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HANSA 12-2020

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Schiffstechnik | Ship

Schiffstechnik | Ship Technology Suppliers urge access to ports and ships While crew changes and open ports were prominent issues, there were other segments in the logistics of keeping ships running that were heavily impacted from the Corona pandemic. One of them is the ship supply sector Saeed Al Malik © ISSA It is a competitive market for ship suppliers at the moment. The laying up of the cruise sector has had an impact on suppliers in that sector and the ship supply industry is waiting to see when cruising will be resumed globally. »Shipping has proven its resilience through the lockdown and has carried on trading and bringing goods to our supermarkets. This is why it is important for ship suppliers to be acknowledged as key workers. Our members need to have access to the ships in port so they can undertake their workload,« Saeed Al Malik, President of the International Shipsuppliers & Services Association (ISSA), tells HANSA. ISSA wrote to IMO Secretary General Kitack Lim in spring, asking for ship suppliers to be afforded key worker status. »Access to ships in port has, and always will, remain, a pre-requisite to suppliers being able to do their job. Hence the need for this status,« says Al Malik. »Ship suppliers should be given ›essential worker‹ status to enable them to keep the world’s ships stocked with vital supplies and spare parts during the global coronavirus pandemic, for that there is little doubt.« © Wrist Ship Supply Supplies needed in crew crisis Supply companies had complained to ISSA that they were being prevented from delivering to ships in some ports. The organisation also adressed the head of the World Customs Organization (WCO) asking for ship suppliers around the world to be given essential worker status. »We are an important part of the supply chain and it is essential that we can bring much-needed food, medical supplies and spare parts to ships for world trade to continue. With crew changes almost impossible throughout most of the world at this present time, some seafarers have been onboard for many months and potentially face many more months at sea before they can return to their loved ones. It is important that they receive 48 HANSA – International Maritime Journal 12 | 2020

Schiffstechnik | Ship Technology the equipment and stores they need,« Al Malik says. Allowing ship suppliers access to ships in port is also an important consideration and something that ISSA has raised to member states at the IMO. ISSA is a non-governmental organisation member of the body. »In an IMO submission last year, first of all to the FAL43 meeting in April and then to the Maritime Safety Committee meeting in June, we told IMO member states that its members continued to experience unwarranted delay, obstruction and unfair charges when they try to enter ports to deliver stores to ships,« Al Malik reports. 201113_AA2020_136_209_bleed.pdf 1 13.11.2020 14:27:52 It was one of the organizations behind the Call-to-action-communiqué »Accelerating digitalisation of maritime trade and logistics« in June, urging port communities to seize the opportunities of the »fourth industrial revolution« and to develop into »smart« ports. Many ports have barely grasped the essentials of digitalisation, struggling with larger reliance on personal interaction and paper-based transactions as the norms for shipboard, ship-port interface and port-hinterland based exchanges. When the world was exiting from the first phase of lockdowns, organisation behind the call to action saw an urgent need for inter-governmental organisations, governments and industry stakeholders concerned with maritime trade and logistics to come together and accelerate the pace of digitalisation. »Digitalisation is accelerating within the shipping industry and a supply/procurement sector that if digitally agile can only drive in greater efficiencies. The efficient movement of supplies across borders, as well as the speedy handling of customs documentation, not to mention a fast and efficient ordering and purchasing process augurs well for the future,« Saeed Al Malik sums up the suppliers’ position. fs »It is all about communication« What are the lessons learnt, what can suppliers do to smoothen processes during such times in the future? »It is all about communication and working as a team with owners and managers,« Al Malik tells HANSA. His association has introduced an Honorary membership category for ship owners and managers and it has already started to attract in some of the larger managers. »This is an important category because it gives us a platform to work with our customers to strengthen and improve the procurement process.« Al Malik says he expects business as usual for 2021 but with a focus on looking at ways to drive in efficiencies through greater digitalisation: »Digitialisation of the industry is essential for the C M future of the industry from a buyers’ as Y well as suppliers’ perspective. And while CM ISSA has just published its 2020 Ship Stores Catalogue and also its brand new MY 2020 Provisions and Bonded Stores Catalogue - the first of its kind in the in- CY dustry, both titles are essential to the marketplace and will also be able to be K accessed digitally.« ISSA sees the development as an exciting opportunity facing ship suppliers and buyers. CMY Digitization’s opportunities HANSA – International Maritime Journal 12 | 2020 49

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