Interferry to cover safety, customer experience and new technologies

Interferry to cover safety, customer experience and new technologies
Mike Corrigan, CEO of Interferry, believes the industry will be stronger by working together (Image Credit: Interferry)

Mike Corrigan, CEO of Interferry, believes the industry will be stronger by working together

Improving safety, the customer experience and new ship technologies will be key topics at Interferry’s annual conference in Split, Croatia from 7-11 October 2017.

A record 300 delegates have already registered to attend the event, including member and non-member operators and suppliers.

“Ferries are already a major economic driver in trade and travel, but it’s tough to stay fully in tune with the latest challenges and opportunities, particularly with so much new technology to understand,” said Mike Corrigan, Interferry CEO. “As a platform for sharing sector-specific expertise and experience, the conference underlines our belief that all stakeholders can be even stronger by working together.”

Safety sessions will start with a keynote from John Wright, managing director of safety consultancy and training specialist WrightWay, who will highlight how ferry operators can boost their bottom line by creating a safer working environment for crew.

In other safety sessions, European Maritime Safety Agency’s executive director Markku Mylly will deliver an update on passenger ship initiatives. There will also be an introductory discussion by members of Interferry’s new Domestic Ferry Safety Committee, which has been formed to drive improvements in developing nations.

Patrick Rossi, maritime cyber security manager at classification society DNV GL, will then discuss why cybersecurity should be a key part of any safety management strategy. His presentation will outline recent trends, explore the options and challenges in managing cyber risks for both existing ships and newbuilds, and give examples of cost-effective countermeasures to regain control of operations in the event of an attack.

“Cyberattackers are gaining ground by migrating from standard office IT to industrial control systems, which now includes industry-specific operational technology in the less conventional space of shipping,” said Rossi. “Disruptions can lead not only to significant financial and logistical impacts, but also to loss of life and property as well as environmental damage. The maritime industry has faced conventional piracy for centuries, but is it well prepared for this 21st century version?”

Delegates will also be able to attend ship technologies sessions to hear about the financial, environmental and safety benefits of electrifying ferries as an effective alternative to using low sulphur diesel fuel, converting ships to run on LNG, or installing scrubbers.

Brent Perry, CEO of Plan B Energy Storage, will examine how the advent of liquid cooling on lithium ion batteries allows heavier use, faster charging times, longer lifespan and reduced fire risk. He will also explain a money-saving breakthrough allowing batteries to be re-cored with new cells rather than replacing the entire unit when the existing cells are life-expired.

“For an industry consistently unsettled by the fluctuating price of fuel, the ability to reduce or eliminate fuel costs and meet emissions goals is extremely appealing,” Perry said. “A simpler, proven solution is to hybridise a vessel – optimising diesel use and reducing emissions by up to 75% – or in some cases to convert the vessel to full battery operation and eliminate emissions altogether. With advances in technology, it is possible to appropriately size a battery to provide the fully electric run time required by most routes, with only the longest coastal routes requiring a hybrid solution.”

Further energy alternatives and emerging propulsion innovations will be discussed by an industry-wide panel of operator, manufacturer and classification society representatives.

Other presentations and panel discussions will focus on digitisation, big data and the correlation between improving the customer experience and boosting profits. The line-up of speakers ranges from operators and satellite communications providers, to academics and marketing professionals.

In the final discussion, CEOs from four ferry companies will share their initiatives to enhance and monitor the customer experience at every touch point, from booking and check-in, to onboard facilities and post-trip feedback.

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