A Student View – The Role of the Maritime Press: Lloyd’s List

The Lloyd’s List’s editorial mission is to provide information, analysis and knowledge for business decision makers in the global shipping community including among others ship-owners, ship managers, classification societies, seafarers and regulators. In a changing and increasingly complex shipping environment, Lloyd’s List’s aim is to deliver business-critical information in the distribution channels most suited to the needs of a customer, with immediacy and no matter where in the world that customer is located.

Lloyd’s List provides a unique conduit to the analytical power of Lloyd’s List Intelligence. Conversely, Lloyd’s List’s journalists draw on this resource to deliver more incisive information and analysis to readers. Lloyd’s List establishes a forum for the shipping community, providing a space for informed debate by business leaders, from ship-owners to classification societies to financial services providers and seafarers, via interviews, opinion, surveys and exchange of ideas. This forum is enhanced by a global programme of awards and conferences.

Lloyd’s List stands at the centre of this community as arbiter, ombudsman, and as source of information, shipping knowledge, analysis and reporting. Lloyd’s List provides the business critical information and analysis on a timely basis, providing news that keeps readers informed in an increasingly competitive and complex shipping market. Lloyd’s List is the only information provider that covers all aspects of shipping, from finance to the regulation of the markets. Its readers, therefore, benefit from the most comprehensive hour-to-hour view of shipping available in the world.

What is interesting is that the credibility of the Lloyd’s comes at a time that the print or web media are facing serious reliability problems, which arise from the way of reporting or writing down the news. Nowadays, many mass media (e.g. free newspapers, informative websites), provide a 24-hour news agenda, trying to attract the interest of readers in every way. However, the mass media and the press not only try to attract the interest of the readers, but they manage to exert influence on public opinion and to use the “public opinion” in order to exert influence on governments or entrepreneurs, as well. In other words, the mass media and the press can, to some extent, affect the policy making and they try to release specific “ideas” in order to change policy makers’ minds or to form a ‘public opinion’. For example, shareholders of a newspaper might impose indirectly on journalists to write articles in such a way in order to influence readers and thereby meet their own economic, political or business goals. As the dripping tap effect, the erosion of firmly held ideas can be reached.

Within this context, there is an interesting question the reader or user of these informative sources has to pose: who pays for the free or non-free informative resources, and who provides the information to the journalists? In other words, a very important issue is whom or which source of information can the reader trust: for example, the Mass Media, the businessmen, the politicians, or the journalists? Consequently, the credibility of an informative source is a very important question that must be answered only by the reader.
Thus, the above mentioned power of the press to promote change, and to affect the public opinion is really important for the seafarers and for the vast majority of the people working in the shipping industry if they want to present to the public opinion the positive impact of the shipping industry, and to provide the public opinion with the necessary knowledge and information about the maritime affairs, as well.

Hsien-Chang Yang (MA International Maritime Policy Student)

Public Seminar – European Diplomatic Shifts and the Development of Plymouth Naval Base 1717-1730

The next public research seminar of the 2012-13 programme will be taking place on Wednesday 20th February 2013 and will be presented by our very own, Dr Chris Ware.

Abstract: Between 1715 and 1727 Britain sent nine substantial squadrons to the Baltic to safeguard its interests. However, as the situation in the north of Europe began to settle, distrust began to increase again between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar and trade in the West Indies. Fighting at Gibraltar in 1727 led to an extended period of tension. In 1732 for instance, Spanish military preparations resulted in British fears of a Jacobite invasion. This talk traces the development of Plymouth naval base against this diplomatic background, not only of the dockyard, but of the victualling and ordnance yards and the naval hospital. There was significant and continuous investment throughout these years, often regarded as a period of quiescence. Plymouth was not only a ‘fully-fledged’ dockyard by the beginning of the 1739-48 war, but also a significant naval base.

Location: Edinburgh Room (075), Queen Anne Court, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, London, SE10 9LS

Time: The seminar will begin at 6pm with refreshments available from 5.30pm

Anyone is welcome to attend this free event and no booking is required. If you would like any further information however please telephone the GMI Office on 020 8331 7688 or email gmi@gre.ac.uk.

Plymouth Image

Greenwich Maritime Institute Open Day

We are pleased to announce that staff of the Greenwich Maritime Institute (GMI) will be available at the Univeristy of Greenwich Open Day on Saturday 23rd February 2013 to discuss the following:

• The Importance of the Sea
• GMI Taught Masters Programmes: Maritime History; International Maritime Policy; Maritime Security; Short Courses
• GMI Research: Staff research projects and Mphil/PhD research
• Networking and Employability

If you are passionate about the sea and interested in finding out more about the GMI, we would love for you to come along to Greenwich and have a chat with us at our stand. All you have to do is register and we will see you on the day!.

We will also be available for online chat from 10am – 3pm GMT on Saturday 23rd February 2013 via the instant message facility on our facebook page:

If you are unable to attend one of the planned open days then we would also be very happy to make an individual appointment to come and meet with staff and students at other times.


Maritime Law Seminar on Chartering Tankers at Difficult Times

Logo ‘Chartering tankers at difficult times: description and the Waller Test’

25th February 2013, 18:00, City Univeristy London


The speaker, Filippo Lorenzon, is one of the most prominent names of the current maritime circle. He is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law at the Univeristy of Southampton and has been Director of tyhe Institute of Maritime Law since March 2010. He is an editor of ‘Shawcross and Beaumont on Air Law’ and he is a member of the following organisations: ICC (UK) Committee on Transport and Logistics; the Italian Maritime Law Association (AIDiM); the British Maritime Law Association (BMLA); the European Maritime Law Organisation (EMLO) and the International Bar Association (IBA).

His recent publications include:

  • Lorenzon, Filippo and Coles, Richard (eds.) (2012) The law of yachts and yachting, Zug, CH, Informa (Maritime Transport Library)
  • Lorenzon, Filippo; Baatz, Yvonne and Nicoll, Chris (eds.) (2011) Sassoon on CIF and FOB Contracts, Andover, GB, Sweet & Maxwell British Shipping Laws). (In Press).

Filippo Lorenzon Image

Location: Room DLG08, Social Science Building, City University London, Whiskin Street, EC1R oJD

The seminars are free to attend and everyone interested is welcome to attend.

The London Universities Maritime Law and Policy Research Group (LUMLP) is a non-profit making collaborative network of London academic institutions with research interests in Maritime Law and Policy, to discuss, disseminate and develop research in Maritime Law and Policy. LUMLP members are drawn from a wide range of academic and research institutions, professional groups, commercial organisations and individuals sharing a common interest in maritime law and policy. The Directorate includes representatives from City University London, London Metropolitan University and the Greenwich Maritime Institute (University of Greenwich).

The Role of Classification Societies in the Maritime Regulatory System

Classification societies are maritime organisations that make and verify standards for the construction and operation of sea-going vessels and off shore rigs. Their genesis can be traced back to the 1700s when maritime insurers wanted to ascertain whether the ships they were underwriting were sound or not. Edward Lloyd established the first register of shipping in 1764 to satisfy the businessmen’s need.

The Lloyd’s Register of Shipping, as Edward Lloyd’s establishment was called, rated the construction and condition of a ship’s hull by conferring the grade A, E, I, O or U. – and graded equipment as G, M, or B – good, middling or bad. Hence, any vessel that received AG was thought to be in an excellent state to ply on sea. Today’s system is different: vessels are either in class or out of class (IACS, 2012).

As the classification systems developed and spread in the nineteenth century, their function changed from merely classifying to setting standards. Currently, there are well over 50 classification societies operating worldwide, some eminent, others obscure. The largest one in term of tonnage is the International Association of Classification Society (IACS). It has more than 90% of global tonnage. To date, it has thirteen affiliated members worldwide.

Classification societies’ cardinal business is to heighten safety of life and property offshore. Ideally, this role starts well before a vessel is built. The business person wishing to construct a ship selects a society, which authorizes the standards to which the new building should be constructed and supervises all facets of the construction, eventually ‘grading’ it before it sets sail. Thereafter, the society inspects it at regular intervals to make certain that it is seaworthy and ‘fit for purpose’. Indeed, classification societies are the hub of technical expertise in the shipping industry.

Unquestionably, a ship that meets internationally accepted standards gets classified quite easily by a reputable classification society. The reverse is true for a substandard ship. In fact, the owner of such a ship tends to stay clear of high quality classification societies – and this often dictates the type or cost of insurance he gets.

The requirements on which classifications are based are derived from a number major of sources, namely:
• National and regional requirements (i.e., EU regulations and directives)
• International/IMO statutory agreements (i.e., SOLAS and MARPOL)
• Rules created by classification societies
This latter category has given rise to ‘class hopping’ by ship owners and flag states. It has also given rise to an intense competition among classification societies (in much the same manner flag states compete).

It is worth noting that these societies do not cover how ships are being operated. This is intended, one may rightly argue, to discourage liability lawsuits.

An increasing number of flag states are engaging classification societies to inspect and certify ships in their fleets. This is particularly true in respect to tonnage measurement and load lines, the transportation of dangerous substances, SOLAS, MARPOL, among other key IMO guidelines. And this is proving to be a major source of income for these non-governmental – ‘non-profit’ organizations.
Insurance companies, flag states and governments continue to use the services provided by classification societies. However, we have to mention that the societies themselves do not have legal power of enforcement.

Gola Traub, MA International Maritime Policy Student