The Palau International Ship Registry has recently seen a strong increase in its fleet size as more shipowners and operators look to become a part of the new breed of smart registries. As the Palau flag starts appearing on more vessels, the appeal of a registry based on technology and detailed attention to service becomes more important to world shipping.
At the end of September 2017 the Palau flag fleet stands at 380 ships with 3,000,000 gross tonnage. The main Palau fleet now comprises 27 percent general cargo and 20 percent tankers, with the remaining 53 percent of its ships covering all vessel types across a wide range of countries. There have been increases in the number of barges, tugs and bulk carriers looking to fly the Palau flag and more recently, a growing number of yacht owners talking to the registry looking to join the fleet.
Panos Kirnidis, CEO of Palau International Ship Registry believes the flag has become increasingly attractive to ship owners looking for stability, security, attention to detail and technological advances. “Since our inception in 2010 the registry has grown steadily with different types of ships joining our fleet. We have a strenuous vetting process for all our ships and we know that owners, charterers and operators want a quality flag. As a relatively new one we know that attracting ships into our fleet takes time and our clients need to be comfortable with us, our operations and our quality management approach. This recent increase in fleet size shows we are sailing the right way,” he says.
Smart ships and smart technology in running a fleet are driving shipowners to look more closely at who they entrust their vessels to. Panos Kirnidis is using the current world economic forecasts to reach out to the maritime industry to attract even more ships into the Palau fleet.
“We have been saying for more than a year that the maritime industry knows that smart ships and smart technology is the way forward and yet there seems to be reluctance on the part of some owners to fully embrace technology. When the world economy turns and the shipping world recovers, progress in technology will be one of the real driving forces. The time to embrace this technology is now. Smart ships are here and so are smart registries. Waiting until the world economy picks up might be the wrong time to switch registries,” he says.
“PISR is the fastest growing and most efficient ship registry, and is investing in advanced technology and highly experienced staff to build on its foundation of a fully electronic registry. We introduced a new Deficiency Prevention System (DPS) at the end of 2016 through a dedicated department monitoring all Palau ships to reduce deficiency and casualty rates. It’s just one of the advances in looking after our fleet we feel puts us on course to be the smartest of smart flags in 2018,” says Kirnidis.
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