The 156th Annual Meeting Focuses on How ABS is Leading the Future of Class and Delivering on its Safety Mission
(New York City) ABS held its 156th annual meeting yesterday, bringing together ABS members representing industry, government and academia. Convened each April in New York City, where the classification society was founded, the meeting provides an opportunity to hear directly from ABS leadership on the performance and future focus of the organization.
“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,” said ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki.
Throughout the year, ABS continued to live its safety mission and delivered the safest year in ABS 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, cybersecurity risks, performance optimization and operating cost reduction, and environmental compliance. Through our FutureClassTM 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, ABS remained a recognized classification leader as its 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 continues 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 plus teu containerships delivered in 2017, two-thirds were classed by ABS, which also remains 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 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.”