessel calls, the compiling of welding inspection reports, the booking of appointments and of course the usual barrage of emails and calls, they do have a lot to deal with. Also your point of contact for many of our newly launched services, such as welding inspections, high-pressure cleaner inspections and products for fuel treatment and cargo hold cleaning John’s days are set to get busier still. That’s also before we factor in Rotterdam’s impending twenty percent increase in container volume once the two new box terminals open at the end of this year. But we doubt it’ll faze him, as nothing really seems to, PSE patience again. Fulfilling our original mission the following day, which was to accompany John during a vessel visit, allowed us to witness all those skills we’ve previously mentioned, first hand. Boarding a chemical tanker at dry dock, which John had visited several times previously, to begin with just finding the first engineer was difficult enough. Once found, due to John’s perseverance and good humour, watching him discussing the nuances of boiler water testing to a clearly tired and stressed engineer, whose grasp of English was extremely limited at best, was both impressive and exhausting. ­Suddenly joined by the inquisitive chief who spoke only Russian, John then somehow proceeded to show them both how to conduct the test, check the results and enter the information online using wild gesticulation, eye c­ ontact, repeating himself very slowly, lots of smiling and almost Buddhist-like amounts of patience. He even managed to get a ­couple of laughs out of them too. Test complete, we made our way upwards towards the mess to speak to the unsurprisingly stern Superintendent,


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One year in and John is an established and valued part of our port sales team in Rotterdam.

where over the waft of a free Indian lunch, which never quite materialised, John expertly ran through the results, advising on chemical usage, suggesting a follow-up visit may be of use to a clearly flagging engine room. Leaving genuinely impressed and a little hungry, in little under an hour on board we saw the real skill our Port Sales Engineers bring on board every time they visit. Combining a friendly, outgoing demeanour, patience and technical knowledge with a healthy dash of sales acumen, our PSEs often act as the buffer, or intermediary between the engine room and the bridge, the owner/operator and the crew, helping to ensure that at least when it comes to chemicals and welding, things are done right. But, it’s still a role that many struggle to see value in. As we finally sink our knives and forks into some egg heavy, Dutch truck-stop lunch John, in a matter of fact way, sums up the job he’s made his own after just a year in it. He says, “It’s

actually quite difficult explaining what the Port Sales Engineer is doing because we are just coming on board if there’s any problems, doing tests and trying to sell our new products. We’re trying to know a little bit about everything, and if we don’t know the answer, we know who we need to ask.” Downplaying a key role in our port operations, let’s also add ­modesty to that list of attributes.

Wilhelmsen Ships Service B.V.

Willem Barentszstraat 50 3165 AB Rotterdam Albrandswaard P.O. Box 59130, 3008 PC Rotterdam Port number 2779 Tel: (+31) 10 487 77 77 Email: wss.rotterdam@wilhelmsen.com


The International 足Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) is the benchmark for all safety products and equipment we provide. The familiar wheel logo acts as the stamp of approval ensuring you know products, such as this life raft, are compliant.

26 Headlines

Photo David hopkins/ WSS

30 Cargo Hold Cleaning

34 Agency & Logistics Helm Magazine


Solutions | wss around the world

• NEW FACES 1. CH LAI Operations Manager, Taiwan Holding a Master’s degree in Shipping Management and bringing over 17 years maritime experience to his new role, CH will be responsible for ships agency, logistics and technical services. 2. Ms. Hitomi Kanno Agency Operator – ­Husbandry, Japan Previously working as a ­Creative Director for a law firm, Hitomi’s unique experiences outside of our industry bring us a fresh take on proactive ways of working. She also provides us with new perspectives on just how we can provide added value to you, our customers. 3. Geir Michaelsen Regional Sales & Marketing Director, Europe Working as the General Manager for Hong Kong, Geir has held several positions in the Wilhelmsen group, including Wilhelmsen Lines, BASS and as the Sales Manager for WSS Norway. Geir holds a Masters degree in International Transport & Logistics from the University of Wales, Cardiff. 4. Tan Choon Seng Training Manager & Auditor, Singapore 5. Sergey Grevtcev Boarding Agent, St.Petersburg 6. Kris Ang Technical Sales Manager Safety, Singapore 7. Evon Mascarenhas Ships Agency Manager, Africa, Middle East & Black Sea Starting his career as a shipping assistant in Barwil Dubai LLC in 1995 Evan has worked in several positions with us. Evon has a Bachelor’s degree in Business ­Administration and has ­completed Programme in General &



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management For Shipping by International Maritime ­Training Centre in Mumbai, India. 8. Kevin Callahan Sales Manager - Ships Agency, Houston Bringing a wealth of experience with him to his new role Kevin started his career with General Steamship Agency in Stamford CT, before moving to Agip corporation in New York. Venturing on to Texas to become Sales Manager for Sabic Americas in charge of marketing for both North and South America, Kevin also has experience in ship brokering. 9. Niek Blok Regional Customer Services Manager, Africa, Middle East & Black Sea With a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Business Logistics from the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Applied Sciences and a Diploma in International Transport & Logistics Nova College,

We have over 150 years ­experience in the shipping ­business and 1500 ships agency ­specialists on duty at any one time.

IJmuiden, Netherlands Niek comes to us after gaining several years of managerial experience with the likes Panalpina World Transport and DHL Global Forwarding. 10. Elisabeth Vallgaard International Customer ­Coordinator, Oslo 11. Ki Bong Kang Regional Sales & Marketing Director, Africa, Middle East & Black Sea 12. Jun Ninomiya Account Manager, Japan Starting his career with Japan Airlines in flight operation both in Osaka and Amsterdam, Jun actually holds a Masters Degree in Agricultural engineering. Working for Daiichi Tanker for several years building their safety management system the operational experience he brings to our Japanese operations is invaluable.


Our 29 customer service teams, located around the world offer nonstop 24/7 coverage, answering 1,500 calls each and every day.


We support and co-ordinate activities and orders for 24,000 ships worldwide, dealing with 1,800 transactions daily.

HEADQUARTERS Based in Lysaker, just a ten minute voyage along the fjord from Oslo, Norway’s capital, our headquarters are home to in excess of five hundred ­employees working across all the various different companies that make up the Wilhelmsen group.








In order to concentrate on new product development and look at ways of consolidating our supplier base we’ve created a whole new procurement team. Bringing in three external specialists, with considerable professional experience in procurement will help us bring you the best possible marine products at the best possible price. Heading the team as Global Procurement Director is Christopher Kwitek. Living and working in China for the past 6 years, Chris holds an MBA and has over twenty years of experience in different ­international purchasing roles. Reporting to our VP of Marine Products, Kjell Andre Engen, Chris will be based in Shanghai.

More than 550,000 of our gas cylinders and 120,000 refillable refrigerant cylinders are in use across the world right now.

100,000 water test reports logged and sent out every year ­using our Waterproof system.

Joining him are our two new purchasing managers ­Elisabeth ­Henriksson and Daniel Castillo. Elisabeth comes with fifteen years of experience within contract management and will be responsible for supporting Europe on supplier issues, as well as working with sup­pliers globally (80% of our suppliers are in ­Europe). She will work out of our head office in Oslo, Norway. Daniel will be based in Shanghai, with Chris, and joins our team with six years of purchasing experience under his belt. Daniel has an MBA and speaks fluent mandarin, his regional focus will be Asia.

Every year, we produce over 30 million litres of chemicals for the marine market and supply over one million litres of bio-chemicals.

Over 1,000 key ports are ­supported by our 42 Liferaft Exchange (LRE) stations.

Helm Magazine


Photo DAg Spant/WSS

Solutions | Headlines

A recipe for success Featured throughout this issue of Helm, our various services, whether they’re based around safety, chemical or welding products are proving incredibly successful, so who better to talk about their continued evolution than the driving force behind them.

n just a year in his new role as Vice President of our Technical Services department Terje Borkenhagen­has brought his no nonsense, straight talking approach to bear on a newly created department, spearheading the expansion of our existing service portfolio. Previously­working as our Area Director for Central Europe, Terje holds both an MSc in Mechanical Engineering and a



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Masters from the Norwegian School of Management. Matching technical knowhow with business acumen and a wealth of sales experience, Terje quickly identified an issue that often limits companies’ ­effectiveness. Internal divisions. He says, “In my previous role, I was a lot with customers, and these internal borders that we have inside the company can actually confuse us." Refreshingly candid about what he sees as an inherent problem, he

confesses he’s ‘totally uninterested’ in such short sightedness, preferring to look at the bigger picture, such as what product services you need. He says, “Whatever the service we’re talking about…it’s basically the same ­process. The customer is asking for something, we are responding, saying if we can do it or not (with a price), they order it, we do it and we send an invoice. The generic process of chemical service, or safety service, life raft rental or welding­inspection, it’s the same," he ­suggests. He adds, “But, the way we d ­ eliver is different, the way we deliver marine products is different to safety service, and the back side of that is that we start to ­forget the total customer offer and what the customer is actually interested in." A cardinal sin in business, to lose sight of what the customer really needs, Terje is completely focused on continually reminding his team, and our wider products and service network, of the ­fundamentals. He affirms, “For us the challenge going forward is to

It may not be the c­ heapest ­option on paper, but ­having highly-skilled technicians servicing your vessel's safety equipment actually pays dividends in the long run.

“The challenge going forward is to get everyone to understand that what really matters is the customer offer and the customer offer is a combination of products and services”. get everyone to understand that what r­ eally matters is the customer offer and the ­customer offer is a combination of ­products and services." Harmonising the delivery of our different services and products is no easy task, but we are already well on our way. Our Safety Service 360, fleet agreements for example, which you can read about in depth on page thirty-two, bring a fixed price to full compliance, where we take care of all the due dates on your safety equipment on board. Providing an exhaustive selection of service options on fire-fighting, rescue and personal

­protection equipment, these services complement our safety product portfolio. Another very unique example of Terje’s desire to combine or group products and services is actually the one major piece of safety kit, which sits outside of our safety service fleet agreements, liferafts. Unable to be bundled with our other safety service elements due to legal reasons, we as you may well already know, run a unique Liferaft Exchange (LRE) service. Offering the opportunity to lease fully compliant rafts for your vessels for a fixed fee, we take care of servicing and managing due dates. “The liferaft rental (LRE) concept, which we have sold successfully for the last few years, is continuing to grow. Current customers’ experiences with it have been good, it is operationally sound for them and it gives predictability in cost. And of course the larger it becomes, the more efficiently we can provide it and then we can make it even more attractive to customers."

The ability of the rental scheme to ‘flatten’ costs, as Terje puts it, has been key to its success. He explains, “We just take an average of the ten years, or the contract period and say this is going to be your annual cost regardless of what needs servicing or repairing, or replacement that year, it will be the same annual cost. In the traditional model if they end up doing the service in a remote place, for example, it will cost a fortune." However, such variations in price are not dictated solely by location, as Terje confirms. “It could be because of the ­availability of service in different places and also because of the range of servicing which may have to be done over different years. Customers came to us and told us that, ‘it’s a disaster as we never know what it’s going to cost’”. In addition to fixed costs, our offer, of course relocates the burden of keeping track of service intervals onto our shoulders, to ensure your rafts always meet regulatory requirements. Sadly that hasn’t always been the case when service intervals are handled in-house, Terje says, “The hassle of that for superintendents was enormous and we also saw that a lot of ships were held back in port because they didn’t have their life-raft certificates in order." Such unwanted and unnecessary delays to operations due to non-compliance, whatever the item may be, should and could become a thing of the past, you just have to let a dedicated service provider like us take care of it.

Terje Borkenhagen Vice President of our ­Technical Services department

Helm Magazine


Photo David Hopkins/ WSS

Solutions | LIFERAFTS

Facts • 42 Liferaft Exchange ­Stations worldwide • All our service stations, including external contractors, are covered by global and local class approvals • 22,000 rafts ­exchanged annually • Various sizes of throw overboard, Davit launch and specialist rafts are available in the program

A CALM AND ORDERED WORKPLACE Our highly skilled safety service technicians even take a systematic approach to the centres' work stations.


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Photos David Hopkins/ WSS

[1] STACKED Full to ­capacity, our service stations are working flat out to keep up with demand for rafts. [2] Alex Fondse's team typically services­ten rafts each and every working day.



Less risk with rental Originally considered by many as unconventional and ­ nlikely to succeed, our innovative Liferaft Exchange u (LRE) service continues to grow in popularity.


ffering you, our customers the opportu-

nity to rent life rafts for a set annual fee, rather than purchase them, we shoulder the regulatory burden and keep a careful eye on service intervals, removing uncertainty and yet another unwanted operational hassle. In addition, the flattening of service costs has also been a big part of the LRE’s attraction. Terje Borkenhagen, Vice President of our Technical Services department explains. “Predictability is what our customers are buying into”. Dispensing with the need for last minute, on-the-fly raft servicing in oftencostly locations, we keep track of those all-important due dates, organising the simple switch over to freshly prepared replacement rental rafts at a time and

in a location most convenient for you and your vessels’ upcoming port calls. Launching just over three years ago, our LRE concept has rapidly gone from an unchartered initiative to becoming a cornerstone of our safety service portfolio. Visiting two of our busiest European safety service ­centres, ­Antwerp and Rotterdam, gauging how this demand for the life raft rental scheme has increased is very easy. It is right in front of your eyes. Both warehouses’ steel shelving are full from floor to ceiling with returned rafts awaiting their turn in the service station and the highly skilled, systematic attention of one of our safety service technicians. Based at WSS’ Rotterdam distribution centre and service station Alex Fondse, Safety Service Manager for The N ­ etherlands outlines very simply

just how busy his team of meticulous technicians are. “Our liferaft station is fully booked 5 days a week from morning to afternoon”, he says. Servicing approximately 140 rafts a month, the cleaning, unpacking, testing, replenishment and re-packing of rafts is a regimented process that adheres to strict rules. For ­example, the tools to be used on particular styles of raft are colour coded to ensure no mistakes are made. Even the technicians’ work benches feature p ­ ainted silhouettes of their various wrenches and Allen keys so as to safeguard against a screwdriver or a set of pliers potentially being packed up inside a service raft. Incredibly impressive, Fondse’s team have honed their service routines to such a point that watching the technicians methodically working in tandem around a rapidly inflating twenty-five person life raft is almost hypnotic. Though smaller than its Dutch cousin, Antwerp’s service station, is equally inspiring, and almost as busy. Clinically clean, this brand new purposebuilt facility sits alongside an existing warehouse full of rafts. Pointing out the handwritten tickets stuck on three quarters of them, Steven Puis, Belgium’s Safety Service Manager proudly explains that these are rafts already booked, for service and then delivery, for specific vessels. Helping to illustrate the nuances of re-packing serviced rafts, along with offering a taste-test of a typical ­ration pack, Puis also ­acknowledges that Antwerp’s safety service t­ echnicians are also working very close to ­capacity. Not bad for an untried, untested idea many thought would flounder.

Helm Magazine



Wash and go Cargo contamination, claims for cargo loss, expensive addon survey charges and delays in leaving port are often the direct result of the use of either underperforming or noncompliant products. Very quickly those low cost cargo hold cleaning products you’ve sourced locally have become very, very expensive. Not such a bargain after all. And with the economic pressure to turn around vessels as quickly as possible continuing to build almost in tandem with increasing regulatory demands, it is more important than ever that the job gets done properly using the right products for the task. That’s where we come in.


ngineered to provide efficient, consistent and

safe cargo hold cleaning irrespective of where in the world your vessel is berthed our products all comfortably meet current regulatory requirements and are ­supported by a dedicated service team. So, while we're not quite doing the dirty work, we are making it much easier for you to. Quickly and effectively.


Oily cargoes such as petroleum coke or green delay petroleum coke are very difficult to remove, especially where hot water isn’t available. Unitor Aquatuff High Foam generates a dense foam that stops the cleaning solution running off v­ ertical surfaces and so enhances the cleaning effect. It is a powerful cleaning agent, but water based, containing only biodegradable ingredients, so it isn't harmful to the environment. CEMENT OR CORROSIVE CARGOES

Removing dried cement can be a ­challenging and time-consuming task, so high-pressure cleaners like the Unitor HPCE 520 can be used in addition to the cargo hold cleaning kit to remove cement from cargo holds and decks. A product like the Unitor Metalbrite HD will usually give a good result, but where the residue is particularly heavy we can supply a more powerful cleaning agent like the Unitor ­Descaling Liquid. FOOD CARGOES


Frequent changeovers between ­cargoes cause particular challenges when foodstuffs are carried. So hold cleaning must be effective. Unitor SlipCoat Plus offers a s­ imple solution. Creating a dense, temporary water resistant film on cargo hold surfaces, it acts as a barrier between the cargo and the hold walls, allowing for more effective cleaning between loads. Unitor SlipCoat can also be applied on the ­superstructure and decks to prevent cement and other cargo residues from sticking, making loading, discharging and cleaning easier.


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• We provide a global warranty for all Unitor Cargo Hold Cleaning Equipment (Please refer to full terms and conditions of your purchase) • Detailed documentation including; user manuals, safety data sheets (SDS), chemical selector guides, e-learning modules and demonstration videos, as well as direct crew training also are available

Clearing large areas free from cargo residues, with ­difficult access, no hot water and with little chance to prepare surfaces cargo hold cleaning is always a challenge.

Helm Magazine


ILLustration DINAMO


The total package


epending on the size and

makeup of your fleet, keeping track of the ever-changing regulatory demands relating to the numerous different pieces of safety equipment on board can at best be a massive logistical headache, at worst an extinguisher-fuelled nightmare. With varying service intervals dictated by; class approval, flag, the type and size of ship and number of crew, different mandatory requirements for back up, depending on the type of equipment, and different rules on how, by who and where products can be serviced, passing this considerable hassle off to a third party has become a popular option for many of you. It is easy to see why. Almost every safety service provider out there obliges and will happily provide advice on regulatory issues, keep an eye on due dates and plan service for your vessels, for a charge of course, and we are no exception. We’ve been taking care of your safety equipment and the masses of paperwork that goes along with it, fleet wide for years. However, there’s one key point that sets us apart and arguably way out in front of our many competitors. Our reach. Having a truly global network affords us the opportunity to offer you the same type and standard of safety service, for a pre-agreed fixed cost, regardless of where in the world your vessels ­operate. Our senior technicians train for a minimum of six years using exactly


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the same c­ urriculum, whether they are based in South America or South East Asia, guaranteeing the work we do for you is identical, whenever and wherever it takes place. Servicing equipment from ­numerous original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), along with our own brand items of course, our service centres also work closely and constantly with OEMs to ensure our technicians are familiar with any new systems or components. There’s no point in having worldwide reach without extensive multi-brand knowledge. In addition, with almost one hundred safety service stations located in key locations around the world, organising, and adjusting if needs be, convenient times and ports for service visits, along with minimising their number, is all in an average day’s work for the dedicated ­account manager looking after your vessels. Allowing us where possible synchronize service jobs, routine service on fire-fighting, rescue and personal protection equipment becomes just that, routine, organised. Many companies can manage a diary and hastily book in costly flying squads to do service jobs. Very few can efficiently manage due dates and be there ready and waiting in port to perform them, all for a pre-determined, fixed fee. We’re one of them and we’re the only one with a service network holding an ISO 9001 approval.

Facts • 98 safety service ­stations worldwide • We currently perform 21,000 safety ­ services annually (8000+­ ­vessels) • 7 global class ­approvals

A brief look at just this small excerpt from a single vessel's fire safety plan should remind you just how time c­ onsuming ­keeping track of safety ­equipment service intervals can be for your entire fleet.

Services on the ­following equipment can be included in our Safety Service 360 fleet agreements: • Fire-Fighting Equipment Including: Fire Extinguishers, CO2 HP firefighting systems, CO2 LP firefighting systems, systems, deep fat galley systems , foam firefighting system, dry powder firefighting systems, LAFF/ Water Mist systems and fire detection systems. Foam sample analysis and DCP moisture tests can also be performed. • Rescue Equipment Including: Immersion suits, medical resuscitators and ­medical oxygen systems Excluding: Liferafts and our Liferaft Exchange (LRE) concept are sadly not part of our Safety Service 360 offer and need to be ­arranged via a separate contract due to legal/contractual reasons. • Personal Protection Including: Breathing air ­apparatus, EEBD sets, ­breathing ­­air compressors, chemical suits and portable gas detection equipment. Air quality tests can also be performed.

Helm Magazine



Taking care of (your) business With a wealth of specialist knowledge on the dry bulk segment, cargo handling and port operations, the incredibly knowledgeable and driven staff working with the logistical elements of our portfolio are helping to enhance and enlarge the scope and reach of our already comprehensive agency business. An increasingly important facet of our agency services, Nizar Khabthani, our Maritime Logistics Manager for The Netherlands, views ­cargofocused services and transactions as a natural extension of our traditional agency business. Based in Europe’s largest port, Rotterdam, he’s well placed to judge what’s valuable to you, our customers, in an ever changing market.


“In the tanker business adding value involves taking care of customs requirements, certificates of origin, splitting form A documents, adding value again. For me, this is the core thing where we need to add value. You have to give something extra, for us (in the logistics department) we’re always looking, where can we add value to the agency? That is by doing the cargo coordination, by doing the trans-shipment, the barging, customs clearance and fiscal representation."


“Most of our customers are not based in the Netherlands, so they trust us to be their eyes and ears on the ground. For example, we had a vessel coming in with Russian coal and the coal was oversized, well above 0.250mm, this was up to 300. So with this sizing you have lots of problems with the conveyer belt. When we heard this, we jumped in the car, drive to the stockpile to have a look ourselves and then inform the customer, letting him know what’s going on and then informing the stevedore how to proceed. You


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have to be there for your customers. They ­cannot fly in from the UK or U.S and we cannot wait in our business, because every hour costs money, literally, so you have to be there. That is what they a­ ppreciate, if there’s a problem they trust us to take care of business for them. This is what’s important, someone’s taking care of their cargoes, valuable cargoes, and making sure they’re handled correctly."


“We also do monthly checks going to all the terminals in the ARA (Antwerp, Rotterdam & Amsterdam Ports) checking all the stockpiles of our customers. The reason for that is the stevedores have their own priorities, so when the terminal is really busy you can imagine. But, coal is not coal. You have hundreds of grades and types of coal. You cannot say ok we’re going to dump everything here in one big pile at the terminal and then we load whatever we want. No, every customer has his own stockpile at the terminal, also with several grades, one with Columbian coal, one with South African, Russian, US, etc. etc. So when the terminals are very busy, they put the

stockpiles closer together, and you don’t want them to be contaminated, you want the piles kept strictly separate. They know we’re coming every month, we’re making a report and if it’s not good we inform the customer, so they will already have made sure there’s enough space between our customers’ stock. Other customers or coal traders who don’t have us checking­for them, they can do whatever they like. That’s just an example of how we take care of what’s important for our ­customers."


“Our main business is coal and biomass, so I need to have a good understanding of the coal and the biomass trading world as that’s what people want to talk about. How are the terminals doing? Do you see the volumes growing? Is there any change? So it’s much more a case of me knowing about trading patterns, taxes, power stations closing, etc., etc., detailed background information. It’s very important to stay informed. That way you can understand how the news could translate into operational changes."

Helm Magazine


Photo Getty images



Out of the ordinary training for everyday business Having a safety service supplier at the other end of a phone line who speaks your language, is available around the clock and understands your business is an incredibly useful thing to have. However, having someone who also recognises the regulatory challenges you are facing, and most importantly knows exactly when, how and where your vessels’ safety equipment can be serviced most efficiently and cost effectively is, well nothing short of vital these days. You know this, and of course, so do we.

t is why we’ve committed to sending our customer service, sales and admin staff from around the world to join our trainee safety service technicians at WSS safety training centres, such as the latest one to open its heavy-duty roller shutters located in Antwerp, Belgium. It may seem somewhat extravagant, or even a waste of time, for our office staff to attend a highly technical portable fire-fighting ­equipment course. But, and it’s a big one, the tailor made combination of classroom-based presentations, group discussions, practical exercises and first-hand experience has proved invaluable for our office-based safety staff more used to opening Outlook, than a 5KG C02 extinguisher.



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Led by Roger Gundermann, our Regional Safety Training Manager, the level of detail and in-depth information­ included in the fire-­fighting course regarding products, whether that’s our own Unitor extinguishers, or rival brands is truly impressive. Assembling an array of products, components and service equipment right there in the classroom, there’s a marked difference in actually being able to handle the various different­products rather than just r­ eading about them in a catalogue, or online. Focusing on the d ­ esign and usage of equipment, the course also provides a bewildering amount of detail on; approval ­requirements (IMO, flag and class), potential service issues and the often frighteningly complex schedules for servicing ­equipment.

Our safety service ­coordinators and technical sales staff gain hands-on, practical product knowledge

Facts There are three key IMO documents relating to the maintenance, testing and inspection of fire protection systems and appliances: MSC.1/Circ 1432 SOLAS Chapter 11-2, Part C, Reg 10, Section 3 Improved Guidelines for marine portable fire extinguishersâ€? IMO ­Resolution A.951 (23)

Helm Magazine






But, however interesting and relevant the structured work at the training centre is, it is brought to life by spending an afternoon in the field at Antwerp’s state-of-the-art firefighting training centre Camp Vestra. Used by Antwerp’s public and private firefighting services, the purpose-built facility offers a broad range of firefighting scenarios, with t­ utor Geert G ­ ijsemans and his colleagues adept at demonstrating the intricacies of ­supressing various types of fire that could occur aboard vessels. Encouraging all of our wellington-booted staff to get involved in putting out the array of set-up blazes, learning such basic information­on how and with what to suppress ­different types of fires has proved an invaluable backdrop to the product specifics and service interval


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knowledge our staff utilise when they’re not wearing wellington boots. Kaare Medbøe, one of our Technical­ Service Coordinators for Norway, ­Sweden & Denmark, says: “Hands on training of what we are selling is very important in order for us to know what we are talking about, both with the customer and the service stations. There are lots of systems and equipment within FRS (fire, rescue, safety) and to see a life raft being packed, a Co2 cylinder being hydro-tested and refilled and putting out fires gives me valuable experience and ­knowledge."


[1] Course leader Roger Gundermann steps up to show how its done. [2] Gundermann's knowledge on fire extinguishers, protection systems and appliances is encyclopedic [3] Patrícia Ribeiro our Fire, Rescue and Safety Service Administrator Portugal suppresses a simulated galley fire with ease


People powered

Are we getting the most out of shipping's most important component? Read On‌ 48 A New Standard

Photo WSS/Dag Spant

52 Fresh Thinking

60 The Future Of Manpower H eH le ml M maM ga ag za in ze ine



Intro: People powered

01 40

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Important and limited in amount.

Shipping has come an awfully long way in a short space of time and yet in many ways it has stayed exactly the same. Travelling without moving. Vessel and port design, trading, ­brokerage, ­chartering, ownership and financing ­arrangements, safety and environmental ­requirements, communications (both on shore and at sea) and the markets for the very goods being transported have shifted and evolved at breakneck speed. However, the beating heart of all of these ­innovations, developments and improvements has remained the same.


So, with this in mind we thought it apt to ­focus our attention on shipping's little, and indeed big people, and consider just some of the issues ­currently affecting our industry’s most valuable01 commodity.


Text David Hopkins Photo Corbis/NTB Scanpix

Helm Magazine





The estimated worldwide supply of seafarers in 2010.

624,000 officers


The total number of hours in a week the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) convention stipulates that under certain circumstances it is permissible for a seafarer to work.



One out of four seafarers p ­ articipating in the Cardiff Research Programme’s Seafarer Fatigue study said that they had fallen asleep while on watch



Data: BIMCO/ISF 2010 Manpower Update

The World’s Seafarers by Country of Origin 2010 Officers



OECD Countries





Eastern Europe





Africa / Latin America





Far East





Indian Sub-Continent





All National Groups





Source: BIMCO/ISF Manpower 2010 update, measured in (000s)


2% of the world's maritime workforce are women.

Data: International Transport Workers Federation



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February 2017 From this date onwards all seafarers on ­active ­service must comply with all the 2010-amended STCW requirements and be in possession of a valid STCW certificate covering the functions performed on-board.

Data: STCW Guide International Transport Workers’ Union

30% 30% of the seafarers of the world’s shipping fleet come from the Philippines, almost 700,000. Half of that number currently work on foreign flagged vessels.



«The rate of suicide for international seafarers is triple that of shore workers, and they are 26 times more likely to be killed at work» Data: The Mission To Seafarers

Helm Magazine



1,25% The percentage of a dry ­cargo’s freight charge ­owner’s and charterer’s ­brokers typically each earn in commission

Tough numbers

“The expectation for the people on board, is that they be experts in their field. That the ­machinery and ship board operations they're i­ nvolved with, they're fully competent. Unfortunately that doesn't come with exams.” Photo DAG SPANT/WSS


Former Head of the International Maritime Training Centre (IMTC), Mumbai, Sharma Yashoverman [HM Revenue & Customs]


a month is the ILO’s suggested ­Minimum Wage for Able Seafarers based on 8 hours of work per day, 48 hours per week.


US - flag crewing costs were roughly 5.3 times higher than foreign-flag vessels in 2010 U.S. Department of Transportation: Maritime Administration September 2011

Annual salaries for 2012 in US Dollars Tanker



Master Mariner




Chief Engineer




Chief Officer




Second Engineer




Depending on the vessel’s register most salaries earned at sea are not subject to income tax. However, citizens of some countries will still be liable for tax on their income earned abroad.

Data: Faststream 2012 Maritime Salary Review


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have ratified the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 3 haven't: China, India and the United Sates

In the first three months of 2014, two vessels were ­h ijacked, 37 vessels boarded, five vessels fired upon and five attempted attacks were reported. Forty-six crewmembers were taken hostage and two kidnapped from their vessel. - International Maritime Bureau

It is estimated that between $339m and $413m was paid in ransoms off the Somali coast between 2005 and 2012. “Pirate Trails: Tracking the Illicit Financial Flows from Pirate Activities off the Horn of Africa” - World Bank; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; Interpol. 2013.

Under the STCW Convention, all seafarers need to meet ­minimum ­standards of competence, age, ­medical fitness, and approved ­­sea-going service. These ­standards are set by each national administration, but as a minimum, they should reflect STCW standards. The certificates­you are required to hold depend on your rank, responsibilities­you are assigned on board, and the type of vessel you are serving on. 1919




While professional ­seafarer fatality rates have fallen ­– for example, in the UK per 100,000 s ­ eafarer-years, from 358 (in 1919) to 11 in 1996-2005 – this fatality rate is still twelve times higher than in the general workforce.

The majority­ of today's training­ ­programmes still have an emphasis on technical skills instead of ­focusing part of the lecture­ hours on selfevident ­human weaknesses in the operating ­system. Jan Horck, World Maritime University

16 years

“The 1978 STCW Convention and Code, as amended, has set the international benchmark for the training and education of seafarers. While compliance with its Minimum age of standards is essential for serving on board ratings forming part of ships, the skills and competence of seafarers, a watch in a manned and indeed, the human element ashore, can engine-room or only be adequately underpinned, updated designated to perform and maintained through effective maritime duties in a ­periodically unmanned engine-room. education and training.” IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu

Helm Magazine




7. Greece 75 million

8. Malta 73 million

6.Bahamas 76 million 1. Panama 349 million

10. Cyprus 32 million

9. China 69 million 4. Hong Kong,China 138 million 5. Singapore 107 million

2. Liberia 201 million

3. Marshall Islands 150 million

TOP 10 countries of ownership by dwt

8. Norway 43 million 9. Denmark 39 million 6. USA 54 million

3. Germany 125 million

1. Greece 224 million

5. Korea 56 million

2. Japan 217 million

10. Chinese Taipei 39 million 4. China 124 million

7. Taiwan 45 million


The percentage of the world fleet now registered under a foreign flag*


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* Meaning vessels operating under a flag different to that of the nationality of the owner UNCTAD

2002-2013: The British Isles, N. Sea, Eng. Channel, Bay of Biscay has been the location of the most shipping casualties since 2002, reflecting the Strait of Dover’s status as the busiest international seaway. Nearly one in five of all losses have occurred in this region. By comparison the S.China region, which has seen the most total losses during this period is ranked only fourth for casualty incidents. Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty Safety and Shipping Review 2014

Currently, there are no international requirements for the vacci­ nation of ­seafarers.

The three most important reasons for beginning ­maritime training are: • It's an interesting and challenging job • I like ships • I like travel and meeting people Maritime Career Path Mapping Update 2013

70-80 % of world’s merchant fleet has multicultural crews

FAIL It has been estimated that 80% of marine casualties are down to human error. Helm Magazine





First drafted up by the ­International Maritime ­Organisation (IMO) way back in 1978 the Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention has continually sought to establish basic globalized standards for how seafarers are trained, what they’re trained, how they work, and indeed when they work.


ow experiencing its latest major overhaul, the result of the 2010 Manila amendments, the latest incarnation of the STCW reflects as best it can the currentish needs of our industry. ­Including fresh requirements on; work and rest hours, medical fitness and security training, along with updated guidance for those working in polar waters and aboard liquefied gas tankers, in addition, the newest STCW also requires all able seafarers have this new certification.


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Undoubtedly a positive step towards standardising training and in turn seafarers’ competence, regardless of where in the world they train, this new and improved version of STCW nonetheless still faces some significant challenges. We spoke to the IMO’s Andy Winbow, Assistant    S ecretary-General/Director of their Maritime Safety Division about just some of the issues potentially limiting the convention’s impact. HELM: While the IMO has designed a

programme of model training courses, they as you clearly state: ‘are flexible in application’. So, how are parties’ training and assessment procedures assessed? Under Regulation I/8 Quality ­standards each Party is required to ­ continuously monitor training through a quality standards system, and to ensure that an evaluation is periodically undertaken, ­ by qualified persons. The report of that evaluation must be submitted to the IMO Secretary-General. The Secretary-General is required to maintain a list of competent persons approved by the Maritime Safety ­Committee, including competent persons made available or recommended by the Parties, who may be called upon to ­evaluate the ­reports submitted. IMO currently has a list of more than 173 competent persons. Usually, a team of up to three people is formed to ­review information submitted. Where ­necessary, mem-

Creating a worldwide benchmark for seafarer competence is still very much a work in progress. Getting everyone to move in the same direction and to

harmonize how and what they teach their budding seafarers has proved difficult. For example, nations recognizing the standard of training and validating the certificates of fellow countries' sailors has been a major sticking point.

bers of that team may also visit the training facilities of the country c­ oncerned. The report of the competent persons is submitted to the Secretary-General who subsequently submits his report to the Maritime Safety Committee (MSC) for endorsement. Furthermore, when a country pursuant to the provisions of STCW regulation I/10 intends to recognize the certificates of another country, it has the right to carry out an evaluation of that country, which may include inspection of ­facilities and procedures. Would it be correct to assume that the falsification of certificates continues to be a real issue for the ongoing progress and success of the STCW code? This is an issue, but it should not detract from the relevance of the STCW Convention and Code in providing internationally-agreed ­minimum standards of competence for seafarers.

The matter of fraudulent certificates is monitored by IMO and countries are encouraged to report details of fraudulent certificates they have encountered. IMO’s sub-committee on Human element and Training (HTW) has also urged Member Governments and International Organizations to submit proposals on a strategy to address the problems ­associated with fraudulent certificates of ­competency. IMO provides a certificate verification scheme through its public website - the facility was used 10,722 times during 2013. The proposals discussed in the first session of the Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) aim to really bring the STCW code up to speed, reflecting the needs of the maritime industry here and now. However, there has been an issue around crew members’ access to security training and you’ve had to make some changes as a response. Can

you clarify the situation regarding ­security training? IMO Members had raised concerns about practical difficulties seafarers have reportedly experienced in obtaining the necessary security certification under the 2010 Manila amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and STCW Code. In particular, large numbers of seafarers were reportedly unable to have access to approved training courses or were unable to be issued certification of security-related training in accordance with the STCW regulations. Therefore, the HTW Sub-Committee agreed to recommend that, until 1 July 2015, relevant training under section 13 (Training, drills and exercises on ship security) of the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) Code should be accepted as being equivalent to that required under the STCW Convention

Helm Magazine




February 2017 is the date from which all active seafarers must have a valid STCW certificate, cover-

ing the work he or she does on board, tucked away in their overalls.

and Code. This represented a pragmatic way of addressing the issue over security ­certification. Of all the proposed amendments, the work in progress on passenger ship specific training, in the light of the Costa Concordia accident, is ­arguably the most important. When can we ­expect this to be adopted? And without wanting to apportion blame, why has it taken such a tragedy to kick-start the development of basic emergency training for ALL personnel working on board passenger ships? The current regulations do provide for a specific training for Masters, officers and other personnel designated on muster lists to assist passengers in emergency situations on board passenger ships to complete training in crowd management. For “personnel providing direct service to passengers in passenger spaces on board passenger ships” to complete specified safety training and for personnel having responsibility for the safety of passengers in emergency situations on board passenger ships, to complete approved training in crisis management and human behaviour. One proposed distinction, which is ­ being considered in detail by a ­correspondence group, would be for “all other personnel serving on board passenger ships engaged on international voyages” (i.e. those not undergoing ­specific training e.g. crowd management) to complete “basic emergency training”. So this would extend to all those working onboard a passenger ship, not just those “personnel providing direct service to 50

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passengers”. For example, this could be a member of the kitchen staff who does not liaise directly with passengers on a ­day-to-day basis. This proposal is now with a correspondence group which will report to the next HTW Sub-Committee session in 2015. The reality is that sometimes a particular casualty will occur and the recommendations in the investigation report into that incident may point towards gaps in the current regulatory regime, which can then be discussed and implemented if agreed. That is why casualty investigation is so important. Not all of the STCW Parties provide seafarer training, and some of those parties may only provide a ­limited range of training which may be ­ replaced by distance/e-learning. Do you think this poses a significant ­problem for certification and providing the benchmark for knowledge and competence the STCW code intended? Parties can issue certificates where the seafarers have been on an approved training programme. The STCW Convention does not specify that this ­ needs to be within the national boundaries of that country. So an STCW Party could issue certificates on the basis that it has approved the training facility in another country. So long as the training meets all the standards set out in the STCW ­Convention and Code then this should not be a barrier. However, there should be a provision within the national laws of that ­country to do so.

in short • The 2010 Manila amendments were intended to integrate all changes and nuances approved since the ­convention’s previous major upgrade, STCW-95. • With the focus shifted from purely time at sea to practical skills and competence, backedup by theoretical knowledge, the Manila amendments continued to emphasise competence, rather than sea time or the period of training. • STCW can be viewed as part of the quartet of global maritime regulatory systems alongside SOLAS, MARPOL and the ILO’s Maritime Labour Convention. • The convention aims to set worldwide standards from which training institutes and trainers can develop the skills and competencies of the industry’s future seafarers. • From February 2017 ALL active seafarers must adhere to the 2010-amended STCW requirements and be in possession of a valid STCW certificate covering the functions he or she perform on-board. • Another new requirement of the Manila amendments is that all ships must now have a qualified security officer on board. • The STCW (95) Convention is accepted by all major registries representing 98% of the world’s merchant fleet.

Wilhelmsen Ship Management's

Haakon Lenz is ideally placed to comment on the current and future labour market.

Pay parity, a skills ­shortage & the move east Recruiting, training and managing thousands of officers and crew for clients all around the world, across all vessel segments Wilhelmsen Ship Management (WSM) is ideally placed to comment on shipping’s current and future labour trends. We spoke to Haakon Lenz, WSM‘s Regional Manager for Europe.


ELM: Do the prevalent ­seafarer nations such as The Philippines still ­dominate the pool of ­crewmembers you look after? We at WSM have a pool of ten thousand ­seafarers. Out of those, 4000 are from The Philippines, 3000 are from India and the rest are drawn from all around the world. But, slowly, slowly we see our talent pool going east to Asia. HELM: Are there significant differences in crew requirements depending on vessel type? Definitely. If you look at seismic vessels for example, the demands they put on crew are quite different compared to a standard t­ onnage, bulk carriers, car carriers, etc. You do still have problems finding some of these specific ­competencies in some low-cost countries, so we will still get crew members from so-called, ‘high-cost countries’ such as Norway, the UK and Poland. HELM: In your experience, does supply roughly match demand when it comes to skilled seafarers?

No, generally there’s a shortfall. You will always find people, but you won’t necessarily find ­qualified people. HELM: In your particular business you have to balance the desire of your customers for low crew costs with ensuring you have well-trained, competent seafarers up to the job. How do you think this balance will be maintained if at all? It is a constant fight to keep operational costs as low as possible, while ensuring that the vessel is kept seaworthy and safe. That’s why we see the recruiting of seafarers going further and further East, so where we will end I don’t know. At the moment we’re still recruiting from The Philippines and India, but salaries are increasing. Now, there’s not a big difference in salaries between an Indian officer and an officer from Poland today, or one from The Philippines. However, it is a huge difference between them and a Norwegian or UK officer, because many of the pension schemes, social security, taxes, etc, which we have to pay as a normal landbased employee. The salary the Norwegian officer gets is more or less the same as a Polish or Indian officer, but all the social costs we have to pay in addition makes a big difference.

HELM: So we’re getting closer to parity when it comes to salaries and benefits for s ­ ea­farers, whatever their country of origin? Yes, if you look forward fifteen years ahead, I think salary level will be totally equal. The pensions will also be more or less equal too. Historically it has moved that direction in all kind of industries. HELM: Do you think the demands on modern seafarers are increasing, rather than diminishing as technology advances? Yes, vessels are getting more and more complicated, with more electronics on board, so the requirements of the people on board is also increasing. Standard education is not enough anymore for many modern vessels, you have to go for specific training because the equipment is so specialized.

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TACIT: Expressed or understood without being directly stated.

e g d e l w o A Kn Shipping d e s a y B r t s Indu 02

nd tacit a l a m r of f o u lts i n at i o n e e x c e l l e n t r e s b m o c It is the e that produc dustr y. g n i d e g l n i w p o kn h ip o i n t he s Dinam ration st e illu

er rev

org Text t

Helm Magazine


INsight | people powered

Success in business

And we need practical experience-based 足knowledge to run it all.

We need commercial and market knowledge to make sure firms stay competitive and remain profitable.

We need research-based knowledge and advanced technology as a platform for operations and innovation.


H e l m M ag a z i n e

“You cannot run ships safely and efficiently from s­ kyscrapers in ­Manhattan. You need qualified ­people ­both at land and at sea to run ships and manage people.”


grew up in Farsund, a small sleepy town at the southern tip of Norway. ­Farsund specialized in shipping, and there were not much else. We used to say that Farsund was the largest shipping town in the world, measured in terms of tonnage per capita. Young people went to sea early, often as young as 14, with no further education.

Those who succeeded in these early formative years at sea, came back some years later to study at the local maritime school to become maritime officers. Their career goal was to ­become machine chiefs or sea captains. The sea captains ranked highest socially, only ship owners were their superiors. The most ­experienced captains often returned to work for the ship ­owners, to provide the technical and commercial skills needed at the shipping office. Shipping almost 50 years ago was solely based on tacit knowledge, transferred by apprenticeship, experience and practice. You started at the bottom of the hierarchy at young age and advanced by discipline, learning and hard work. Then you added a minimum of formal knowledge, but college degrees were seldom required. Maritime was the industry of practice, not theory. Shipping in transition

Modern shipping is totally different from what we had 40-50 years ago. Former shipping towns like Farsund, have little or no role to play in global shipping. Almost no young Norwegians start to work at sea, unless we speak about working at the small advanced offshore vessels where Norwegian ship owners still dominate. The Asian seafarers have taken over at sea. The shipping companies have moved to Oslo, London, Singapore and ­ ­Shanghai, run by highly educated executives with MBA d ­ egrees from ­Harvard or London Business School. There are still a few self-made shipping tycoons, but more and more the shipping ­industry ­resembles the financial industry. Have we lost something valuable in the transition from practice industry to professional industry? I think we have. The practical knowledge learned through experience is a basic ­component of all well-functioning industries. At the same time, all industries need professional, formal knowledge to handle the complexities of technology and markets, not the least to match the financial industry that funds and evaluates so much of what we are doing.

I have identified three types of competences that are required in order to succeed in international competition. You cannot run ships safely and efficiently from skyscrapers in Manhattan. You need qualified people both at land and at sea to run ships and manage people. Good and well managed teams produce results that reach all the way to the board room. Excellent organizations have excellent management, at all ­levels of the organization. This is why we train people in people skills, not only in technical skills. Sometimes we need to train the whole organization. Competence challenge in modern shipping

The competence challenge in modern shipping is to ­preserve all the three major competences in the same organization­, combining technological, commercial and operational ­ ­experience. In the traditional shipping world of small organizations, each shipping organization had all these competences ­combined in the experienced captains (like the ones I remember from my child home town of Farsund). Modern shipping requires highly educated specialists, and often specialists do not communicate so well, and they do not always work so well together. The three main skills of business need to be in constant interaction, and each should be treated with mutual respect. This respect extends across vertical levels of the organization and across cultural and ethnical ­boundaries. It is the difficult combination of formal and tacit knowledge that produces excellent results in business. Formal knowledge can be transferred by educational programs, given that we ­invest in people. Tacit knowledge requires years of experience and is much more difficult to transfer. But, this also means investing in people. Successful firms manage both processes in a systematic way.

Torger Reve is the Wilh.Wilhelmsen Professor of Strategy and Industrial Competitiveness at BI ­Norwegian Business School.

Success in business

In my own research on the competitiveness of global industries, Helm Magazine




Jens Rolfsen from Norwegian risk management consultancy Safetec brings a refreshing approach.


H e l m M ag a z i n e

足 thinking When less is more:

Why new

is needed on

safety risk 足 management

To embrace a true culture of risk management, shipping needs to move away from the flawed responses that blame 足accidents on the human factor but which fail to address the organizational errors that allowed them to occur. The potential benefits of this approach extend beyond safety to lower operating costs and improved business reputation. Text Neville Smith

Helm Magazine




ompared to other transport modes, the shipping ­industry is a comparative latecomer to the concept of integrated risk analysis and mitigation. While some ­sectors, notably the offshore market, tankers and cruise, have embraced risk management, while for others ­regulatory compliance is often considered enough. Arguably, this might not matter, so long as shipping maintains its safety record. In fact, while high profile pollution incidents are scarcer than ever, accidents continue to happen, costing lives and money and raising questions about how prepared the industry is to truly manage risk. It’s a paradox that the industry is beginning to recognise, and increasingly so as the disciplines of shipping and offshore continue to overlap. Higher technology vessels place greater ­demands on crew competence and day-to-day operations, while harsher operating environments and commercial pressures conspire to ask deeper questions about how technology and the human factor interact.

For Jens Rolfsen, Specialist Adviser and Department ­ anager for Leadership, Organisation and Safety for ­Norwegian M risk management consultancy Safetec, part of the ABS Group, the industry needs to accept that the questions as well – as the answers – need to change. “The shipping industry should no longer talk of 75% of ­accidents being caused by human factors and at the same time ignore such factors in its risk analysis and mitigation ­measures,” he says. “Parts of the industry continue to cling to the idea that it is enough to conclude that people are the problem and try to mitigate this with a quick fix of more paperwork or more ­regulation.” In terms of future risk management, he says, there is a g­ rowing awareness that risk analysis and mitigation has to be able to ­integrate both technological, individual and ­organizational ­factors. This calls for a holistic, m ­ ultidisciplinary approach. It also calls for the industry to acknowledge that the response to ‘human factor’ incidents requires sustainable, ­organisation-­level solutions rather than quick-fixes on an individual level. “Since humans design, build, operate and maintain machines, all accidents can be said to have been caused to some extent by human factors and the traditional response is to zoom in on the individuals involved,” he continues. “This can take the form of punitive measures by governments, increased training aimed at avoiding a repetition, or by adding yet another procedure to the already extensive library of procedures and checklists onboard.” Measures related to training and procedures share an ­underlying but flawed assumption that the issue can be e­ asily resolved on the individual level. At best, such an approach ­results only in measures to improve training or individual competency, ­instead of an examination of the interface between man and machine or man and organisation where the majority of things go wrong. Instead of focussing almost exclusively on the individuals ­involved in an incident, regulators, flags and the loss prevention community should be ‘zooming out’ to the bigger picture. How are humans, technology and organisations interacting and can we use this analysis to understand why things go wrong and how we can prevent repetition? 58

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“It is possible for companies building a series of ships to end up with multiple bridge layouts because they allow the design to be based on an individual masters’ preference. One could hardly ­imagine the same thing happening in the airline industry.” One of the best-known examples for potential improvements on this macro level is navigation bridge design. There is a large amount of research and analysis available on this ­subject, certainly enough to design a bridge to a high standard of ­ergonomics and usability, he says. “Shipping does not always take this learning and put it into ­action. It is possible for companies building a series of ships to end up with multiple bridge layouts because they allow the design to be based on an individual masters’ preference. One could hardly imagine the same thing happening in the airline industry.” In fact the opposite is often true, with the airlines regularly working ahead of regulation, innovating at a corporate level, with new practices adopted later as regulation on the basis of their proven effectiveness. In an ideal world, there should be one process to design a bridge for humans to use, taking into account the size and type of ship.

Organization’s Manila Amendments to the STCW Convention, as well as its general move towards risk-based regulations, are a demonstration that concepts of leadership and teamwork are being encouraged, but the industry must also enable seafarers to do their jobs with confidence. Making better use of what you already have rather than ­adding more on top does more than increase safety, Rolfsen suggests. There is plenty of evidence that it can also improve efficiency. “The idea that a shipowner could actually save money by ­focussing on safety seems contradictory but by building safety culture from the bottom up it is possible to have a leaner structure that can also be more cost efficient.” Large tanker owners have been able to implement such ­programmes and achieve tangible results. Owners have seen a steady reduction in their insurance premiums following the introduction of advanced safety management and training regimes. Publically quoted companies which are identified as having a strong safety management culture have been able to return consistent share price value even in tough markets.

The ultimate requirement is to design training ­ rogrammes and procedures that make it possible for any p ­properly trained crew to operate the ship as part of a team, ­augmented where necessary with vessel-specific training. In the cruise sector, owners are adopting new approaches Bridge and engine room procedures are another key area to safety management in response to recent casualties. Their where there is usually room for improvement. The Safetec public profile means it potentially harms their business if they approach starts with examination and evaluation; are the are not seen to make changes – and they cannot necessarily wait procedures actually used for mitigation risk or for some other for regulators to enact new rules, he points out. function? Are the procedures short, relevant, specific and even At present, an integrated approach to risk management possible to use while operating the vessel? Can the crew actually which supports a macro view of safety in day-to-day operations fulfil the requirements? - is found on a company-to-company basis rather than across In addition to bridge team management, trust in the relation- the industry. Regulatory drivers can help so much in pushing ship between ship and shore is another critical factor. Rolfsen adoption forward. The first realisation is that change is not just argues there is little sense in giving a master responsibility for necessary but welcome. an asset and cargo worth billions of dollars while denying costs “The process is often most effective when an owner decides of a few thousands that his judgement tells him he needs. for themselves to make a positive change. Rejecting the tradi“For this trust to exist it is necessary to look at risk manage- tional approach of focussing on human factors in isolation while ment in a holistic manner. This means not just within the ship- failing to grasp the importance of interaction between humans, owning or operating company but the ship’s management, the machines and organisations is the necessary first step,” says ship itself and the cargo owner and how risk management and Rolfsen. safety culture can be instilled across the entire operation.” Looked at from this perspective, adopting an integrated ­approach to risk management has the potential to be a meaningful driver for shipowners and operators even when earnings With agreement from the stakeholders it is possible to simplify procedures to the point where crew can be relieved of are under pressure. If the potential benefits, not just in terms of safety but in lower operating costs and improvement of business unnecessary duties and allowed to focus on core safety tasks. “Rather than adding more paperwork for example, some ship- reputation can be realised, then Rolfsen says “the investment owners are finding ways of taking it away,” suggests ­Rolfsen. decision in safety could not be easier to make” “Smart owning and management companies have found it ­possible to re-write procedures dramatically while remaining Neville Smith is a maritime media consultant to Wilhelmsen Ships within the regulations.” ­Service and other shipping industry clients and blogs on communications Changes are already happening. The International Maritime and IT at www.maritimeinsight.com Helm Magazine


INsight | people powered


the Future of

Man pOwer


BY Jan Ketil Arnulf, Associate Professor, BI Norwegian Business School.

It seems as if the trades of the world are heading足towards an increasingly automatic age. How might this affect leadership styles?

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AUTOMATIC: happening

or done without deliberate thought or effort

“Having access to an ocean of cheap labor does not create a sense of urgency­, since any problem can be solved by sending in a busload of fresh hands – along with an unproductive manager who is paid better than o ­ thers for watching them work”


he man and the dog: As computers and robots became a reality in the 1970’s and 1980s, someone made a joking p ­ rediction of what future factories might look like. The only living creatures in the factory would be a man and a dog. The man would be there to feed the dog. The dog would watch the man and prevent him from messing up the automatic controls. The machines would do the rest. The fear that machines will kill jobs is at least as old as book printing. So is the experience that such fears turn out to be unfounded. Supposedly, the manual copyists of books around Gutenberg’s time claimed that book printing would be, “the end of the book industry”. Until now, technological revolutions have created more jobs than they have taken away, at least in the long run. Five hundred years after Gutenberg and 35 years after the PC, more people work with communication media today than any time before. Industrialism transformed most societies in the world, pulling hundreds of millions of people from the countryside into cities.

“The internet of things”: As we know today, these fears have re-emerged many times. They emerged during the B ­ ritish industrial revolution, and again with the dawn of the computer age. Now they are upon us again, this time called “the internet of things”. Trend watchers and economists are pointing out that the times are changing again, and point to the very real possibility that hundreds of professions may disappear due to technology­. These are as diverse as airline pilots, real estate agents, and journalists. Personally, I choose to believe that the end of the world has been predicted too many times, and so I think new occupations will emerge. But it may take some time, and in the meantime one may wonder how working life may change – and how this may a­ ffect.

“Leadership” is not, as many people think, something that has always been around. It emerged as a word after the shareholding company was invented as a permanent legal subject in Britain in 1842. Before “leadership”, people spoke about “officers”, “masters”, “clergy” and other non-transportable titles.

Uncertainty and leadership:

The shareholding company is an invention that let the owners focus on two things. First, how to maximize the returns on the invested capital, and second, how to prevent its loss. This means that any well-managed company would need to develop a way to face the uncertainties of opportunities and losses. The traditional way of handling uncertainty in p ­ rofessional trades has been through craftsmanship. The traditional ­maritime business is a good example. Until recent years, storms were fairly unpredictable at sea. The best way of handling this uncertainty was by building good ships and exerting good ­seamanship. Uncertainty in modern global business is different. Unpleasant­as a storm may be, it is more or less like the p ­ revious one, which means that the technology and seamanship can be improved for every storm (provided that the crew survived). Shifts in technologies are different – they can make previous constructions and management principles obsolete in just a few years. that we can say for sure about the next technology, it will make the world more productive. In its turn, that usually implies a reduced need for labor and an increased need for knowledge. Have a look at some examples. When the smoke-belching, steam-powered ships overtook the beautiful sailing clippers, the increase in productivity was enormous. While there may still be a few jobs left at sea for unskilled hands, the ratio of officers to crew members changed dramatically. More complex technology made education and knowledge prevail and grow in importance. A less famous transition was introduced by a single individual named Keith Tantlinger. He invented a small steel bracket that allowed steel boxes to be securely stacked on top of each other. By inventing the cargo container in 1950s (and giving away the technology to destroy other models), he sparked the globalization of running ports. Again, the unskilled left the docks, but the loadmasters remained. It is in the nature of capital that it will flow towards more productive technologies and systems. Productivity usually ­ yields higher returns on investments and reduces the risk for ­bankruptcy. But new technologies are ­disruptive to the existing order. For that reason, they create a new type of uncertainty that is ­different from the uncertainties that faced earlier craftsmen.

There is only one thing

Helm Magazine



INsight | people powered



The saying goes that, 'many hands make light work'. But, clever hands who find innovative ways to use technology make even lighter work.

As the ­industrial revolution turned into investment capitalism in the 1850s, the ­English-speaking world invented the word “leader­ ship” to describe how people influence companies and markets to new inventions and improved returns. Leadership cultures: In all the debates about culture and leadership, people usually overlook the fact that “leadership” was invented with capitalism, which overturned the feudal ­societies everywhere. In that sense, “leadership” is linked to ­no-one’s culture in particular. It is just the logic of the shareholding company emerging as the primary way of creating jobs and surplus in most parts of the world. Still, there were of course local differences in regions of the earth that made the introduction of “leadership” more or less easy in the beginning. With the risk of being seen as patriotic, I just want to cite a Scandinavian example. Two scientists, Bo Poulsen and Jelle van Lottum, explored hundreds of years of records from the British navy. Whenever the navy captured ­foreign ships as prizes of war, there had to be made a precise record of the ship and the nature of its crew. It is therefore ­possible to create a history of competence and productivity in the European maritime business. There turned out to be wide regional differences in the ­nature of the crews. Very populous nations, such as the Southern European countries, tended to have larger crews with little education. Their officers were educated and were paid far better than their crew. In contrast, Scandinavian ships were sailing with more educated crew and their pay was more equal to their 62

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“As more and more tasks are ­ being automatized, there are only two things we can be sure of about ­tomorrow’s workplace, it will ­require knowledge, and it will be the kind of knowledge that we cannot leave to machines.” officers. This was more productive to the owners. These sailors were apparently also attractive as skilled labor in foreign ships. crew made the Scandinavian­ maritime business far bigger than the population­should suggest. A small country such as Norway had one of the world’s biggest merchant fleets at the beginning of the 20th century. Part of the success was the ability to sail with fewer hands per ton of cargo. One may object that Norway’s maritime industry eventually had to give way to cheap labor in East Asia. This is only partly true. A more correct description is that the competence-based organizations in Scandinavia slowly turned away from shipping. There

A competent and productive


Technology often renders many roles obsolete. However, it's often unskilled tasks which innovation removes, to be replaced by skilled positions in tune with new markets

was more value to be created by such systems in other industries such as offshore and IT. My point here is that productivity and competence go along with certain types of leadership. Solving a problems with many, but unskilled hands is an expensive way of doing things. Some reasons for this: • Even if labor is cheap, the management and co-ordination of people is expensive. Management is strictly speaking only a cost – it does not produce anything more than labor itself. If you can take away management and keep the same output, you are more productive by definition. • Lack of skill implies reduced flexibility in the organization. The more specific tasks people are trained to do, the more you need managers and coordination when unforeseen situations appear. • Control systems have a tendency to induce passivity in those controlled. People get used to wait for orders, since spontaneous­action is often criticized for being sub-optimal or violating rules. • The sum of hierarchy, lack of skills and control mechanisms has a tendency to reduce trust. There is usually a bigger gap in salaries, signaling different interests between the controllers and controlled. As show in many types of leadership studies, this situation often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Those in control do not trust the controlled, and the controlled on their side take care of their own interests. This can create large, unproductive “shadow-organizations” – organizations within the organization.

of leadership need to embrace c­ ompetence and work relationships that are compatible with lean organizations. To reduce headcount, to be flexible and ­innovative, and to make effective use of competence, there needs to be a leadership culture that ­supports such features of the ­organization. Flatter hierarchies, open ­communication practices and alignment of incentives are not inventions of a “soft” management culture and hippies. Such developments are part of the modern growth of productivity – by p ­ utting know­ledge to work. On the other hand, there is no reason to be naïve. Any organization needs to guard itself against opportunism, shoddy work practices and other types of chaos. It is precisely the balancing­acts of these considerations­that create the distinct leadership cultures of ­successful technological inventions. More productive types

Modern leadership cultures naturally need to d ­ evelop from the cultural roots of its participants. All cultures bring with them benefits and handicaps in the adoption of more productive leadership cultures. In my example from the Scandinavian maritime industry above, we cannot know ­ whether the flatter, leaner patterns of organization came first, or if they ­developed out of necessity. Personally, I am in favor of the l­atter. I b ­ elieve ­economic necessities, such as a lack of ­manpower, exert a ­creative strain on people who need to make a living. H ­ aving a­ ccess to an ocean of cheap labor does not c­ reate a sense of u ­ rgency, since any p ­ roblem can be solved by sending in a b ­ usload of fresh hands – along with an u ­ nproductive Helm Magazine


Photos NTB Scanpix/ corbis

INsight | people powered

A rightfully revered icon of modern business, Steve Jobs helped create a new market using technology and a whole new industry surrounding it.

­ anager who is paid better than others for watching them m work. In feudal economies, such differences in resources and their cultural representations could go on for centuries. In the modern global capitalism, most companies are by definition short of hands. Their shareholders and CFOs will continuously look for ways of reducing slack. That means cutting over-capacity and to have the remaining people create more value. In the results-oriented logic of the shareholding company, there will be a continuous demand for more effective ways of employing capital. As more and more tasks are being automatized, there are only two things we can be sure of about tomorrow’s workplace, it will require k ­ nowledge, and it will be the kind of knowledge that we cannot leave to ­machines. In the opening story above, the controlling functions of the organizations are jokingly left to the man and the dog alone at the factory (or in a fully automated international port). That is admittedly an exaggeration. But imagine what all other people would be doing in that kind of world: They would be attending to the core of h ­ uman business, and what is that? In my childhood, our teachers ­ ­continuously told us that we could not live from cutting each other’s hair, i.e., from the service industry. It now turns out that producing ­services is actually a very good thing to do. Even the government of China wants to make that huge country less ­dependent on physical manufacturing and creative in a service

The future of leadership:


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economy. Healthcare service is a huge challenge globally. Apple changed its industry by making digital gadgets a fun experience, integrating­entertainment and technology. In Norway, taking tourists on whale safaris seems more profitable than killing the whales and selling the meat. Value is created by innovation in ­experiences, c­ ommunication and quality of life. It is only natural that the future of leadership will be linked to this development. A productive and innovative leadership ­culture implies trust, good communication skills, empowerment­ and a unified vision of purpose. Management of assets, health and safety must always require control and authority. The ­balancing act is to keep this from creating a fat and unproductive layer of inefficient management. “Leadership” is a word we invented to remind ­managers of how humans can be mobilized to perform in the face of ­uncertainty. It should itself be the target of innovative p ­ ractices, tuning in to the value creation of tomorrow’s workplace. A ­leadership c­ ulture that nurtures competence and empowerment in this way can only welcome the next storm of technological­ ­innovation. JAN KETIL ARNULF, Associate­Professor, BI ­Norwegian Business School. Jan Ketil Arnulf is the Associate Dean to the BI-Fudan MBA program in Shanghai and is an ­Associate Professor at BI ­Norwegian Business School.



A hand held detector, this clever piece of kit is able to locate all ­halogen refrigerants (CFC, HCFC, and HFC) leaks in your refrigeration system. One of the most sensitive ­refrigerant leak d ­ etectors in the industry, with a ­selective sensitivity of 5 ppm, this cordless unit features a leak size indicator and audible alarm. Coming pre-packaged, ­batteries ­included, in a sturdy carry case ­complete with a spare sensing tip, ­battery life on average is 30 hours. Regulation 12 of the revised MARPOL Annex VI covers the Ozone-depleting substances (ODS) such as Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) and Chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) in detail. Found in refrigeration and fire-fighting systems and portable equipment MARPOL dictates that emissions arising from leaks of an ozone depleting substance, whether or not the leaks are deliberate, may be regulated.


Hand held refrigerant leak detector UNIRX-1A KEY FEATURES: • Six-segment visual leak size ­indicator • Audible alarm • High and Low sensitivity level • Cordless • 5 ppm sensitivity (less than 0.2502 per year)

66 The Traveller

Photo GGD/Dinamo Magazine

68 Medical Products

70 Green Issues H eH le ml m M aMga agza in ze ine


technology | gadgets

The Traveller product spec:

Sizes: XS to XL Colours: Black/White/

RETRO RUBBER Finding a robust weatherproof jacket that won’t make you look like you’ve just staggered off an Alp or are halfway through suiting up for a spot of cargo hold cleaning is always a real challenge. Finding one which you can also happily wear with your office attire and not look frankly odd is however, nigh on impossible. Well, that was until we stumbled across Stutterheim. A modern Swedish brand focused on matching contemporary tailoring with ­traditional manufacturing methods and materials, their Arholma raincoat stands out as an item which, well doesn’t (stand out). Whether it’s rushing aboard a vessel­in a thunderstorm or caught by an autumnal­ shower on route to the boardroom this ­subtle outerwear doesn’t look out of place. Inspired by the simple, functional raincoats of old, and specifically the one his grandfather used to wear to sea, Alexander Stutterheim has successfully brought this 60s wet weather classic from Stockholm’s archipelago bang up to date. Named after the area grandad used to fish, Stutterheim’s hand sewn, 100% wind and waterproof Arholma Coat, is ­constructed from rubberised cotton with a cotton/viscose lining, with each seam also taped by hand. Every coat is also quality controlled, signed and numbered by the actual seamstress responsible, ensuring all products are fit for purpose. Though boldly billed as, ‘the last raincoat you will ever need’ in utilising classic skills, craftsmanship and even a touch of ­Scandinavian melancholy to produce a contemporary closer-cut raincoat we do think our Arholma will be around for the long haul.


H e l m M ag a z i n e


Photo stutterheim

A test is best

Yellow/Green/Blue Price: 480EUR

culture | technology

NEW media product spec:

PRICE: 150 EUROS SIZE: 21 x 65 x 9 cm www.lego.com


As desirable maritime memorabilia goes this Maersk’s Triple–E


class container vessel built from over 1500 Lego bricks is at the top of our list. Carrying on the tradition of Lego immortalising its fellow Danish company’s shipbuilding achievements from time to time, this latest edition is as monstrous as the real vessel it’s modelled on. Including rotating gold-colored propeller blades, brick-built twin 8-cylinder engines, viewing window into the engine compartment, adjustable rudders, detachable lifeboats, removable containers and rotating crane arms, it even comes with a mini ‘good luck’ coin to replicate the ones placed on all Maersk newbuilds. Time-consuming, impractical, unnecessary and quite expensive, regardless, we’re frankly desperate to get our hands on one of these.




A quirky app aimed at the amateur photographers amongst us who still, on occasion, shoot pictures on film. This incredibly accurate meter was the first application to bring live view light metering to iOS devices back in 2010. Since then the developers have tinkered away, with this latest version offering enhanced low light performance, a new settings view and the ability to switch between aperture, ISO and shutter speed scales. Catering to a particularly niche market, nevertheless that’s part of the reason why we love Pocket Light Meter, it’s the perfect, modern portable digital companion to all those dated, analog film cameras we just can’t part with. Happy snapping.

Initially developed by the British Army to assist aspiring recruits in reaching the level of fitness expected, this well thought out and cleverly d ­ esigned training app is so effective we’d suggest it’s actually slightly c­ uddly ­civilians rather than lean, mean ­fighting machines using this. Seriously, the download numbers just don’t add up! Featuring easy to follow videos with suitably stern Army instructors taking you through exercises designed to build core strength and stamina, as pure fitness apps go this is hard to beat.

Acting as our immediate reference and research tool for the world of film and TV, past, present and future, it is actually difficult to remember how we rated shows or found out who was in what in the age before IMDb. Providing a reliable benchmark for any evening’s recommended viewing, via its marks out of ten aggregate review system, the app accesses the online site’s database of in excess of two million film and TV titles, along with the names of over 4 million celebrities, actors, actresses, directors, and other crew members. It's invaluable for finding out what episode of Game Of Thrones you are up to or whether it’s worth watching the latest Godzilla remake.

Compatibility: iPhone only Price: Free

Compatibility: iPhone and Android Price: Free

Compatibility: iPhone and Android Price: Free

Helm Magazine


technology | products

medical products Designed with simplicity in mind, to enable you to concentrate on looking after the patient and not on operating the equipment, the Unitor Oxygen Resuscitator competently fulfils the regulatory demands regarding the manual provision of medical oxygen, as required by the medical first aid guide. Surprisingly easy to use, and requiring no specialist training its ­construction means there is no danger of you inflating the patient’s lungs. Packed up with different mask sizes and guedal ­airways in a protective kit bag it of course can be used in conjunction with one of MOX cylinders. PRODUCT SPEC:

Oxygen Resuscitator without cylinder


• Numerous sizes of guedel airways • Manual ventilator with different sizes of oxygen masks • Complete kit with bag • Designed to meet BS6850:1987 for ventilatory resuscitators

The Maritime Labour ­Convention, 2006 ­established

standards for medical care on board ship, with guidance on what medicines and medical supplies should be maintained provided by the ­International Medical First Aid Guide for Ships (MFAG), published by the World Health ­Organization (WHO). The MFAG ­requires vessels to have ­resuscitation

­equipment on board and in addition, vessels ­carrying dangerous goods are ­expected to carry 40 litre@200bar oxygen cylinder(s) in the ships hospital.

Photo GGD/Dinamo Magazine

air apparent


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popular science | technology

smart issues



Daily charging of your mobile phone could well become a thing of the past. This new battery design could last three times longer than existing models.

month can’t seem to pass without some hastily picked up study ­originally published in a science journal making its way directly into the mainstream news about a new type of battery­ or power cell which will ‘revolutionise’ consumer electronics. Well, sadly, up until now, they haven’t, and in most cases the publicity these inventions generate is wildly ­disproportionate to their actual value. However, when we stumbled across news that American graduate student, Zachary Favors had figured out a way in which to use sand to construct lithium-ion bat­teries that could last three times longer than ­conventional models, we were intrigued. Typically, the anode, or negative side of a lithium-ion battery is constructed using graphite, but silicon has long been viewed as an ideal replacement as it can store significantly more energy. The problem has been that it’s difficult to produce in large quantities, which is where the cheap, abundant, silicon-rich sand comes in. Based at the University of California, Riverside, Favours processed the quartz from sand by adding salt and magnesium and heating the mixture. This simple, low-cost, environmentally friendly process allows the salt to act as a heat absorber, while the oxygen is removed from the quartz by the magnesium. The result is pure, very porous silicon, ideal for constructing longer-life lithium-ion batteries. With patents pending, only time will tell if these super, sand silicon batteries become a mass produced reality, or join their fellow promising power solutions in obscurity. Here’s hoping a simple idea formed on a ­California beach by a surfing dude called Zach will be making waves in the future.

Helm Magazine


technology | environment


NO POLARISING OF OPINION Text David hopkins PHOTO GEtty images

While the vast majority of us have no vested operational interest in either the Arctic or Antarctic regions, the wellbeing of both areas, and the vessels and crews sailing within them, is important for everyone. Now you don’t need to be David Attenborough to appreciate the environmental effect an accident of any kind could have on our increasingly delicate polar environments. Such a nightmare scenario is unsurprisingly easy to imagine and it is exactly the reason why the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) work on developing the Polar Code is essential. Currently in draft form the mandatory International Code of safety for ships operating in polar waters (Polar Code) is expected to be adopted later this year and according to the IMO covers the full range of “design, construction, equipment, operational, training, search and rescue and environmental protection matters” directly relevant to vessels operating in either polar region. In addition, the code requires vessels intending to sail in ­polar areas apply for a Polar Ship Certificate. Only issued following an assessment, and based on the ship’s expected working conditions­, this assessment will identify operational limitations, along with additional safety equipment deemed necessary. Once certified, ships would need to carry a Polar Water O ­ perational Manual, which provides the Owner, ­Operator, Master and crew with 70

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this specific information­regarding the ship's ­assessed capabilities and ­limitations. Now, to some of us, all that paperwork, assessment and certification may seem unnecessary, unwanted and largely ineffective, but the IMO’s continued efforts should be applauded. As operating in the Polar regions, however sophisticated modern vessel technology has become is far from routine. While much has been made of retreating ice and rising temperatures ships operating in the Arctic and Antarctic are nevertheless exposed to several uniquely Polar risks. Poor weather conditions, coupled with the fragility of reliable communication systems and other navigational aids still pose a significant challenge. In addition, cold temperatures generally take their toll on an almost innumerable number of component parts of the ship and ice formations add often worrying large amounts of load to the hull and propulsion system. Still an incredibly challenging environment to work in and increasingly busy with traffic in and around both areas continuing to grow year on year, while it may not be immediately relevant for many of us, the stakes are incredibly high for the IMO’s latest piece of regulation.

The code intends to help minimize shipping's impact upon the polar regions and its residents, such as Antarctica's Gentoo Penguins

The Polar Code Includes Specific Requirements on:


hip structure­, stability and subdivision­, watertight and weather­tight integrity­, machinery­ installations, ­operational safety, fire safety/protection, lifesaving appliances and arrangements, safety of ­navigation, communications, ­voyage planning, manning and training, prevention of oil ­pollution, prevention of pollution form from noxious liquid substances from ships, prevention of ­pollution by sewage from ships, and prevention of pollution by discharge of garbage from ships. The Code will require ships ­intending to operate in the defined waters of the Antarctic­and Arctic to apply for a Polar Ship Certificate, which would classify the vessel as: Category A: Ships designed for operation in polar waters at least in medium first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions. Category B: Ships not included in category A, designed for operation in polar waters in at least thin first-year ice, which may include old ice inclusions Category C: Ships designed to operate in open water or in ice conditions less severe than those included in Categories A and B. In addition, a new SOLAS chapter XIV “Safety measures for ships operating in polar waters” is also likely to be adopted alongside the new Polar Code at the­Maritime Safety Committee’s (MSC) ­November 2014 session (MSC 94).

Helm Magazine


Photo WSS Archive

helm | historic view


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Top Deck GAMING Discovered while 足trawling through 足hundreds of old 足images in the Wilhelmsem archives, the exact origin of this image is incredibly difficult to pinpoint. Late 70s? Wilhelmsen cargo vessel? Regardless, the mood is easy to gauge, relaxed. What better thing to unwind than a croquet, curling hybrid deck game.

Helm Magazine


comment | Business culture

Listening to voices outside of the boardroom, from the various parts of your organization, wherever they may be based, is essential


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Sharing Knowledge

in Network Organizations

An organization’s capability to absorb the knowledge that their staff develop when working abroad is the most critical link in the chain of global knowledge sharing. BY Rolv Petter Amdam Photo NTB/ Corbis & Getty IMAGES


oday, an increasing number of companies ­organize their global operations as network ­ organizations. Wilhelmsen Ships Service is one of those with units all over the world serving 2,400 ports. Networks have different purposes. One is to make it easier to transfer knowledge. By creating internal and external networks organizations get access to a great variety of knowledge sources. Network organizations face, however, some challenges that need to be solved in order to capitalize on these knowledge resources. Transnationals

One competitive advantage in the modern global economy is the firm’s knowledge base. If you have lots of unique ­competences and know how to make use of these, you have a strong position. It is said that one reason for establishing multinational c­ orporations is to make the transfer of knowledge across ­borders easier. Especially this is relevant for organizations with what we call a transnational strategy, which is one of several alterative international strategies. One alternative is to have a global strategy. In that case the ­ position of the headquarters is strong. Activities are standardized­and centralized. Most decisions are taken at headquarter level, and local units follow their orders. Knowledge flows basically from the headquarters to subsidiaries­. ­A lternatively, the firm may have strong needs to adjust to ­different local markets and chooses a multinational strategy.

That means that subsidiaries have more autonomy, decisions are delegated and more of the knowledge is produced locally. The transnational strategy combines these strategies. In that case you have both a headquarters that develops ­standardized products to be delivered globally, like in 2,400 ports, and strong local units that needs to know the local market and deal with local customers. All units create knowledge, and knowledge should be shared in strong networks between the headquarters and units, and not at least between units in different countries. However, this is difficult due to various barriers. Ethnocentrism

“I know that the Norwegians are the experts, but they should also learn from us”, one Brazilian engineer who works for a ­Norwegian company in Rio de Janeiro said to me. “There does not seem to be an active driver at the European office for wanting­to learn from Asia”, another one said in Shanghai. In some organizations the process of sharing knowledge is hampered by ethnocentrism among top managers. This means that there is an attitude among top management of, “we know the best”. Of course the headquarters should have a strong ­position, to promote innovations and be a key resource for knowledge development. But if they don’t listen to what is going on in the different corners of the global organization, it would be difficult to develop the unique competence you need to get a competitive advantage. “Innovations are driven from Oslo, but we get feedback on small things from customers,” a general manger of a foreign subsidiary in the maritime industry said. This is how it works in network organizations. Helm Magazine


comment | Business culture

Learning how to absorb and utilize the often unique experiences and knowledge acquired by staff while working abroad is incredibly important for global businesses.

Local adjustment

One challenge for an organization that sells standardized ­products to the global market is how to handle the ­internal pressure from different global units. If they also want to ­increase the local market share in a certain market, they will have to develop knowledge about that market. This is best done by using local experts who know the market and the culture, and then you have given the unit some autonomy. This specific knowledge has to be shared and moulded with the firm’s general market knowledge, and this process challenges­internal power structures as well as initiates discussions on local autonomy. “We see that the marketing material that is being produced in Oslo does not work here”, one general manager of a Norwegian unit in Shanghai said. These processes create one of the most difficult dilemmas ­regarding knowledge sharing within multinational corporations. If you want to adjust to the local context and subsidiaries get a lot of autonomy to do that, they will get access to more ­local knowledge resources outside the firm. Networks, acquaintances and business transactions create enormous ­ ­possibilities as to make use of knowledge sources in the local community. But autonomy also means that the headquarters have less ­direct control. Consequently the channels for sharing knowledge between headquarters and the local unit become weaker. Centralized control means that it is easier to transfer knowledge, but the ­local units get access to less external knowledge. Units that are more autonomous are more integrated and get access to more knowledge, but it is also more difficult to share with other units 76

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in the organization. In other words, the more context-specific the local knowledge is, the less it can be used by other units. Global expatriates as carriers of knowledge

How then should an organization deal with this dilemma? How could a network organization that wants to be global, by offering standardized products, as well as wants to be strong and well integrated locally, be able to learn from local experiences outside the units and share this knowledge within the organization? According to research, for example by Hocking, Brown and Harzing in the journal Human Resource Management, 2007, people who move could play a key role in this respect. Many network organizations invest heavily in formal ­computer-based systems for sharing knowledge. When a local unit has had some great experiences, or finished a project, they write a report and put it in the database, and management hope others can use it. This may be very useful for documentation, but there are two problems. First, few read these reports. Secondly, the most interesting and exciting experiences are just difficult to write down. They are what we call tacit, which means that they are so linked to individual experiences and practice that it is difficult to write these experiences down or codify them in other ways. What works better is when people carry this knowledge across the globe. Yes, it is expensive to organize global seminars and meetings, but research claims that more knowledge is shared between units in this way than by investing in IT-based knowledge-sharing systems. However, more successful than all other channels for

“More successful than all other channels for knowledge sharing are the people working abroad bringing­knowledge across to the organization when they move back.”

knowledge sharing are the people working abroad bringing ­k nowledge across to the organization when they move back, or move to other units. “When I came down here 3 years ago, the CEO and his team back in Norway didn’t understand what was happening in China, and that was one of the reasons why I was sent here, to send something back to Norway”, an expat serving as general manager in Shanghai told me. By sending expats, headquarters contribute to transfer knowledge to the unit where he or she is going to work. Expats will share knowledge that the headquarters want the local unit to have. That is why we see so many expats in multinationals with a global strategy. They are sent out to manage units, and to make sure that the units act according to headquarters’ ­strategy. The backside of this control-regime is that an expat will have difficulties in being integrated with the local culture. If you are abroad to produce for lower cost to the global market, that may be OK because in that case you do not need to get access to any local knowledge base. But if you want to adjust to local markets or to get access to local experiences, then you may let a local manager take care of the local operation. But, then it is more difficult to share this knowledge with the rest of organization, not at least due to cultural barriers and misunderstanding A third way is to develop a group of global managers who both know the values and the strategies of the company in its home country as well as being good at adjusting to other ­contexts. These are often what we call third nationals. “For us it is good that we can recruit people from Singapore to

China”, one CEO said. The Singaporeans, he argued, knew the company and its culture well since the company had been in Singapore for decades. “They are one of us”. They can therefore transfer the company’s values and other types of knowledge to new areas, in this case to China. Since the Singaporean business culture also is closer to the Chinese than the Norwegian is, they have also better preconditions for adjusting to local markets and knowledge resources in China. That is the logic. Firms that have experiences from Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan before entering mainland China, are more productive than those who do not have that kind of experience, according to a study by Carlsson, Nordgren and Sjöholm in the journal International Business Review, 2005. Global expats are key resources for increasing the knowledge base of a firm founded on what they experience abroad. Some succeed better than others. “My mother taught me always to taste the food when I was offered food. That has helped me a lot in Asia”, one successful businessman said. Organizations do not, however, seem to be able to learn and adjust as quickly as individuals. Many organizations do not know how to make use of these experiences, and to complete the chain of knowledge flow. “When I came back from China after five years, I was so enthusiastic and wanted to share all my knowledge. But no one wanted to listen to me,” an experienced expat said to me after having moved back to Norway. The organizations’ capabilities to absorb the experiences and knowledge that single persons develop when working abroad are in many network organizations the most critical link in the chain of global knowledge sharing. Reference:

This article is based on interviews and observations from a ­research project on the internationalization of the ­Norwegian maritime industry financed by the Research Council of ­Norway. More than 50 interviews of Norwegians and locals in subsidiaries­­­of Norwegian maritime firms in China and Brazil have been conducted. The interviews are anonymous according to the guidelines of the project.

Rolv petter Amdam, Professor and Dean Executive, BI Norwegian

­Business School.

Helm Magazine


Part one: “When they came Global Ecoback to Norway nomic from sea, their Shift tattoos singled them out, almost like having a sign saying, I am a sailor”

Apart from the last bit, ‘The Eternal Seaman’ Terje Wilhelm Johannessen has lived according to the words etched around the skull and dagger motif on his upper arm. Live fast. Love Hard. Die Young. 78

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Photo Elin Hansson

review | Business culture

Tattooed tales of the sea Painstakingly researched and very cleverly put together ­by Tor Ola Svennevig, Marit Sunnanü Aalrust and Elin Hansson this novel book is much, much more than just a skin-deep collection of classic tattoo graphics. Text David Hopkins Photo Elin Hansson/Magikon forlag

Helm Magazine


“The tattoos of the sailors interviewed, however prominent, explicit, detailed or numerous, do very quickly fade into the background when you begin to read their stories”



forward and agreeing to tell their story. sailors, hearing their often very sad tales ulling together summaries and commentaries on post-war She reinforces this point by explaining of loss has clearly made an impression Norwegian maritime history, along that when they began speaking to the on Aalrust. Though picking ‘Eagle-Man’, of course with numerous images and de- sailors that many of them ­actually felt Wallentin as one of her more memorable tailed information on the tattoo designs, ‘stigmatized’ or made to feel ashamed by interviewees, it is Helge Kolstad, who and the tattoo shops and artists, the book their tattoos. “We were ­expecting them survived three torpedo attacks and one uses the tattoos as the vehicle to help tell to be proud, but many told us that when bombing while serving at sea during they came back to ­Norway from sea, their WWII, who Aalrust identifies as her fathe stories of Norway’s merchant sailors. A novel way of illustrating vourite. “When we talked to him the seamen’s tales, born out he didn’t r­ emember much about of a chance encounter with his tattoos, but when we talked old p ­ictures of tattooed sailabout what happened his eyes ors adorning the interior of a sharpened and he ­ remember ferry, journalist Marit Suneverything, it’s a story he’s been nanå A ­ alrust was immediately re-telling over and over”, she taken by the idea. “I started says. doing some research and we Nominated for ­ Brageprisen, realised this was part of our the Norwegian literature prize, maritime heritage that hadn’t the book also includes a detailed been documented at all. It felt overview of post-war ­Norwegian important and it was an exciting ­seafaring by ­Elisabeth S. K ­ oren way to bring the stories of the the Senior Curator at the ­seamen”, she says. “These men Norwegian Maritime Museum. ­ Downtime for this crew of whalers in the 1920s involves were the last generation. Today In addition, the foreword is tattoos, whiskey and song. it is not common at all to join a written by Norwegian novelist ship at 16. For the ­average young and former sailor Jon Michelet, ­Norwegian man in the 50s, 60s and even tattoos singled them out, almost like who incidentally first set sail aboard a 70s it was their only real chance to travel”. ­having a sign saying, I am a sailor”, she ­Wilhelmsen vessel. Available now this adds. inventive and often touching look at Offering a fascinating insight into the Norway’s maritime history is well worth While coming up with the focus of the book was relatively easy, as was lives of Norway’s sailors, at sea and on checking out. finding interview candidates through shore, and their motivations for ­setting Seamen’s Associations and random sail, the tattoos of the sailors ­interviewed, ­ ­contacts, however setting-up the inter- however prominent, explicit, ­detailed or views was often fraught with difficulty. numerous, do very quickly fade into the NORSKE SJØMANNS­ Marit says: “Some of them weren’t sure background when you ­begin to read their TATOVERINGER/ emotional of what type of book it would be and what stories. Ranging from the ­ NORWEGIAN SAILORS’ TATTOOS the reaction from the public would be. tale of the ‘Mother’s Son’, Ulf Kittelsen Marit ­Sunnanå Aalrust, Also, obviously we’re asking them to take and his often dark experiences at sea, Elin Hansson, Tor Ola to the oddly uplifting stories Ragnar their shirt off, it’s very intimate.” Svennevig Featuring a full-page portrait p ­ hoto ­Wallentin ­recants about getting his ­eagle tattoo in Singapore, along with of each sailor displaying their ink, which chest ­ Language: Norwegian sits alongside their interview and ­specific ­explaining how easy it is to ­contract the & English details on their life at sea (including ‘Japan ­sickness’ (here’s a hint it ­involves ISBN: 9788292863398 interviews years at sea, positions held and of course pretty girls in port), the ­ Publisher: Magikon info on their tattoos) Aalrust is still ­included are ­incredibly engaging. Forlag www.magikon.no ­impressed by their ‘bravery’ in ­coming Meeting and speaking to these old Tusenvis av nordmenn dro til sjøs under gullalderen i norsk sjøfart. Mange kom tilbake med tatoveringer som markerte deres tilhørighet og vitnet om reiser over hele verden. I denne rikt illustrerte boken forteller sjømenn om tatoveringer og eksotiske opplevelser. Boken gir også en innføring i etterkrigs­ tidens sjømannsliv og norske sjømannstatoveringer før og nå.

Thousands of Norwegians went to sea during the golden age of the Norwegian merchant marine. Many of them came back with tattoos that expressed their identity and bore witness to their voyages. In this richly illustrated book, seamen tell about their tattoos and exotic experiences. There are also texts about the life of seamen and about sailors’ tattoos in past and present.

Tekst og foto · Text and photo: Tor Ola Svennevig, Marit Sunnanå Aalrust, Elin Hansson, Elisabeth S. Koren, P. E. “Pero” Dahlman. Forord av · Foreword by · Jon Michelet. · Ship ahoy, sailors!


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Photo Hvalfangstmuseet i Sandefjord

review | Business culture

Photos Elin Hansson, Tor Ola Svennevig

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[1] Harry Per Engen still thinks the ‘lady friend’ on his forearm is beautiful. [2] T ­ ommy Ødegård knew he wanted to be tattooed before he even set sail for the first time. [3] Sailors aren’t at all like Popeye, but some of them still see some of themselves in the cartoon character. [4] The name below Jan Toralf ­Trondsen’s flower tattoo could have changed a second time, but his third wife said no.

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Helm Magazine


helm | Afterword

the full stop By Hans Christian Kjelsrud

during this downturn, that we stay very close to our longShip finance has always been dominated by ­European banks, they have probably accounted for 70% or so of term clients and make sure they get the products, ­services ­global ship finance in the past. So what was peculiar and funding they require. Obviously we’re not only a bank about this l­atest downturn was that you didn’t only have which lends money, we do also provide a lot of other s­ ervices. a downturn in the shipping industry, but you also had a We’ve built up a large business in loan c­ ertification, we are ­ orwegian bond markets ­major downturn in the banking industry as a whole. The very big in the Nordic and the N confluence of those two things is what makes this cycle and we also provide export credit­solutions to our clients different from previous cycles. You’ve seen over the last on the newbuild side. So we try and bring our whole suite of products out to our clients and three or four years that there I think our relationship strategy are some large industry banks “There are always p­ articipants is paying off. Our clients feel that that have basically decided to we are a bank that they can trust exit this business altogether which enter a cycle during the throughout the cycles. There are and other big shipping banks good times and then exit when always participants who enter a have decided to scale back their cycle during the good times and portfolios­substantially. I think times are tough, we try to be then exit when times are tough, the reason for that is that in counter-cyclical” we try to be counter-cyclical. ship finance a big part of the business is to provide long-term U.S Dollar financing for big capiI think what this downturn tal assets and this has been very challenging for some of probably has taught many customers is that it might be the continental­European­banks because they have had wise to diversify their funding­sources somewhat. I think very, very high costs, getting funding for themselves. So many of them have opened their eyes to the bond market, for many ­European banks their own cost of capital has be it the Norwegian bond market, which has been very increased substantially. This has meant that terms for active, but also the US bond market and also to tap into ­financing have tightened up, since the good old days back export credit agencies. There’s a substantial amount of in 2004 to 2008. I think you see…loan pricing is up, ten- capacity amongst the export credit agencies these days der offer financing is shorter and the financing amount or and they are supportive of their own yard industry, so that’s ­filling the gap left by some of the traditional shipping ­percentages have come down somewhat. banks. We’ve also seen clients showing interest in fixing ­interest rates because the long-term US Dollar interest The demand side of the equation has never been the problem in shipping, it’s always been the supply and the rates have been very low and are ­probably historically still newbuilds. We know pretty much what’s being delivered fairly low so we’ve seen quite a lot of interest in hedging over the next two years, but I think beyond 2016 the health interest exposure over the next five to seven years. If you of the market will basically depend on whether ship- are in a c­ ontract business when you have locked-up freight owners­are disciplined when it comes to ordering new rates for a long time, many of our clients would like to ­tonnage. That’s the danger out there that market partici- ­reduce the uncertainty of interest rates and to ascertain a fixed cash flow. pants become over-optimistic and order too many ships. A lot of our clients have been with us for 20, 30, 40 years.

So, one of our priorities is to make sure, and it has been


H e l m M ag a z i n e

Hans Christian Kjelsrud is Head of Shipping, Offshore & Oil

Services at Nordea

Photo Nordea

l l i w t e k r a m e r h e t h f t o e h h t w l a n e o d h e d e n n i “Th lly­depe e discipl a 04 ar c i g s n i r ba wners  e d r o o o t p s i e h s m o c t i n e wh onnage” t w e n – Hans Ch

ristian Kj



Shipowner: Someone who equips and exploits a ship, usually for ­delivering cargo at a certain freight rate.

Helm Magazine


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