INTERCARGO warns 2019 is ‘The year for dry cargo owners to prepare their vessels for landmark changes in shipping’


The importance of investigating incidents and publishing casualty investigation reports as soon as possible, so lessons can be learned, was one of the key topics discussed when INTERCARGO held its Executive and Technical Committee meetings in Hong Kong last month.

The Association said the report concerning the Stellar Daisy loss had “long been expected” by the industry. The vessel was a South Korean-owned very large ore carrier that sank on 31st March 2017 in the South Atlantic off the coast of Uruguay while on a voyage from Brazil to China.

Moisture-related cargo shifting (widely known as liquefaction) also continues to be a big concern for dry bulk shipping, and although there were no reported loss of life or vessel attributed to this last year, INTERCARGO urged all stakeholders to remain vigilant as liquefaction poses a major threat to the life of seafarers.

The 2020 Global Sulphur Cap was another key topic discussed and the Association said that while it supports the implementation on 1st January 2020, it is concerned that safety issues are likely to arise over the availability of safe, compliant fuels.

INTERCARGO also said it welcomed the initial strategy for the reduction of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) from ships adopted by IMO, but said the ambitious objectives will require adequate innovative technological solutions as GHG emissions largely depend on the design and technology of the constructed ships, engines and machinery.

The meetings also discussed implementation challenges of Ballast Water Management systems, and the availability of adequate Port Reception Facilities.

INTERCARGO’s annual membership has increased significantly and currently stands at 140 Full Members with 2,215 bulkers entered with the Association.

Secretary General Dr Kostas G Gkonis said: “Regulatory requirements have been progressing at a rapid pace as in the previous two years – and this will continue. In this context, INTERCARGO’s three reference pillars of safety, efficiency and environmental soundness, with our constant aim for quality and operational excellence, remain more relevant than ever.”

INTERCARGO will hold its next semi-annual meetings in Athens in October.