Thursday, 28 February 2013

What role does technology play in reducing shipping accidents?

A recent article on the Canadian Underwriter website on the increase in global ship losses highlights the role that technology will play in reducing shipping accidents if carefully applied to the industry with quality training and well thought out operational implementation.

Increasingly, ship losses are becoming more and more visible to the general public with recent cases such as the sinking of the cruise ship Costa Concordia off the coast of Italy striking a particular chord. This not only causes human tragedy but bad PR for the ship owners. As such it is shown that self-regulation is now as much a pressure driver as IMO led requirements.

However, for as many owners that prioritise safety there are as many again that put costs far above. With freight rates depressed at the moment in most markets there is little free cash (and incentive) to invest in quality training and as a consequence some owners will decide to choose the cheapest option for compliance tick boxing only.

Human error is the biggest cause of accidents but with the introduction of technology into ship operations this is on a downward trend in general and will continue to do so as both technology improves, seafarers gain competency and IMO regulation engulfs increasing segments of the industry.

Hopefully this provides an optimistic indication of the industry embracing ECDIS ahead of the mandate.

For the full article please visit

Martek Marine introduces new website ahead of iECDIS launch

Martek continues to bring the maritime industry up to date with the launch of their new go-to site for everything ECDIS related at

The site includes information on topics from training options to flag state requirements. There’s also information on the ECDIS regulations as they come into place at the start of July 2012, beginning with the requirement to have ECDIS on-board all new build passenger and tanker ships. By 2018 this will become a requirement on all existing and new-build ships.

Be sure to keep checking back on the website, as Martek will soon be announcing the launch date to bring their ECDIS to market. The iECDIS package will include the full training needed, regular chart updates, hardware and full software installed.

In conjunction with the website you can also follow on twitter @dontbuyecdis and the Linkedin forum ECDIS User Group.

Martek welcomes on board ECDIS technical specialist

Martek Marine is pleased to announce the recruitment of Torben Holmelund, Technical Manager.

Based in Denmark, Torben will be managing the production and launch of the new iECDIS and will be specialising in the technical aspects as it goes to market in March.

Bentley Strafford-Stephenson, ECDIS Product Specialist states “Torben is a welcome addition to the team with the announcement of our new iECDIS for launch in March this year. Torben brings with him a wealth of experience of ECDIS having worked in the maritime industry for many years.”

We welcome Torben to the Martek team.

Martek Marine achieves Gold Standard!

Martek continues to WOW customers as a Gold Investors in People award is presented.
Here at Martek we’re constantly looking to improve the service that we provide for our customers and we believe that starts with having a great work force. To show our commitment towards our staff we contacted Investors in People towards the end of 2012 and invited Lesley Bers, their Investment in People Specialist, into the business to assess the opportunities that we offer to our team. We always set ourselves the highest standards and this was to be no different as we set our sights on achieving the top level award- the Gold Standard.

Our staff had a chance to tell Lesley what they loved about the company, as well as aspects they’d change. One of the factors our employees loved was the work hard, play hard attitude. One employee stated “If you put the effort in you’ll get the rewards”.

Another factor encouraging staff is the potential to grow within the company. One individual said “Challenging, very rewarding. High performance but the rewards are there; I’m living proof- from temp to senior manager!”

After a thorough look at the company’s staff policy, the training available and employee wellbeing we were delighted to say that Investors in People awarded us the Gold we’d been striving towards.

Lesley praised, “This is the best example I have seen of core values really being embodied into the way the organisation works and every aspect of what they do”. She added “There is a definite energy and enthusiasm around the organisation, not least because of the energy of the CEO which does seem to be infectious!”

CEO Paul Luen said, “Since the very start of Martek in 2000, we have always aimed to achieve the best in the field, and the Gold award is the recognition we’ve been looking forward to in the recent years”.

We will now be working with Investors in People in the coming months to look at the areas which we can improve further.

We will also look to including our Singapore office in the Investors in People assessment in the near future as we aim to become a world class company.