The NYK Group requires all vessels, regardless of whether they are owned or chartered, to comply rigorously with its original unified safety standards. Through day-to-day safety activities, we aim to build win-win-win relationships with all stakeholders, including customers, shipowners, and seafarers.
Taking Measures to Transport Customers’ Cargo Safely
The NYK Group has been operating its original safety promotion system, NAV9000, since 1998. Through this system, we aim to achieve safe, efficient operations of all vessels that transport our customers’ cargo—regardless of whether they are owned or chartered vessels—including their seafarers, shipowners, and ship-management companies, by requiring compliance with our unified safety standards for safe vessel operations.
Based on regulations set out in international agreements, these standards comprehensively cover customers’ requirements, as well as measures to prevent the recurrence of accidents.
Thorough safety management takes time and effort. However, if a marine accident occurred that led to delays in customers’ supply chains, the effect on the economic activities of customers and supply chains’ stakeholders could be immeasurable.
Moreover, rectifying this effect could take even more time and effort than thorough safety management.
To support the economic activities of customers, we will rigorously remove the ‘seeds’ of potential problems that could impede safe, efficient vessel operations. We view this as our corporate mission.
Cultivating Partnerships with Seafarers, Shipowners, and Ship-Management Companies
Strong partnerships with crew members, shipowners, and ship-management companies underpin NAV9000 activities. Vessels represent the frontline operations that actually transport customers’ cargos, which we could not transport safely and efficiently without the understanding and cooperation of crew members, who operate vessels, as well as shipowners and shipping companies.
Every year, our auditors visit approximately 300 vessels and 30 shipowners and ship-management companies to confirm that they are conducting safety management in compliance with standards. If there are any shortcomings, the auditor asks for the submission of a corrective plan and checks the progress in implementing it. However, a striking feature of our auditing is hat it is not a one-way process. In-depth mutual communication between auditors and the companies they audit encourages continuous improvements for safe vessel operations. Moreover, in this process, we provide advice as needed.
Building Relationships of Trust in Frontline Operations
The most important element when conducting NAV9000 audits is the relationships of trust between auditors and the crew members and ship-management companies entrusted with implementing frontline operations.
Our auditors currently are, or have been, crew members, so they fully understand frontline operations and crew members’ viewpoints. Drawing on their own experiences, auditors carefully explain the necessity of the NAV9000 requirements, motivate crew members and shipping companies to realise improvements, and encourage them to enhance their safety awareness.
We believe having face-to-face discussions with those in frontline operations enables us to heighten crew members’ existing safety awareness and make them even more intolerant of accidents.
To prevent the recurrence of accidents that the Group has experienced, we distribute various information and urge caution. However, distributing documents alone does not necessarily raise crew members’ safety awareness.
One initiative to ensure that the repeated detailed explanations of auditors and the lessons learnt from accidents are not forgotten is our preparation of the NYK Seamanship Calendar. Issued since 2008, the calendar includes illustrations of activities that must and must not be done. Offering readily understandable advice on how crew members can independently identify the ‘seeds’ of problems, the calendar has a favourable reputation among all concerned. Furthermore, because not reusing the carefully selected ideas and creative illustrations would be a waste, every three years we compile the illustrations to create a booklet: Into the Safety Zone.
Focusing on Safety for the Benefit of All Stakeholders
About 20 years have passed since we introduced the NAV9000 system. However, improvement efforts never end. Through NAV9000activities, we aim to build win-win-win relationships that benefit all stakeholders, including customers, shipowners, ship-managementcompanies, manning offices, crew members, and their families.