APRIL 18, 2018 — “Despite a year of continued market pressures and widespread change in everything from global economics, industry fundamentals, technology advancements and regulatory expectations, we held our own and delivered solid performance in 2017,” ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki told yesterday’s 156th annual meeting of the classification society.
Convened each April in New York City, where the society was founded, the meeting provides an opportunity to hear directly from ABS leadership on the performance and future focus of the organization.
Throughout the year, ABS continued to live its safety mission and delivered the safest year in its history with zero work-related lost-time injuries recorded.
“We continue to develop game-changing products and services that address the key challenges facing the shipping industry today: digitization and connectivity, cyber security risks, performance optimization and operating cost reduction, and environmental compliance,” said Wiernicki. “Through our FutureClass plan, we are improving connectivity, empowering faster and more reliable decision-making, driving greater efficiency and simplification, and unlocking the value of data.
“The heart of this capability expansion is technology – remote data collection devices, drones and crawlers, wearables, advanced sensors, and satellite connectivity – which has reached a stage of readiness and maturity allowing us to connect with our clients and share information to provide data-driven services.”
In 2017, the ABS-classed fleet continued to grow, surpassing 251 million gross tons (gt), with a very strong orderbook of 36 million gt on order at the end of the year. This milestone represents a six percent average annual growth rate over the last decade for the ABS fleet.
ABS also continued its strong performance in the offshore market and retained leading positions for safety and port state control among other members of the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS). Additionally, ABS maintained its top positions in shipbuilding countries and with ship ]owners globally. Of the 20,000 TEU pluscontainerships delivered in 2017, two-thirds were classed by ABS, which also remained the preferred class for tanker owners and LNG carriers.
The ABS Members also heard from company executives Jamie Smith, Senior Vice President of Global Marine and Chief Business Development Officer, regarding the industry-leading ABS CyberSafety program, and Howard Fireman, Chief Digital Officer, on advancements in the organization’s digital journey.
United States Coast Guard Vice Commandant, Admiral Charles Michel also addressed the ABS membership.
He said: “The Coast Guard and ABS share many common goals, the most important of which is ensuring the safety, security and stewardship of our maritime transportation system.”