When the venue is perched on a rising outcrop of land, when the sound of ocean rollers is smothered by golden sands, when gentle harmony pervades the day’s presentations, you know it is a K Line Ship Management seminar in progress.
Such was the setting of the 6th KLSM Seminar amongst the placid surroundings of Kashid, a quiet hamlet on a piece of seashore about 100 kms south of the bustling port city of Mumbai.
Setting the tone of the 2-day meet, KLSM President Mr. S Maeda explained the reasons behind holding this 2nd seminar of 2007. “At KLSM we realize that we have to move rapidly ahead of safety codes like ISM, more efficiently than documented management procedures call for, and more meaningfully than the demands of quality standards. These standards are but minimum to our safe and efficient operations. Now we aim to inspire our seagoing and office staff beyond these lowest common denominators.”
“And, to do so we have chosen to increase the frequency of our in-house seminars, while including such topics that will increasingly encourage the long term thinking and actions that are required to prepare all KLSM staff for the significant changes ahead of us in terms of the massive fleet growth planned over the next few years.”
Addressing the gathering of the Indian members of the KLSM family, Mr. Maeda spoke of their growing involvement and responsibility as regards to the particular expansion of the dangerous cargo carriers, as well as the container fleet. “As K Line grows in line with Vision 2008+, we expect to take in an increasing number of trainees from India, and the total number of Indian staff in the year of 2015 will more than double from the present 400.” He added that cadet training programmes, as well as increased and more frequent training and seminars for seagoing staff, were to be expected in light of the emerging international regulatory changes as regards the environment and ship safety.”
So what matters have been occupying the KLSM think tank of late? Mr. Maeda was keen to enlist them. “How do we attain a zero accident rate? How do we revise the safety management code to suit the higher safety standards that K Line desires? How do we get each individual to contribute to K Line’s short term as well as long term targets? How do we keep our Indian seafarers deeply involved in KLSM activities, while encouraging them to prioritize their obligations to their own families?”
A tall order by any stretch of imagination, but Mr. Maeda remains resolute that K Line and KLSM do not cringe from their commitments, professional or otherwise.
The seminar delegates consisted of over 100 officers, ranging from the Senior Officers & Engineers, to the Junior Officers in 3rd/Officers & 3rd/Asst Engineers. They spent the day discussing, debating and absorbing a vast amount of knowledge and appropriate information – both from the professional lecturers, as well as thru interaction between the Juniors & Seniors – in the atmosphere so ideal and suited for learning. While the Men Were At Work, their families - which included a fair amount of children - took the opportunity to tour the surrounding scenic spots, and making merry to their heart’s content.
Adept With Dangerous Cargo Carriers
During a chat on the sidelines of the seminar the conversation turned to Indian seafarers. Presently Indians serve on the oil and LPG, and container fleets of K Line. Globally, Indians have proved themselves particularly adept at operating oil and gas carriers and Mr. Maeda is in agreement with this brilliant reputation that Indian mariners have acquired.
“Yes, my colleagues and I have observed Indians to be very good at operating on dangerous cargo fleets. With oil majors nowadays very keen to ensure their chartered vessels comply strictly with all requirements, we have found that the innate discipline and comprehension of regulations among Indians is a key advantage.”
He added, “KLSM has a vast programme for further induction of Indian officers, as well as ratings, and we are augmenting their numbers as the K Line fleet expansion progresses to stated targets.”
K Line’s present fleet consists of 452 vessels totaling 28,242,145 dwt, of which 91 ships are container carriers, 261 bulk and PCCs, and 41 wet & LPG tankers. A doubl;ing of the fleet is expected by the year 2015.
To enhance shipboard training, the concept of Auditing & Training Superintendents has been vigorously implemented, and they achieve the objective of on-board training while sailing with the vessels one after another, in addition to other various means like VideoTel training videos. Superintendent training has also been introduced at the Tokyo and Singapore offices for masters and chief engineers.
Amongst the prominent speakers at the seminar was Mr. Tony Moran of Shell, Singapore, who gave an insight in to how application of the Tanker Management & Self Assessment programme (TMSA) can be carried out successfully.
The meet had earlier begun with a welcome speech by Capt. Ibusuki Takehito, the KLSM India Chief Representative, who expressed his pleasure to see so many known faces among the KLSM seagoing staff, as well as some new ones. Cheerfully he remarked, “I am confident that this seminar will speed up the process of familiarization for all of us.”
Mr. Maeda informed that the topics to be discussed are arrived at only after wide-ranging deliberations by various departments. They are selected to reflect the varied nature of the training required as well as the depth of the issues.
The Keynote presentations included the “K Line Vision 2008 and Fleet Expansion by Capt. H Otsuda, Seafarers Policy Team, Marine Human Resources Group, K Line, Tokyo, and the “KLSM Management Plan” by Executive Vice President Mr. S Kuboshima.
Capt. S Rele spoke on the “New KLQSMS- its spirit and essence”, while Capt. T Homma reviewed “KLQSMS KPIs and Targets to Improve”.
During the post lunch session of Day 1, Capt Rajneesh Lakhotia, QSHE and crewing manager, KLSM, Singapore, spoke on “Promoting Safety & Environment Excellence”. Following which Prof Tony Fernandez and Capt. AK Maniar took the floor with “Risk Management & Risk Assessment”.
Day 2 opened again with Mr. Fernandez on “Insurance Matters”, with Capt. Maniar joining him at a case study, exercise & workshop on Incident Investigation and Root Cause Analysis.
A presentation by K Steamship on Operational Difficulties and a hugely interactive Open Forum for the delegates kept the audience occupied on the afternoon of Day 2.
Among the notables present at the seminar were Capt Eiji Kadono, General Manager Marine Safety Administration Group, K-Line Tokyo, Mr. Hisao Urai, Senior Managing Director, KLSM Tokyo, Capt T. Homma, DPA KLSM Tokyo, Capt.Tetsuo Iba Chief Marine Superintendent KLSM Tokyo, and Capt. Amar Galliara, MSI KLSM, Tokyo, Capt. K.Aya , Asst General Manager, KLSM Singapore.
The seminar came to a close with an Awards ceremony and a closing address by Mr. Kuboshima.
Once more the Mumbai staff of KLSM, led by Capt. Sudhir Goyal, General Manager, had done a worthy job of planning and hosting this key seminar for such a vast number of delegates and their families, as well as foremost visitors from Tokyo and Singapore.