Supporting the industry through the early stages of the energy transition with trusted insights into a range of emerging technologies while recording industry-leading safety performance has seen ABS continue to grow its classed fleet to 277 million gross tons.
That was the message for members at the annual ABS Advisory Council Meeting on November 15th, which included presentations from the Administrator of the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).
“I believe we are in the early innings of a decade of change. ABS is well positioned to support the industry in capitalizing on the opportunities presented by the energy transition and the myriad of new technologies without losing sight of the unintended safety consequences that rapid change brings,” said Christopher J. Wiernicki, ABS Chairman, President and CEO. “ABS is built to play in the sweet spot between technology, regulations and safety, to support clients and members as they focus on energy efficiency, reducing operating costs and prioritizing new fuels, where it makes sense. This, combined with our ongoing safety-centric and mission-driven strategy, continues to serve us well and is the bedrock on which our outsized growth is founded.”
Key highlights of the meeting included an exploration and analysis of emerging technology trends, a detailed regulatory update and a briefing on cutting edge new digital tools to address regulatory compliance. The Council also heard about ABS’ industry-leading port state control performance.
Administrator RDML (Ret.) Ann Phillips of MARAD said: “This is an extraordinary time at MARAD and throughout the Department of Transportation as we focus on improving and modernizing our nation’s maritime network by administering an unprecedented investment in our ports and waterways to meet our nation’s economic and security needs.” Phillips also discussed initiatives underway to help attract, train and retain the next generation of the maritime workforce both afloat and ashore, which included providing an update on the MARAD-developed program called “Every Mariner Builds a Respectful Culture” (EMBARC) with policies intended to strengthen the safety culture for every mariner.
Rear Admiral Wayne Arguin gave a USCG address emphasizing: “The complexities of decarbonization and alternative fuels along with the inherent safety and cyber risks require a new regulatory approach. Prescriptive rules will be out-of-date before they can even be implemented. That’s why moving to an outcome-based requirements mindset will be a necessary part of the new regulatory framework moving forward to meet the industry’s decarbonization goals.”