Safety, decarbonization, data and digital technologies topped the agenda when industry leaders met to discuss global challenges facing the maritime sector at the annual ABS North America Regional Committee.
“Safety is a core value at ABS, so I am proud to be able to report to our members that not only do we retain an industry-leading position, but we are leading the way in understanding what safety will look like in a digital world,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO, who actively participated in the Committee program. “Thanks to our deep roots in North America, our committee includes the diverse expertise of many knowledgeable stakeholders. As we harness digital technologies and innovation to meet 2030 and 2050 decarbonization objectives, we will need all of their vision and experience to ensure safety standards are not compromised and keep pace with technological advances.”
The Committee heard about the best-in-class safety performance of ABS, including achieving more than two years without a work-related lost-time incident. The superior Port State Control performance of ABS and strong fleet safety performance underline its focus on safety and its mission.
ABS presented its innovative work on developing pathways to 2050 and demystifying digital technology. The agenda also included a regulatory update from Jeffrey Lantz, U.S. Coast Guard Director, Commercial Regulations and Standards.
“As Greenhouse Gas reduction targets will dominate IMO in the coming years, this affords the maritime industry as a whole a great opportunity to show what they are already doing and can do in the future,” said Lantz. “As environmentally forward-leaning leaders, the actions taken today by owners, operators and classification organizations will require regulators to recognize their progress and positive performance.”
“Shipping faces a range of significant regulatory and technological challenges today. By bringing together the leaders of the North American shipping industry, ABS is able to generate powerful insight into the solutions and services that will help us meet those challenges,” said Mark Ross, Chairman of the ABS North America Regional Committee and President of Chevron Shipping Company.
ABS is the leading classification organization in North America, including Equatorial American countries, based on both existing tonnage and new construction orders. ABS provides class services for the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Army, U.S. Maritime Administration, NOAA, National Science Foundation, Canadian Navy and Canadian Coast Guard.
The Committee meetings are a forum for ABS members, including owners, operators, charterers, and industry representatives from flag administrations, owner associations, and the shipbuilding and insurance sectors, to come together with ABS leaders and discuss industry issues and developments. These forums are an important part of an ongoing dialogue with industry to address technical, operational and regulatory challenges.