Rod Jones says bulker sector should set own safety benchmarks

Dry bulk sector should take page from tanker industry, says retiring CSL chief executive.

The bulker sector should work together to provide safety benchmarks to customers, following the example in the tanker industry, CSL Group's outgoing chief executive said.

Speaking at a luncheon of the USA division of the Women's International Shipping & Trading Association, Rod Jones said that while safety has improved in the dry bulk sector, there is still no way to benchmark safety records against other vessels in the industry.

As a result, the Canadian bulker owner benchmarks its safety record against data from Intertanko, a tanker owner trade group.

Measuring required

"You can't manage something if you don't measure it, and I really think we should work as an industry to improve that," he said at the luncheon, which was held on th sidelines of the Connecticut Maritime Association's Shipping 2017 conference.

Jones said there has been much progress in the industry on the first day on the job as a deck hand, when his shipping career was nearly cut short when he fell while working in a self-unloading bulker.

But he said too often in the shipping industry, safety is all about compliance with regulations, but customers are demanding more information.

371123.jpg FLEET MEMBER: CSL Group's 71,405-dwt self-discharging bulker Rt Hon Paul E Martin (built 2012).

"Tankers are away ahead of the bulker industry," he said.

At CSL, Jones said, the company seeks to have a safety mindset that leads the company toward compliance with regulations, rather than what he sees regulatory compliance as the goal.

"That was a huge, huge difference," he said.

Opening doors

Speaking just weeks before he is scheduled to hand over the reins of the Martin-family led company where he spent 30 years of his career, Jones also said the industry should open more doors for women

With 50% of CSL positions at the middle management level and below are filled by women, 30% off senior executives and 20% of its board seats, Jones said that while the industry has made progress, it still is male dominated and has a long way to go.

"We old-timer males who still do dominate the industry have to be aware of our biases and work hard to overcome them," he said.