APRIL 23, 2012 — Classification society ABS hosted its Annual Meeting in New York today. Chairman, Robert D. Somerville reported that, "despite the uncertainties of the global economy and of the shipping and offshore markets, ABS turned in yet another record performance."
In 2012, the ABS-classed fleet reached 193.5 million gross tons, a growth rate of more than 4 percent year-on-year. ABS also maintained its leading position in the global orderbook with 21 percent of all vessels on order designated for ABS class.
With nearly 70 percent of all vessels aged ten years or less, ABS has one of the youngest fleets, showing a strong foundation for a successful future of the organization.
"ABS closed 2012 firmly entrenched as the second largest society in terms of gross tons in class and as the largest society in terms of new tonnage on order," said ABS President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. "Development and delivery of technically advanced products and superior service are the essential components of ABS' position of leadership."
ABS saw continued success in several key sectors of the marine industry. Market share for new construction containerships continued to grow year-on-year, ending 2012 with 26 percent of the orderbook, including 29 ultra large containerships. ABS also continued its strong presence in the LNG carrier sector with 22 percent of existing tonnage and 35 percent of tonnage on order - positioning ABS as the top classification choice for LNG newbuilds. In the bulk carrier market, ABS grew its overall tonnage by 11 percent and has nearly nine million gross tons on order.
"Looking forward, we will continue to develop innovative products and services that help our members and the industry in these challenging markets improve efficiencies, increase production and minimize downtime," said Mr. Wiernicki. "As the Class of the Future, our efforts will become increasingly risk-based, technologically driven, holistically framed and integrated across the entire life cycle of vessels and offshore assets."
In the offshore market, ABS began 2012 with a strong position and continued to lead in the mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) and floating production unit sectors. The jack-up market, where ABS continues to have the majority share, remained robust, with 13 ABS-classed jack-ups delivered in the course of the year and 60 new orders.
Throughout 2012, the growth in the offshore market centered on orders for new drillships. There were 31 new orders in 2012, with 23 awarded to ABS, including a large number of units earmarked for presalt drilling programs offshore Brazil. ABS ended 2012 with 51 drillships on the orderbook, equating to 68 percent of the new construction market.
In the floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel market, closed out 2012 with 43 percent of the existing FPSOs and 35 percent of newbuilds.
In the area of Port State Control, ABS maintained its position as a top performer with the United States Coast Guard and Paris and Tokyo MOUs in their annual reports on class-related detentions.