Technology Trends in Shipping with Capt. Dr. Clive Sheard

Monday November 13, 2017

Clive Sheard was appointed as principal Marine Consultant for Noble Denton Marine Services in Australia in May 2017. Previously Clive was Regional Manager for Noble Denton Marine Services in the Middle East and India (part of the DNV GL group). Clive is now responsible to support and guide the overall performance of Noble Denton marine services in Australia. Clive joined Noble Denton in Oct 2011 as a senior marine surveyor. Prior to 2011 Clive worked as a senior surveyor for MatthewsDaniel for 8 years. Previously he had worked as assistant harbor master in Dubai Drydocks from 1995 and as a tug master, Assistant Port Captain and Pilot in the Port of Cape town. Clive Sheard holds a PhD Degree in Marine Law, Cape Town University. He also holds a Masters Mariner Class 1 certificate. The merger between DNV and GL became operational from September 12, 2013. DNV GL then became and still is the world’s leading ship and offshore classification society and a world-leader of independent assurance and expert advisory services to the maritime, oil & gas and energy industries. Driven by its purpose of safeguarding life, property and the environment, DNV GL enables organizations to advance the safety and sustainability of their business. Operating in more than 100 countries, the 13,500 professionals are  dedicated to helping their customers make the world safer, smarter and greener. Clive Sheard

Clive recently joined Christopher Sanchez of Legalwise Seminars to discuss the latest trends and developments in the maritime and shipping industry.

You can find the full Q&A below.

What are some of the key trends and developments in the maritime and shipping sector?

Contracted crews on vessels, low wages and cost cutting leading to dropping competence levels . This is a cause for concern especially with the ever increasing size of vessels and catastrophic costs associated with marine incidents.

What’s one mistake you see people make in maritime and shipping matters or a misconception many have?

To think an incident “won’t happen to my port, fleet company!” There is an element not to spend money to mitigate against incidents. Changes only come about after an incident has occurred (reactionary  responses).

Are there an particular trends in technology that people should keep on their radar in the shipping industry and how might it impact maritime law?

CCTV and drone imagery on ships, in the offshore industry and  in ports. In Maritime law a picture settles a dispute very effectively leading to an accurate assessment of the cause of the incident leading to better “lessons learned” and training.

What’s one way improving technology will shape pilotage? Where do drones fit in?

If marine pilots had wings they would have been flying over ships for decades. A “seagull” view is the optimum view when manoeuvring big ships in small places. The streaming drone imagery  is real, requires no sensors or “set up” process,  and besides improving space perception also captures other ships, the tug and rope runner launches performance.

Will new technology have an impact on the assurance scheme for chartered tugs for Port and Terminal use?

Yes… A digitally based assessment  template and fully registered   assurance scheme for chartered port and towing tugs addresses “transparent suitability” (i.e. assurance that the tug has been “suitability” vetted and is fit for purpose to operate under  the operational recommendations in the report). The tug will therefore be used in its most safe and efficient manner. In a port scenario, this 3rd party endorsement can be claimed as Technical due diligence (i.e. “we have the right tools to handle ships in our waterscape”)  which should be a great contribution in maintaining a port’s “safe port “ tag. For tug owners a 3rd party assurance helps the owners move away from the difficult to defend “referee and player” tag,  should there a claim against the tug. Accidents will always happen….. 3rd party assurance shows gives owners peace of mind that the tug was chartered with all parties fully aware of its capabilities and the training methods for the crews.

Do you have any insights into where shipping and maritime law may be headed in the future?

I suggest that due to the immense costs of marine accidents , especially with mega ships , strategically critical terminals and falling crew competence….. the maritime law and marine insurance industry should be able to actively support/endorse/encourage  new technology and initiatives that can help prevent accidents and injury and crippling costs.

You can hear more from Clive at the Maritime and Shipping Law Forum seminar, being held on Thursday 16 November at the Parmelia Hilton Perth.


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