With bulk carriers representing around 67 per cent of the foreign ships visiting Australia each year, the easing of demand for the major export commodities has been reflected by reduced growth in activity, with port arrivals increasing by 1.3 per cent, to 27,533 arrivals by 5662 ships during the year.
The trend of recent years towards larger ships continued, with average carrying capacity per port visit increasing by 2.5 per cent, while fleet turnover maintained the average age of these foreign-flagged ships at 8.4 years. Shipping activity also varied geographically, with the main iron ore and coal export ports experiencing modest growth in port arrivals, while activity declined at the main capital city general cargo ports.
The safety oversight of ships and cargoes resulted in 9501 inspections of some 20 different types, with the port State control (PSC) inspection program for foreign ships covering 62 per cent of the visiting fleet, with 3817 initial PSC inspections, finding 2.3 deficiencies per inspection on average, with 248 ships being detained, a rate of 6.5 per cent. We also conducted 2715 follow-up inspections to clear outstanding deficiencies from previous PSC inspections conducted either in Australia or by other countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
We have extended a recent AMSA initiative in improving international standards to reduce the risk of liquefaction of bulk cargoes, by seeking International Maritime Organization (IMO) agreement to new moisture minimisation requirements for bauxite and nickel ore. We undertook consultations with industry and other stakeholders leading up to the introduction of Verified Gross Mass requirements for shipping containers, which came into effect on 1 July 2016.
AMSA, on behalf of the Australian Government, is leading the revision of the Guidelines on Fatigue at the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The draft revised modules in the Guidelines on Fatigue are based on contemporary approaches in the area of fatigue risk management.
At the third session of the IMO Sub-Committee on Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping (HTW) it was agreed that our submission on the proposed revised guidelines be used as the base document. We are coordinating the correspondence group established to manage the revision.
The purpose of our Human Element, Training and Watchkeeping Advisory Group (HTW-AG) is to provide a forum for Australian maritime industry stakeholders (shipowners, operators and seafarers) to discuss issues of common interest and concern in relation to outcomes on the human element and training from the IMO HTW Sub-Committee.
The group was formed in 2014 and meets twice a year. In December 2015 and May 2016 we held advisory group meetings which focused on fatigue management.
We publish bi-annual maritime safety awareness bulletins. The aim of the bulletins is to identify trends in accident occurrence, raise awareness of safety and human factors concerns and provide safety advice and recommendations relating to the topic under focus. In 2015-16 we published bulletins focusing on working at heights, mooring safety, and electrical safety. All issues of this publication are available for download from our website.
AMSA and the Australian Maritime College jointly hosted Ergoship 2016, a maritime human factors conference with the theme ‘Shaping shipping for people’. The conference was held on 6-7 April 2016 in Melbourne.
The aim of Ergoship 2016 was to provide a national and international forum for the dissemination and exchange of applied scientific knowledge in the field of human factors within a maritime context. The program included a variety of high-calibre national and international speakers who presented on a range of human factors topics including safety culture, fatigue risk management, seafarer health and wellbeing, and designing maritime systems for user needs.
The conference was well attended by more than 100 local and international delegates including seafarers, ship owners/operators, researchers, regulators, training institutions, welfare service providers and classification societies.