Dry Bulk Management Standard – The story so far with Luke Fisher, DBMS Project Lead  

At the time of writing, it is just three weeks since we first told the maritime sector – and the dry bulk segment – about our call for feedback from the wider sector on the Dry Bulk Management Standard.  

In that time, we have been inspired by the responses from the sector; a true indicator of the shared belief that DBMS is so needed as we work to build a clear pathway for improvement for owners, operators and managers. By providing a platform which is entirely voluntary, we hope the dry bulk segment will see this as an opportunity to benchmark and improve safety in a staged manner.  

It goes without saying that these are challenging times, so it is encouraging and exciting to see the volume and depth of the response to our call for feedback so far. Challenging times always heighten the requirement for improvement beyond the compliance baseline, and the feedback we have received reflects an understanding that scrutiny from inside and outside our industry will not stop after the current period of upheaval is over.  

Just one week after the launch of our call for feedback on the first draft of the standard, well over 100 owners and managers from more than 30 countries around the world had expressed their interest. Across the second week of April, the number of interested companies nearly doubled – not to mention the charterers, classification societies, regulators and flag authorities that have also got in touch.  

Moreover, and reflecting that the dry bulk industry shares responsibilities across the supply chain, multiple ports and harbour authorities have also been in touch to give their thoughts on the draft standard.  

We have also been swamped by messages of support from supporters, partners and interested parties. We’re proud that DBMS has sparked the sector’s interest so fiercely. Although it is early in the feedback process yet, the clear message has been one of collaboration on a truly global level. There is also a recognition that increasing standards is good for the whole market, and that truly leading owners, operators and managers will be able to display their proactivity and support themselves and their peers.   

Looking forward beyond April 2020, we expect the process of gathering feedback on this first draft to continue across the rest of this year.  

Some respondents have already asked about how we will take thoughts and feedback into consideration. As we collate and process thoughts from across the industry, based on technical merit, the working group of industry specialists and representatives will ultimately be involved in the decision to make any required updates, amendments and changes to the standard. We feel this is vital to ensure that DBMS is built by the industry, for the industry.  

Now more than ever it is important that we work together to build a set of guidelines that works for the sector. We look forward to receiving more thoughts, feedback and expressions of interest from the whole industry as we build and develop DBMS over the coming months.   

To find out more about DBMS, explore this website and read our FAQs here. To contact the team, please email: enquiries@drybulkmanagementstandard.org