The Indian Register of Shipping (IRClass) continues to record steady growth in its classed fleet, flag recognition and geographical presence, mirroring the shipping industry’s ongoing recovery.
With tankers and bulk carriers continuing to dominate IRClass’ tonnage, the classed fleet has grown more than 4% in the past year, with the foreign flag fleet seeing a particularly impressive growth of 22% which is 16% in tonnage terms and indicative of strong overseas growth.
Flag Recognition and Geographical Presence
IRClass is now recognised by 41 flag states globally, seeing recent additions in 2018 from the Netherlands, Vietnam, Jordan and Bahrain.
Towards the end of 2018, it also received approval from Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), strengthening its offshore portfolio in the Middle East and opened an office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to better service its customers in the region.
Strengthened Portfolio with Defence and Government Projects
On the domestic front, Defence continues to be a growth area for IRClass with key project wins as well as construction of Inland Waterways vessels.
These additions to IRClass’ project portfolio demonstrate the classification society’s competence and capability in handling large scale and technically challenging projects.
Commitment towards Information Security
The ISO 27001:2013 certification awarded to IRClass for its Information Security Management System from the British Standards Institution (BSI), underscores the classification society’s commitment towards risk management. It inspires confidence in IRClass’ level of data protection, assuring customers that their information is well-protected.
Optimising Operations through Digitalisation
IRClass started issuing electronic certificates for all its classed vessels earlier this year, giving ship owners, regulators and charterers real-time online access to the latest class and statutory certificates.
The implementation of e-Certificates is expected to reduce the administrative burden and document handling costs for ship owners, coupled with increasing operational efficiency from IRClass, leading to better service delivery.
IRClass has also introduced computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis as part of its shipbuilding services which is another instance where efficiencies in ship design are unlocked through software sophistication, creating added value.
During the year, IRClass launched several new services which include Cyber Risk Management, IMO DCS, Vessel Performance Management System (VPMS) and Ballast Water Management to benefit its customers.
Recently, it won the ‘Classification Society of the Year’ award at the Samudra Manthan Awards 2018, recognising its efforts in the classification sector.
To promote environmentally friendly fuels in shipping, IRClass has published Guidelines for Methanol fuelled ships.
With a view to develop inland waterways usage in India, Rules for inland waterways’ oil tankers, chemical tankers, liquefied gas carriers and passenger ships have been developed.
Centre of Excellence in Maritime & Shipbuilding (CEMS)
It has been a year since IRClass first announced the formation of a ‘Centre of Excellence in Maritime and Shipbuilding’ (CEMS) – to meet industry demand in bridging the skill gap and provide upskilling for the maritime and shipbuilding workforce.
A lot has happened over this time period with 18 world-class labs being established in Visakhapatnam and 6 labs on the Mumbai campus. CEMS will focus on the end-to-end needs of various stakeholders including academic institutes, students, government departments and key maritime industry sectors.
Looking ahead to 2019
While the classification society’s primary focus remains to enhance its classed fleet and improve its service offerings, 2019 will be a year where IRClass will be focusing more on the emergence of new trends, delivering value to its customers through digitalisation, as well as further strengthening its footprint in Europe, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
It also aims to improve its global visibility through its presence at key industry events.