At INTERCARGO meetings in Tokyo, safety and decarbonisation were key issues for members


INTERCARGO, the International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners, met in Tokyo last week for its Semi-Annual Meetings, and high on the agenda were quality, sustainability, GHG emissions’ reduction, and particularly the CII rating system.

The location of Tokyo was chosen specifically to highlight the importance of Japan to the dry bulk sector. Japanese economic growth has contributed hugely to trade in dry bulk, a sector that has supported one of the world’s largest network of shipbuilders, with many shipyards across Japan including the world’s leading ship builders and designers of dry bulk vessels. Japanese ship owners have been prominent players in supplying the world’s economy with dry bulk products such as iron ore, coal, raw materials and grain.

Numerous members and guests from both Japan and abroad attended the Association’s functions. INTERCARGO’s Executive Committee and Technical Committee discussions focused on issues affecting the dry bulk sector. INTERCARGO’s members represent about one-third of the global dry bulk fleet tonnage.  While they are supportive of the IMO’s decarbonisation aims, they expressed serious concerns that the CII, in its current form, will unfairly penalise the sector.

Dimitrios Fafalios (pictured), Chairman of INTERCARGO said: “The issue of the CII again featured heavily in discussions with members at our meetings in Tokyo. INTERCARGO’s members feel very strongly that the CII, in its current format, needs a fundamental reconsideration to account for the operating conditions in our sector.”

Mr Fafalios added: “While we are, of course, supportive of the IMO’s environmental aims, they must be enforced in a fair and equitable manner across the maritime spectrum. They also need to be applied in way that is not potentially damaging to the shipping industry, as well as to avoid the wider adverse effects on economies and on end consumers.”

Also prominent on the agenda of INTERCARGO in Tokyo were discussions on: safety & quality operations; INTERCARGO’s messaging via ESG; recommendations on Port State Controls; and macro-economic impacts on the dry bulk shipping, such as conflicts leading to re-routing of vessels and increased insurance costs.

The next calendar dates for INTERCARGO’s members are the organisation’s Annual General Meeting, Executive Committee and Technical Committee meetings in London on 24-25 October 2024.