Bulk Terminal Operators Look to Global Unification

Sugar terminal at Mackay, Australia.

By The Maritime Executive 07-14-2016 08:17:50

The Association of Bulk Terminal Operators (ABTO) has been established to provide a voice for bulk terminal operators at a national and international level.

Chief Executive Ian Adams said: “The Association of Bulk Terminal Operators was born out of an under representation of the sector at national government and international regulatory level. We hope to facilitate and encourage the free and frank exchange of opinion to enable the dry bulk sector to present a united front in all discussions with governments, shippers, shipowners and operators. Unity is the only way to promote and protect the interests of the world’s bulk terminal operators.”

The challenges today remain the same as they always have been, says Adams, - ensuring a safe, cost effective operation whilst complying with the increasing number of regulations. 

Environmental pressures continue to provide challenges for terminals. “Environmental challenges include cargo residues being classified as garbage in MARPOL Annex V where a residue is Harmful to the Marine Environment (HME) this will require the shipper to engage shore reception facilities. Where terminals are in close proximity to residences dry bulk terminals have to be aware of dust generation. Liquid bulk terminals have issues regarding spill prevention and management.”

The issues which the industry needs representation on are primarily international issues, says Adams. “Whilst we will be lobbying national governments, the issues are really those being considered at IMO. To that end, we are currently monitoring the developments around the International Maritime Solid Bulk Cargoes Code (IMSBC Code) and MARPOL Annex V.”

Speaking as the ABTO website (www.bulkterminals.org) went live earlier this month, Adams outlined the structure of the organization: “The ABTO Secretariat will be guided by a Members Advisory Panel on the current and relevant issues influencing the technical, commercial, environmental and market conditions affecting bulk terminal operations and the transportation of commodities.”

All ABTO administrative and management functions are provided by Maritime Association Management Company (Maritime AMC Limited), which was formed by four senior members of the maritime community, all of whom have extensive knowledge of the industry and expertise in areas as diverse as marketing, events management and publishing.

“This structure recognizes that in these modern times trade association members do not have the time to devote hours or even days to raise issues at a higher level or to influence decision making. We hope to cooperate more fully with all industry organizations, including those representing ship owners/operators, specialist terminal operators and other groups with an interest in the bulk trades to ensure that our members’ voices are heard at national and inter-governmental level,” said Adams.

Membership to ABTO is open to bulk terminal operators, suppliers of equipment and services to those terminals, and relevant associations and institutions.