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IBIA: Fuel Contamination Unrelated to Low Sulphur Fuel Oil Blending

PostTime:2018-10-18 10:19:23 View:14

Fuel contamination cases that have affected a number of ships this year are completely unrelated to low sulphur fuel oil (LSFO) blending, the International Bunker Industry Association (IBIA) said in the autumn 2018 edition of World Bunkering.  However, challenges that will occur when suppliers need to find new blend recipes to produce fuels to comply with the 0.5% sulphur limit are not to be underestimated. As explained, today’s bunker fuels both high sulphur fuel oil (HSFOs) and distillates are also by and large blends. Blending has been going on for decades to ensure bunkers meet the relevant ISO 8217 specifications. Traditionally, the blend target would be to bring viscosity, density and metals within the relevant specifications. In recent years, due to environmental regulations, sulphur has also become a blend target. In this regard, nothing is changing in 2020 — low sulphur fuels will still be blends and the blend components need to be permissible under the scope of the ISO 8217 standard, according to IBIA. What will change is the blend composition as refinery residual that make up the biggest share of bunkers today are typically too high in sulphur. This may cause some teething problems before bunker fuel producers have identified the “recipes” that work best, but it should not open the door to including cutter stocks with contaminants, IBIA said. An epidemic of ships experiencing fuel-related problems with seemingly on-spec fuels this year, starting in the US Gulf, has led to speculation about the root causes. More than 100 vessels have allegedly experienced broadly similar operational problems which have been attributed to bunker fuels. The first reports of severe operational problems came after ships started to use fuels lifted in the US Gulf area, chiefly Houston, mainly lifted during March, April and May this year. Later, in June and July, similar issues were reported by ships lifting bunkers in Panama and Singapore and possibly other locations. The issues associated with problem fuels have manifested in the form of sticking of fuel injection systems components, excessive sludge formation, or both. In some cases, these issues have been so severe as to cause a loss of main engine power. For the most part, fuel testing agencies have indicated that the fuels met ISO 8217 specifications during routine testing against the standard. It was only when vessels began encountering problems that they commenced forensic-level investigative fuel analysis. Reports from testing agencies have identified certain commonalities between these fuels indicating they contain chemical contaminants from non-petroleum sources. The most commonly reported findings include phenols, fatty acids, and markers typically associated with Tall Oil.

‘Global shipping looks better next year’

PostTime:2018-10-18 10:16:51 View:11

The international shipping industry may be still reeling from the major economic downturn a decade ago, but prospects will look better starting next year, according to a maritime school official. Dr. Neopol Salvador, director of the School of Graduate Studies at the Asian Institute of Maritime Studies (AIMS), said the shipping market was still suffering from the impact of the global economic crisis of 2008 after experiencing its golden years five years before that. According to him, the crisis besetting the global shipping was mainly due to the oversupply of tonnages ordered in the pre-crisis years; the widespread mistrust among banks; and the subsequent withdrawal from the financial letter of credit, where the cargo flow came to an abrupt halt that had an immediate impact on shipping. The slowdown of the world economy, particularly China’s, aggravated the crisis. “The global shipping industry is quite dim at present, but this third quarter the freight rate is getting better now,” Salvador told The Manila Times. “I think in every cycle, when you go down to the lowest, there’s no way to go but up. I think it will be better soon.” He said the industry had faced challenges, such as surging crude and bunker prices, environmental regulations and maritime piracy that impacted its income. Revenues would still be lower because of the sluggish market and the many regulatory requirements that ship owners need to comply, so they need to spend more, he added. “Revenues were in the low level for some time now. From a scale of one to 10, the margin will be lower than half, around four,” Salvador said. As ship manager, he saw revenues decrease about 50 percent for all global shipping companies.Those affected were cargo vessel, tanker and container ships. On the other hand, cruise shipping is having a good time, as people love to travel. “People are financially better now and it’s becoming a trend that people travel,” the AIMS official said. He also said international shipyards were not fully booked because of the economic downturn. “Ship owners categorically told us there’s no ship order this year. If there were shipbuilding going on, that is still very low,” he added. “Next year, it’s quite optimistic. Freight rates and charter hire are getting a bit higher now. Better than what happened in the past few years, although it’s not enough to recover the losses that ship owners had in the past years.” Asia is driving the world economy, according to Salvador. “The future of shipping is notoriously hard to predict, and a straight answer is far from easy to give. But shipping will continue to play an important part of the world economy for decades to come. But the industry itself—the vessels, the infrastructure and the systems that connect them— could change substantially,” he said. “We can, of course, not ignore the current market situation and the structural effect this might have. But today is not [a time] for fear and pessimism, [but] for curiosity, innovation and opportunity,” he added. Third-party ship managers handle a third of the world’s ships, mostly concentrated in Singapore, Hong Kong and Europe. Only a few are in the Philippines. The country’s ship-managing industry has grown slowly, but steadily. In 2003, there were only 12 to 15 reputable ship-management companies in the Philippines that manage international vessels. This year, the number rose to between 35 and 40. In terms of cost, it is reportedly more affordable to get ship managers in the Philippines than in Hong Kong and Singapore. But one of the biggest challenges in employing Filipino superintendents is visa applications. “Filipinos have visa restrictions. We can go to Asean for a limited time. If you go to Europe or Japan, you need visa. Visas cannot be given immediately,” he said.

One of the more lucrative opportunities in global commodities markets is about to get a little bit trickier.

PostTime:2018-10-18 10:12:10 View:12

One of the more lucrative opportunities in global commodities markets is about to get a little bit trickier. What might best be described as detour trades — ships switching destinations to profit from higher cargo prices — will become more challenging to execute in 15 months’ time because of changes to the kinds of fuel vessels must burn, according to several industry analysts and a former engineer for A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S. The deviations — often delivering outsize profits to traders — will become tougher for two reasons. The first is that fuel for the shipments currently looks like it will cost a lot more than what owners pay today; the second is that fuels may be incompatible from one supplier to the next, making topping up a more complicated task. Some shipping groups have even said the lack of a uniform product could cause their carriers to break down. “It’s not like buying petrol at the petrol station where you can buy petrol from BP, Shell, Q8, whoever, mix it all up and it doesn’t matter,” said Martin Verle, who serves on a U.S. committee to help define fuels for the International Organization for Standardization. “From the supply side, nobody will guarantee that ‘my fuel’ is compatible with someone else’s.” The trading hindrance is the result of a switch from a widely used shipping fuel today to a range of cleaner options post-2020, when International Maritime Organization rules to lower sulfur emissions will start. Deviations might not be possible if a vessel needed to sail to a location where compatible fuel was unavailable, according to Verle, who also previously worked as an engineer for Moller-Maersk. Switch Hits “It could impact on where you trade if you know that fuels are incompatible,” he said, adding that using mismatched fuels might result in blocked filters, potentially leading to engine blackout. “Companies are going to really have to be on the ball with their fuel management procedures.” Detour trades happen intermittently, often helping to avoid localized shortages of a commodity when there’s an unexpected disruption in the supply chain. A batch of gasoline tankers heading toward New York switched away last month because of market conditions and the arrival of Hurricane Florence. Gas carriers, crop carriers and crude tankers deviated over the past year for various reasons. “Traders make a margin on responding to events,” said Alan Gelder, vice president for refining, chemicals and oil markets at consulting firm Wood Mackenzie. “They do best when they’re major, unforeseen events…It’s an important part of their income. It’s probably disproportionate in terms of profitability versus volume.” Cost Hike Even without the compatibility issue, the price of ship fuel looks likely to affect trading. Cleaner, compliant fuels for purchase in 2020 are already trading at large premiums to today’s dirty bunkers. Since fuel is an owner’s single biggest cost, this would make shipping more expensive. Transactions involving lower-priced commodities like iron ore, where freight is a larger part of the delivered cargo cost, stand to be hardest hit, said Gelder. In today’s market, fuel compatibility isn’t such a big issue. Shippers generally only have to match a couple of specifications to mix fuels. From 2020, they will have to choose between different marine fuels which won’t necessarily be interchangeable. “It’s fair to say that it will make trades involving cargo diversions harder, but there are many variables,” said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at industry association Bimco, adding that he expects ship owners to be prepared and take precautions. Dangerous Mix The two main clean marine fuels from 2020 will be an existing 0.1 percent sulfur product and a new batch of so-called bunkers with maximum 0.5 percent sulfur. Shippers also have the option of continuing to burn today’s dirtier fuel, but must first install scrubbing equipment. Following the transition, availability at smaller ports not used to stocking different products could be challenging. “If you’re mixing 0.5s and less-than 0.5s, and there’s carbon residue in the fuel, the risk will be worth considering,” said Rudolph Kassinger, who has more than half a century of experience of refining and petroleum quality testing. Shippers looking to dodge the problems by sticking with one fuel or the other face a number of snags. The 0.1 percent product has been available for years, Kassinger says, but it’s less commonly used because it’s more expensive. At the same time, the new 0.5 percent fuels could be made through different refining processes, or from different crudes. Some will likely contain asphaltenes, others won’t. If they’re mixed together, the asphaltenes could drop out to form a sludge that could damage the ship’s engine. For owners and traders, those fuel challenges will compete against the commercial imperatives to move cargoes profitably. “Owners will be stuck between a rock and a hard place,” said Sand. “After all, they make money when they sail, not when they say no to a fixture.”

Singapore to set up on-site port equipment 3D printing plant

PostTime:2018-10-18 08:46:09 View:14

Singapore is to set up the first 3D printing production facility on-site at port to produce equipment parts. A Memorandum of Understand (MoU) was signed on Wednesday between PSA Corporation, the Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), 3D MetalForge and the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Cluster (NAMIC) to establish the production facility at Pasir Panjang Terminal in Singapore. The additive manufacturing (or 3D printing) production facility will feature printers capable of producing port equipment with an aim to reduce the number of spares that terminal operator PSA needs to hold and reducing the lead time from weeks to days for the availability of spare parts. The facility will also use a specialised maritime digital cloud supported by Blockchain technology for more secure file transfers. Sign up for the - Smart Ports & Smart Carriers - session at the Seatrade Maritime Middle East  Ong Kim Pong, Regional CEO Southeast Asia of PSA International, said, “In close collaboration with EDB, we have learnt that the era of Additive Manufacturing is showing pervasive importance in industry transformation. Within our maritime sector, we foresee widespread adoption within the immediate horizon.” The MPA also signed a MoU with NAMIC and the Singapore Shipping Association (SSA) to establish a Joint industry Programme for the 3D printing of marine parts. Andrew Tan, MPA Chief Executive, said, "As a leading maritime hub, Singapore firmly believes that the maritime industry should embrace new technologies such as additive manufacturing. The digitalisation of the maritime sector in all its aspects is not a matter of how but when.”  

Evergreen Marine acquires majority stake in Chile’s Green Andes Shipping Agency

PostTime:2018-10-18 08:44:28 View:12

Evergreen Marine has acquired a majority stake with 60% shareholding in Chilean Green Andes Shipping Agency (GASAC), the online publication Global Legal Chronicle reported. The Chilean company is a subsidiary of the Ultramar Group, a leader in the maritime activity in the South American country.  The Ultramar Group also operates several terminals in Chile: TPS in Valparaiso, Puerto Mejillones, Puerto Coronel, Angamos, TGN and TPA. The group owns a number of shipping companies transporting specialised cargo such as Ultratank, Ultragas, Ultrabulk and Transmares as well as logistics companies and tugs and towage companies.  Evergreen Marine, headquarted in Taiwan is a major, privately owned, container line.

APL extends guaranteed service to Asia-Middle East and India Sub-continent

PostTime:2018-10-18 08:43:48 View:5

APL has announced the expansion of Eagle GO Guaranteed for cargoes destined for the Middle East and India Subcontinent from all direct and non-direct loading ports in Asia, in addition to China, the company said. Eagle GO Guaranteed cargoes from non-direct loading ports will be assured of equipment at the origin and vessel space onboard the first leg, as they en-route to the transhipment hubs for priority shipping to the Middle East and India Subcontinent. Likewise, Eagle GO Guaranteed cargoes from the direct load ports will be assured of equipment and vessel space onboard seven Asia-Middle East and six India Subcontinent services by APL. The 13 APL services include the Gulf Asia Express 2 (GA2), Pendulum Gulf Express (PE2), West Asia Express 3 (WA3), West Asia Express 5 (WA5), West Asia Express (WAX), Red Sea Express 2 (RS2), Red Sea Express (RSX), Asia Subcontinent Express (AS1), Asia Subcontinent Express (AS3), Asia Subcontinent Express (AS5), North Asia Subcontinent Express (CI3), China India Express (CIX) and India East Coast Express (IEX). Sign up for the - Smart Ports & Smart Carriers - session at the Seatrade Maritime Middle East  Each week, the various services pick up cargoes from their rotational ports of China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar. From these Asian origin ports, the respective services will head for their designated ports of call in United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Djibouti, Egypt and Jordan in the Middle East; as well as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh in the India Subcontinent. Booking for this pay-on-demand offering that is expanded across APL’s Asia-Middle East and India subcontinent networks is now available.

Sri Lanka rejects US warnings of Hambantota to be used by Chinese military

PostTime:2018-10-18 08:41:14 View:5

SRI LANKA's Prime Minister Ranil Wikremesinghe has dismissed as "imaginary" US Vice President Mike Pence's warning that the port of Hambantota could potentially be used as a Chinese military installation. State-controlled China Merchants Port Holdings (CM Port) took over the control of the facility on a 99-year lease last year, giving Sri Lanka funds to repay Chinese loans.  In a speech at the Hudson Institute, Vice President Pence accused China of using "debt diplomacy" to expand its influence at the expense of developing nations, The Maritime Executive reported. "Just ask Sri Lanka, which took on massive debt to let Chinese state companies build a port with questionable commercial value. Two years ago that country could no longer afford its payments - so Beijing pressured Sri Lanka to deliver the new port directly into Chinese hands. It may soon become a forward military base for China's growing blue-water navy." At a forum recently at Oxford University, Prime Minister Wikremesinghe revealed that the Sri Lankan Navy's Southern Command will be moved to the port of Hambantota to provide port security. "The US Defense Department has been briefed on these developments," Mr Wikremesinghe said. "There are no foreign naval bases in Sri Lanka," he added. "The Hambantota port is a commercial joint venture between our ports authority and China Merchants - a company listed in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange." Despite its indebtedness to China, Colombo continues to accept loans for Chinese-built infrastructure. Work on the new Southern Expressway between Hambantota and Matara is nearly complete, backed by a US$1.9 billion concessional loan from the Export-Import Bank of China. The road is being built by China State Construction Engineering Corporation and its partners. "When [the expressway is] completed, travel between Colombo and Hambantota will be shortened from four and a half hours to around two," deputy general manager of CSCEC's Sri Lanka branch Jia Ruihua told state-owned China Daily.  

US tipped to be big winner of new IMO shipping rules

PostTime:2018-10-18 08:39:34 View:7

GENEVA-HEADQUARTERED global commodity trading company, Gunvor Group, has predicted that the US is set to be the big winner from new marine fuel rules, while rival merchants said the world would not face a shortage of distillates as a result of new rules to cut pollution. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has set new rules that will ban ships from using fuels with a sulfur content above 0.5 per cent from 2020, compared with 3.5 per cent now, unless they are equipped with so-called scrubbers to clean up sulfur emissions. The industry has been expecting a sharp rise in demand for cleaner distillates, mainly diesel, at the expense of fuel oil that would become largely redundant. Gunvor Group chief executive Torbjorn Tornqvist said at the Oil & Money conference in London that the switch would certainly create some chaos at first as storage and logistics must deal with a "cocktail of fuel blends" and that the United States would be the major overall winner, according to TheMediTelegraph of Genoa. "Crude differentials will reflect the strong differentials between distillates (diesel) and fuel oil and we will see the price of heavy crude fall and light sweet rise," Mr Tornqvist said. "The big winner in the IMO is actually the United States. They have the most advanced refining system in the world and will take advantage of importing more heavy crude oil and they will export light crude oil that will get a bigger premium," he said. Vitol chairman Ian Taylor said he did not expect a major glut of high sulfur fuel oil as refiners were adding units. "So many units have been prepared to reduce it and there's so little high sulfur fuel left already," Mr Taylor said. Glencore's head of oil Alex Beard echoed the remarks as scrubbers, add-on units to ship to clean out pollutants, would still allow ships to mop up some fuel oil. "Distillates will clearly play a very large role in shipping but what is becoming clear is that the world can cope, so it won't be the crisis that people were thinking a year or two ago," he said. "Our estimate is that by January 2020, something like 25 per cent of the world's high sulfur fuel demand today will be from ships that have scrubbers and that will grow through 2020."

Eastbound trans-Pac spot rates to remain high through the end of the year

PostTime:2018-10-18 08:35:45 View:4

WITH the continued strong holiday season imports and front-loading of spring merchandise to beat the 25 per cent tariffs on China scheduled to take effect on January 1, vessel space in the eastbound Pacific is expected to remain tight and spot rates high through the end of the year. Even though the peak-shipping season for holiday merchandise will end in November, this year imports could remain elevated for the remainder of the year if retailers and manufacturers front-load imports before January 1 to get ahead of the tariffs. "We have moved a tremendous amount of volume up this year, and we'll continue to do so," due to the tariffs, Alan McTaggert, vice president of global logistics for TTi, told the TPM Asia conference last week. Spot rates in the eastbound Pacific remained at a five-year high of US$2,503 per FEU to the West Coast, up 7.3 per cent from last week, and $3,304 per FEU to the East Coast, down 0.5 per cent, as importers advanced shipments ahead of the tariff on imports from China, IHS Media reported. This week's West Coast rate is 77 per cent higher than the $1,414 per FEU spot rate in Week 41 last year. The East Coast rate is 65.9 per cent higher than the $1,991 per FEU rate last year, according to the Shanghai Containerised Freight Index. The last time the West Coast rate exceeded $2,500 per FEU was on January 18, 2013. CEO of Freightos, Svi Schreiber, said the China-US trade war is sustaining what has been an earlier and longer peak season than in the past. Three rounds of tariff announcements this year "have motivated many importers to advance orders and beat new tariffs," he said. Conversely, on the Asia-Europe trade lanes, where there is no trade war, spot rates have declined by 32 per cent over the past four weeks, Mr Schreiber said. Although the vast majority of holiday merchandise will have been shipped by early November, retailers and manufacturers in the remaining two months of the year are expected to front-load imports that would have moved in January-early February if there was no fear of a 25 per cent tariff hike on January 1. Pre-booking of vessels two to three-weeks out indicates space will remain tight into November, said Michael Klage, solutions director at TOC Logistics International. Although he anticipates cargo rolling in Asia to taper off once the holiday merchandise has been shipped, space could remain tight due to front-loading of imports to get ahead of the tariffs.

ONE slashes HI and FY forecasts due to 'teething problems'

PostTime:2018-10-18 08:34:26 View:4

JAPAN's Ocean Network Express (ONE) has revised downwards its first-half and full-year consolidated business forceasts due to "impact of teething problems immediately after the commencemtnt of services in April this year". ONE, comprising "K" Lines, MOL and NYK, has revised downwards its first-half revenue by 7.5 per cent from US$5.44 billion to $5.03 billion. The company has also changed its revenue forecast for the full year ending 31 March, 2019, from $12.25 billion to $11.0 billion, a drop of 10.2 per cent. Furthermore, the company also forecast that it will incur a loss of $271 million in the first half of the year, lower than the earlier forceast of a loss of $310 million. However, for the full year the forecast is for a loss of $710 million, slightly higher than earlier forceast of a loss of $600 million. In a statement, ONE said: "For the first half of the fiscal year, synergistic effects of the business integration have emerged steadily. On the other hand, liftings and utilisation dropped due to the impact of teething problems immediately after the commencement of services in April of this year. It said that despite efforts to regain lost ground during the peak season from July to September, liftings and utilisation remained lower than the outlook because the negative impact remained on its main Asia-North America routes and Intra-Asia routes. "ONE made a downward revision in the previously announced forecast due to the decrease in revenue resulting from the above-mentioned lower liftings and utilisation, with additional negative effects from the higher cost of returning containers brought on by decreased liftings on backhaul voyages (from North America to Asia, Europe to Asia, etc.)". The company pointed out that the teething problems regarding its services have already been resolved and efforts are being made to "restore the trust of customers and further improve service quality". ONE added: "However, liftings and utilisation are still on the way to recovery, and the target for additional cost reduction to address increased bunker prices, is expected to be lower than the target in the previously announced forecast. Therefore, ONE made a downward revision in the previously announced full-year business forecast as well".

Shipowners scramble to install sulphur filters ahead of rule change

PostTime:2018-10-17 10:21:27 View:14

Ship owners accelerated installations of engine cleaning systems this year ahead of stringent new rules in 2020 which sharply reduce the amount of sulphur ships can emit from the 3.5 percent in current bunker fuel to 0.5 percent, according to a report. Vessel operators can either switch to cleaner, but more expensive, marine gasoil or install scrubbers to filter sulphur from dirtier fuel oil. The looming change in International Maritime Organization (IMO) rules has impacted fuel and gasoil futures. The future prices of high sulphur fuel oil (HSFO) dropped sharply over the past year ahead of the anticipated drop in demand from 2020 while gasoil prices are expected to rise. Lower HSFO prices however have made scrubbers more economically attractive to shippers. Scrubber equipment alone can cost between 1 million euros and 5 million euros ($1.16 million-$5.79 million), according to market-leader Wartsila. If demand for HSFO drops less than expected prices could rebound. “The more positive outlook for scrubbers could reinforce the trend seen over recent months of a narrowing discount of fuel oil relative to gasoil,” Vienna-based consultancy JBC Energy said in a note. “Expectations that HSFO demand could remain more robust than perhaps previously expected now helping to prop up HSFO prices along the forward curve.” With the spread between HSFO and 0.5 percent gasoil currently at around $28 a barrel, scrubber installation still makes economic sense, JBC said. A total of 1,850 vessels have now installed the smokestacks cleaning systems, known as scrubbers, Norwegian consultancy DNV GL said in a report, dated on October 10. Some 716 scrubbers were installed or confirmed this year, nearly double the 368 reported in 2017, according to DNV GL. The number is forecast to soar to 1,735 in 2019 and remain at similar rates into 2020, according to the report. While there are numerous scrubber manufacturers, over 50 percent of the market is controlled by three companies, with Finland’s Wartsila dominant with a 26 percent market share. By 2020, around 4,000 ships would be fitted with scrubbers. There are over 94,000 vessels in the world according to UN-body UNCTAD, ranging from cruise ships to container carriers and oil tankers and other smaller vessels. On October 15, Scorpio, one of the leading oil tanker owners in the world said it has agreed letters of intent to fit around 75 of its tankers with scrubbers between the second quarter 2019 and the second quarter 2020. This follows a previous order for 15 scrubbers from the company which owns or leases a total of 109 tankers.

Separating Fact from Fiction: ICS Releases New Study on Seafarers and Digitalisation

PostTime:2018-10-17 10:19:32 View:12

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has released a new study conducted by the Hamburg School of Business Administration (HSBA) on behalf of ICS, regarding the potential effects of autonomous ships on the role of seafarers and the global shipping industry. In light of growing media interest and the diversity of expert opinions on the subject, the study seeks to separate fact from fiction. Commenting on its release, ICS Secretary General, Guy Platten said: “The two-year IMO regulatory scoping exercise for Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships is now well underway to determine how existing IMO instruments can be leveraged to ensure that autonomous ships are safe, secure, and environmentally sound.” He added, “This a complex task, expected to impact several areas under IMO’s purview, and while it is recognised that clear opportunities might arise for the shipping industry which may not exist today, much more work must be done, particularly on the regulatory side and to address concerns about the impact of MASS on seafarers employed worldwide.” With over 1.6 million seafarers currently estimated to serve on merchant ships trading internationally, the impact of MASS on seafarers requires thorough consideration going forward. “Encouragingly, the study indicates that there will be no shortage of jobs for seafarers, especially officers, in the next two decades. While the size of crews may evolve in response to technological changes on board, there may also be considerable additional jobs ashore which require seafaring experience.”, Mr Platten explained. The study commissioned by ICS includes an in-depth assessment of risk and opportunities of digitalisation in global logistics chains, as well as on digitalisation and automation in ship operations. The findings of the study suggest that the role of personnel on board and ashore will need to be redefined both operationally and legally. Reviewing and understanding how these roles may evolve is also identified in the study as an important aspect to assess and address the impact of autonomous ships on the role of seafarers. The relationship between seafarers and digitalisation is anticipated to be one of the main topics for discussion during an International Labour Organization sectoral meeting on ‘Recruitment and Retention of Seafarers and the Promotion of Opportunities for Women Seafarers’, to be held in Geneva in February 2019.