Nor-Shipping & AMVER Awards 2023
By Peter Hult, Chief Executive Officer
At last month’s Nor-Shipping conference, world leaders in maritime shipping gathered in Oslo to discuss the year’s big themes in commercial cargo. Environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) concerns were top-of-mind, and many companies we spoke with were interested in VIKAND’s ability to address the social aspect in ESG, especially since we're able to report on it.
There is also growing support for replacing our current culture of reactive maritime healthcare with a “preventive maintenance” approach designed to keep crew members healthy, alert and performing. Continuing to address problems instead of preventing them is leading us to an unsustainable future and fast-approaching talent shortage.
Former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John Kerry delivered a keynote address for the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System Awards, known as AMVER Awards (a global rescue program managed by the US Coast Guard to coordinate ocean rescues around the world) hosted by the US Embassy in Oslo, supported by the US State Department, ABS and VIKAND. In his remarks, Kerry, who is now the first U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, likened the fight against global climate change to D-Day.
At VIKAND, we believe that if commercial shipping is to survive, it is also time for D-Day levels of resolve in the fight for crew welfare. Our new Managing Director of OneHealth, Ronald Spithout, delivered his own speech at the AMVER Awards, where he implored the audience to remember three words: “crew asset management.”
Just as shipping companies meticulously maintain their vessels to achieve peak performance and efficiency, the future of shipping will be won by those who take an “asset management” approach to their fleet’s most critical component – the crew.
After his speech, Spithout was approached by attendees in full agreement with this outlook, including commercial captains, who say they don’t feel comfortable making emergency medical decisions that lead to costly diversions, and don’t wish to be caught between the pressures of health, safety and business.