Need effective technical management

Vladimir Varkulevich , Ph.D., Professor of the Department of Operation of Automated Ship Power Plants, Moscow State University. adm. G.I. Nevelskoy

One of the tasks solved during the technical operation of the ship is to ensure the required level of reliability of the ship’s technical equipment and structures. In the race of ship owners for profit from the operation of ships, the issue of collecting and analyzing operational information on the reliability of ship equipment has faded into the background.


But this information is a kind of feedback from the courts. It provides the solution to the following tasks:

– analysis of accident rates on ships and determination of the causes of failures and damages;

– determination of the level of reliability of ship technical equipment and structures in various operating conditions;

– exchange of experience in the elimination and prevention of design flaws and causes of failures identified during operation;

– reasonable determination of the frequency and scope of maintenance;

– exchange of information on the quality of repair work at various ship repair enterprises;

– substantiation of consumption rates of replacement and spare parts.

And this is not a complete list of tasks that can be solved based on the collection of information from ships about the reliability of ship equipment. After all, further we can talk about designers, and about shipbuilders, and about suppliers of ship technical means, as well as about insurers, for whom information on the degree of reliability of ships and ship equipment is of paramount importance.

Let me remind you that the system for collecting, processing and analyzing information on the reliability of ships and ship equipment existed until the beginning of the 90s and was very effective. It was attended by the courts, which were collecting information. Then the information on reliability was transferred to the technical service of the shipping company and then to the head organizations of the Minmorflot (LTSPKB and TsNIIMF), the designer of ships, the designer and manufacturer of ship equipment. The shipyard also did not stand aside, which directly maintained contact with the designer of the ships.

Having information about failures and defects of ship technical means, shipping companies gave recommendations to ships on their technical operation, and design and scientific organizations, after analyzing the information, developed technical requirements to improve the reliability of ship technical means and structures, made reasonable claims against suppliers and manufacturers of ship equipment. … It was issued in the form of a brochure of the “Technical Operation of the Fleet” series, which contained various, varied information concerning all kinds of issues of technical operation of ships. The brochure was sent centrally to shipping companies, ships, educational and scientific institutions of the navy.

On the wreckage of the system

At present, the system for collecting information about the reliability of ships and ship equipment, which has existed for a long time, has been destroyed. Along with the surviving shipping companies, new certified shipping companies appeared, ships began to be leased with varying degrees of participation of the ship owner in their operation. There are more companies participating in the maritime industry, and each of them would like to have information about the technical condition of ships. Knowledge and solution of common problems, exchange of experience in the technical operation of ships between various shipping companies have not harmed anyone yet. Conversely, their absence undoubtedly affects the safety of navigation. Since the shipping company does not want to exchange information about the technical condition of its ships, it means that there is something to hide. After all, it comes to the point of absurdity when there is no documentation on their technical condition on ships put up for sale, and in order to obtain the necessary documents giving the right to operate them, they, in fact, undergo an initial survey, and information on the technical condition of the ship and its technical means is simply reset to zero. How to be in this situation for insurance companies (insurers), which are interested in obtaining reliable information about the technical condition of ships, tk. otherwise, they may suffer unnecessary losses.

At the same time, all participants in the maritime industry are not bound by any obligations on this issue to each other. An exception is the contractual relationship between the ship owner and the Register, whose inspectors carry out technical supervision (survey) of the ship’s hull, ship’s technical means and equipment for various purposes. After each survey, the Register inspector draws up an act and makes a note in the registration sheet-plan. One copy of the act (original) is kept on board by the chief engineer, and a copy is kept in the file-form of the Register department at the place of registration of the ship. Consequently, information about the technical condition of ships is available on the ship and in the Register department at the place of registration of the ship. The question arises why it is not open to organizations that are, to one degree or another, associated with maritime transport. The reluctance of shipping companies to share information about the technical condition of ships can be explained by commercial considerations.

In this situation, the Register, as a body of state control over ships, having a wealth of experience and a databank on the technical condition of ships, in my opinion, could make a great contribution to solving the issue of collecting information on the reliability of ship equipment and the development of a system for monitoring the technical state of ship technical equipment. and designs.

Separately, I would like to draw your attention to the issue related to the responsibility of the Register for the reliability of the results of its activities. The Rules for the Classification and Construction of Sea-Going Ships state that “The Register is liable for non-fulfillment or improper fulfillment of its obligations only in the presence of fault (intent or negligence). The Register shall reimburse losses to persons who are in contractual relations with it related to these Rules, and who have suffered losses as a result of non-fulfillment or improper fulfillment by the Register of contractual obligations through negligence, in an amount not exceeding the fee under the contract in accordance with the existing pricing system of the Register, and only in if a causal link between non-fulfillment or improper fulfillment by the Register of contractual obligations and incurred losses is proved. ”

However, there are cases when, after the examination of technical equipment, after a short time, they failed. Of course, it would be wrong to dump the responsibility on the inspector, because the ship’s crew, under pressure from the management of the shipping company, is doing everything possible to get certified and set off on the voyage.


A way out of this situation with the collection of information on the reliability of ships and ship equipment and responsibility to shipowners for the quality of work performed and services rendered is possible by creating an independent, certified, independent maritime technical company, similar to the technical management (department) of a large shipping company, the main purpose of which was would be effective technical management in water transport. Effective technical management means timely execution of scheduled preventive maintenance and repairs, provision of ships with high-quality spare parts and spare parts, return to the system of continuous survey of ships by a classification society, use of high-quality fuels and oils, etc.

Naturally, in a market economy, shipping companies have the freedom to choose a classification society or a contractor for a particular work (service). At the same time, the ship owner bears significant organizational costs for the conclusion of contracts with each individual contractor. When choosing a maritime technical company as a contractor, the organizational costs of the ship owner will be minimal, since you will only need to conclude one contract between the shipowner and the technical company (one-stop shop). It should be borne in mind that the technical company itself is not the executor of the work. It also acts on the basis of contracts with other implementing organizations.

Of course, by concluding a contract with a technical company, the ship owner will pay more for the work, because the cost of the work will include the costs and profits of the tech company. As for the cost of work, this is a problem for a technical company, which must set such a cost so that, on the one hand, it does not lose the client (ship owner), and on the other hand, it does not work at a loss. An important feature of the work of a marine technical company is that it monitors the quality of the work performed by the performers and bears full responsibility for this to the shipowners.

An important point in the activities of a maritime technical company is also monitoring the technical condition of the ships of those shipping companies that have entered into an agreement with it. Anyone who is related to water transport could use the necessary information for use in their activities.

The availability and transparency of information on the technical condition of ships will undoubtedly help to reduce accidents in water transport and increase the efficiency of shipping companies.

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