V.Group CEO calls for industry wide data collaboration to support better safety at sea

Graham Westgarth raise the vital issue of safety at this year’s Global Maritime Forum calls for more collaboration, leadership and enhanced data practice to improve industry safety.

This year’s Global Maritime Forum brought together leaders of 70 companies throughout the maritime world together in Singapore to build on the previous year’s gathering in Hong Kong to create an industry that is safe, clean, efficient and inclusive.

The Global Maritime Forum, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to shaping the future of global sea borne trade, focuses on safety, skills, climate change, and sustainability.

V.Group’s CEO, Graham Westgarth joined Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President of Shipping and Maritime at Shell to discuss the issue of improving safety in the industry.

This joint session raised the case for improving industry safety by increasing the use of data for to provide better insight behind safety incidents.

Drawing on V.Group’s expertise, gained from managing over 600 vessels throughout the world, Graham called for improved collaboration when it comes data sharing throughout the industry, and a greater level of standardisation of data in order to tackle the barriers behind effective data use, a view shared by others at the Forum.

“Currently, there is no standardisation across the industry regarding the classification of incidents and this creates barriers to accurately analysing accidents on an industry-wide scale”, he said.

“Shipping needs to establish an anonymous independent database that is capable of collecting data from all sectors.”

“We know that is the elephant in the room,” he said. “There is a real fear of sharing data in case it is used against us, or used by others to gain a competitive advantage, but as leaders we need to rise above that.”

As managers of over 600 vessels and with more than 30 years of experience, V.Group has already made a number of innovations with data and safety. For instance, the ShipSure 2.0 platform provides real-time data driven insights in all aspects of fleet performance, including safety. ShipSure 2.0 was a finalist for the technology category at the recent SAFETY4SEA awards ceremony.