Vetting for Safety

10 February 2016

It is early morning in Jacksonville, FL, USA and Höegh Delhi has just been moored at the RoRo terminal. Marin Gobic, Vetting Superintendent in Höegh Autoliners, walks onboard and is greeted by the Captain and crew. Marin will sail with the vessel to Houston to verify that it is operated in line with Höegh Autoliners’ vessel operation standards.

All vessels associated with Höegh can and will be vetted by our vetting team. This helps us ensure that all vessels we either own, charter in or charter out are always up to standard and put safety first.

Svein Pedersen, Head of the Vetting team;

“Safety is at the core of the vetting process. We have a long list of check points when we board a vessel, and in essence they all boil down to safety.”

On board Höegh Delhi, Marin starts the vetting process by holding a meeting with the relevant crew. He checks that all relevant certificates are in place and together with the Officers, agree on the Vetting Plan. The majority of the checks and verification that should be done during the voyage to Houston are related to the management of the vessel which includes safe navigation, safe working practice, maintenance of the vessel and equipment, housekeeping and fire safety. This is also reflected in all vetting reports.

“It is extremely important that all vessels are kept neat and are well taken care of throughout their voyages. This boils down to safety first, safety for those on board, for the environment and for the cargo. Secondly, it is also a matter of upholding the value of our investments. A vessel that is kept tidy and that is well kept at all times will last longer than a vessel where maintenance and cleanliness is neglected.” Svein says.

During Höegh Delhi’s voyage to Houston, Marin walks through the vessel together with an Officer with particular emphasis on the engine room and the cargo decks. If they find something that can be improved, Marin will normally take a photo and discuss the issue with the vessel senior management. The photos are included in the Vetting Report that the ship’s technical manager will receive.

“We vet all our vessels once every year. This comes in addition to the technical inspections that the ship managers do themselves and the inspection that the class society does annually. It is important to keep in control to ensure all our vessels live up to Höegh’s high standards.” Svein explains.

And he continues: “And if we find too many deficiencies on board, we will not wait another year to make a new inspection, then we will be back much sooner to ensure that improvements are made.”

The vetting inspections are also opportunities to bring new learning to the team on board, this includes environmental issues related to emission to air by reducing the fuel consumption and improved interrelation with the Höegh shore organization to improve the operation. During the last years, Höegh Autoliners’ vetting team has also put a great emphasis on speaking about Anti-Corruption while being onboard the vessels. These discussions have shown to help build the understanding for the company’s anti-corruption policy on board, and they give valuable feedback from the crew back to the Head Office.

Marin also uses this opportunity on board Höegh Delhi to conduct Höegh Autoliner’s Advanced Environmental Course for all crew members before it is time to disembark the vessel in Houston. The Master, officers and crew are thanked for their help and assistance in conducting the vetting.