Tripartite Forum calls for human-centred ship design

Tripartite Forum calls for human-centred ship design

The Tripartite Forum is promoting a human-centred ship design concept, with the aim of focusing design around ships’ crew to improve operational efficiency and reduce human error.

According to a statement issued by BIMCO, ICS, INTERCARGO, INTERTANKO, OCIMF, IACS, ASEF, and SEA Europe, the Tripartite believes that ships’ on-board systems and fitting should be designed around the people and crew operating them. The group believes this could be achieved by incorporating crew feedback into the newbuilding design process.

Tripartite will work intersessionally to find ways to accelerate both technological and business model innovation to improve operational and technical energy efficiency and make the transition to zero-carbon fuels and new propulsion systems. Tripartite has confirmed that future work in this area will involve manufacturers of marine equipment, systems and installations as well as representatives of the IT, automation and digitalisation industries.

At the 2018 Tripartite Forum held in Seoul, South Korea on 11 and 12 October, more than 70 participants agreed that in addition to a human-centred ship design concept, the shipping industry will need to collaborate if it is to successfully implement major changes.

The IMO’s 2050 targets will require significant changes in hull design, propulsion systems, fuel types and automation. For this to take place, there will need to be an equivalent review and major changes to the current business/commercial models and logistics.

The Tripartite Forum therefore urges further developments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to consider the GHG intensity of alternative fuels and consider ships as part of a whole logistic chain.

Tripartite has also said that optimisation of ports and port efficiency is key. This will require “good data” to facilitate professional understanding and identification of optimum solutions to achieve the IMO’s 2050 target.

While improving efficiency and reducing emissions is critical, Tripartite confirms that the safety of ships and crew cannot be compromised. Measures to reduce emissions must consider the safety impacts and says that “underpowered ships are unacceptable.” The IMO’s Maritime Safety Committee should therefore address the minimum power required to keep ships safe under SOLAS.