Intercargo and RightShip Launch Dry Bulk Centre of Excellence

New Initiative Aims to Enhance Safety and Standards in Dry Shipping Sector


Bulker owners’ association Intercargo, in collaboration with the risk management platform RightShip, has taken a significant stride in the enhancement of operational safety within the dry shipping sector. The establishment of an independent not-for-profit organization, the Dry Bulk Centre of Excellence (DBCE), underscores a dedicated commitment to reducing operational incidents, elevating standards, and advocating industry best practices.

The primary objective of DBCE is to advocate for the implementation of the Dry Bulk Management Standard (DryBMS) framework, initially introduced in 2021 to elevate management standards across the sector. Additionally, DBCE aims to foster a cohesive approach to dry bulk safety, transcending individual organizational boundaries.

DBCE will function autonomously from its parent entities and will be overseen by an impartial management team led by Ian McLeod. Governance will be structured through a model inclusive of shipowners, managers, and charterers, ensuring equitable representation and collective decision-making. The board of directors will rotate chairmanship among representatives from the shipowner, shipmanager, and charterer communities, while also incorporating stakeholders from RightShip, Intercargo, and other pertinent industry players.

Over the past decade, the dry bulk sector has witnessed a staggering number of operational incidents, resulting in the loss of over 200 seafarers’ lives in more than 2,000 bulk carrier incidents. DBCE emphasizes that mere regulatory measures fall short in fostering the highest standards within the industry.

McLeod remarked, “The launch of the DBCE marks a pivotal moment for the industry, transcending regulatory compliance to attain excellence through the DryBMS framework.” He reiterated the fundamental principles underpinning the initiative, highlighting the paramount importance of crew welfare, environmental protection, and sustainable asset operation.

DBCE will uphold accessibility to the DryBMS framework while introducing a secure digital platform, slated for deployment in May 2024. This platform will enable shipowners and managers to conduct digital self-assessments aligned with the DryBMS framework, facilitating transparency and collaboration with charterers. Moreover, DBCE will establish an impartial audit verification procedure to validate and compare actual performance against self-assessments. Accreditation of independent auditors to specified standards will further enhance the credibility of assessments.

McLeod concluded by urging stakeholders across the sector to embrace this transformative endeavor, emphasizing the collective responsibility to fortify dry bulk shipping’s resilience, safety, and sustainability.

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