Höegh awarded USCG Qualship 21 

15 June 2021

Höegh Autoliners is pleased to announce that 29 of its managed vessels have been awarded a Qualship 21 status by the United States Coast Guard (USCG).

The Qualship 21 (Quality Shipping for the 21st Century) programme is a quality incentive programme to which only a small percentage of foreign-flag vessels calling at US ports are admitted, based on the high performance of their port state control record. The program aims to reward those companies, operators, and vessels that demonstrate the highest commitment to quality and safety through the highest level of compliance with International standards and the United States laws and regulations. Designated vessels are recognised and rewarded by the USCG by being subject to reduced port procedures.

High quality Technical Management

The ship management of Höegh Autoliners’ owned vessels are performed by Höegh Technical Management (HTM) based in Manila, Philippines. Heading HTM is Dennis Desabille, who started as a cadet in the company back in 1993. Dennis worked up the ranks to become a Master in 2007 before going ashore to take a crewing position in 2009.

Dennis currently holds the position as Head of Ship Management in HTM, "We are pleased that 82% of our managed vessels have been awarded the USCG’s Qualship status. Our HTM office along with our colleagues ashore and at sea have worked hard to ensure our vessels meet stringent port state controls not just in the US, but worldwide. Much of this achievement comes down to our high-quality Safety Management Program which provides a proactive approach and helps ensure our vessels meet the required standards."

Focus on safety

Höegh Autoliners’ Safety Management System ISM, 14001 and 9001 certified. To ensure the company’s quality standards are met, all of its managed vessels are inspected once a year by the class society, DNV, in addition to technical inspections performed periodically during the year.

Sebjørn Dahl, Chief Operations Officer says, “I want to applaud HTM and our crew for their efforts in maintaining the highest standards of safety and quality of the vessels in our fleet. The Qualship 21 recognition provides further confirmation of Höegh’s position in terms of safety and quality-driven shipping operations.”  

In admitting Höegh Autoliners to the programme, the US Coast Guard highlighted that “less than 20% of all foreign-flagged vessels that operate in the United States meet the strict eligibility requirements of this program; therefore, I applaud the efforts of your organization and the master and crew of the QUALSHIP 21 designated vessels for consistently maintaining an exceptional commitment to quality.”