Safety and quality
The ability to ensure safe fleet operations is one of the key success factors of any shipping company. As one of the industry leaders, Sovcomflot is committed to the principles of sustainable development, giving priority to the safety of navigation, environmental protection and maintaining a high quality service. Recognising its responsibility to the international community, Sovcomflot commits that: ‘Safety Comes First’.
Sovcomflot works with world-class charterers, leading oil companies and traders who care about their reputation and are demanding in the selection of their carriers. To meet customer expectations, the company strives to exceed standard requirements, as evidenced by the results of external inspections. The best proof of Sovcomflot Group’s high level of reliability and qualification as a carrier is the willingness of key customers to sign long-term contracts with it. Today, SCF’s ships work under time charter agreements with most of the major global oil & gas companies.
In 2016 the average number of observations related to navigational safety and quality, made during inspections of SCF vessels by oil majors, was 2.27 per inspection. This, according to OCIMF (Oil Companies International Marine Forum), is significantly better than the industry average (3.20).
Four years ago, the Group implemented a unified safety management system (SMS). The unification process began in 2009 with policies and basic practices. Subsequently, companies within the Group brought their organisational structures in line with unified standards.
In 2016, SCF Group consolidated its technical fleet management operations under the umbrella brand SCF Management Services. The new structure is governed by SCF Management Services (Dubai) Ltd., with branch offices located in St. Petersburg, Novorossiysk, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and Limassol (Cyprus).
The safety management system of SCF Management Services (Dubai) Ltd. is certified by the DNV GL classification society, for compliance with the International Safety Management (ISM) Code. Compliance of the company’s quality management system with the strict requirements of the international standard ISO 9001:2008 is also evidenced by a certificate from DNV GL. The company’s fleet and offices undergo regular verification inspections.
In 2016, the LTIF (Lost Time Injury Frequency) for the Group was 0.45, which is half the average for the global tanker fleet (0.89 according to INTERTANKO; SCF occupies the 93rd position among the 197 companies featured in the association’s ranking). The TRCF (Total Recordable Case Frequency) was 0.97, which is also less than half the industry average (2.26 according to INTERTANKO; SCF is placed in the 72nd position among the 197 companies included in the ranking).
Sovcomflot’s good safety practice is based on augmenting Russian maritime traditions. Respect for knowledge and the experience accumulated over decades is becoming an undisputed competitive advantage. SCF Group’s training centres in St. Petersburg and Novorossiysk, where SCF crews receive regular training and refresher courses have become unique resources for the professional development of marine personnel.
In 2016, 29 vessels from SCF Group’s fleet received awards from the United States Coast Guard (USCG), for participation in the AMVER program which facilitates the rapid engagement of merchant ships in rescue operations at sea.
In the field of maritime safety and quality, PAO Sovcomflot’s specialists conduct research on the features of Arctic shipping, provide support for innovative projects, and participate in the development of industry regulations. SCF representatives participated in the development of Polar Code provisions, as part of a working group of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation. To improve the safety and efficiency of ice escort operations in the Arctic, PAO Sovcomflot conducts joint seminars with FSUE Atomflot. In addition, our specialists regularly participate in meetings of the Maritime Safety Committee of the National Chamber of Shipping.
Realising that navigational safety depends primarily on the skill levels within a ship’s crew, Sovcomflot is enhancing its cooperation with Russian maritime educational institutions by directly participating in the educational process, organising the programme of practical training at sea on an annual basis, and implementing targeted training programmes for young fleet officers. Specialists from SCF Group’s crewing offices select the most promising cadets into target groups at the Admiral Ushakov Maritime State University, Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping, and Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University – 20 cadets per institution. Cadets from the target groups are guaranteed employment with SCF fleet, while the employer benefits by gaining access to the best young talent.