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eleven dry-dockings in eleven months

team effort, flexibility and adaptation of processes

From the summer of 2014, Clipper Fleet Management (CFM) has performed a significant number of completed dry-dockings. We interviewed the Head of Technical Operations, Morten Hvass, to elaborate on the reasons for the increased number of dry-dockings, the circumstances and how it has influenced the capacity and processes within his department.

Vessels, repairs and shipyards
Since summer 2014, CFM facilitated and completed no less than eleven dry-dockings of handysize type bulk carriers and multipurpose vessels. The dockings of most of these vessels were relatively standard due to their age and class requirements, including steel repairs and new paint. The majority of the dry-dockings were carried out at shipyards previously used by Clipper. In addition to the significant number of planned dry-dockings, CFM carried out than three unplanned ones. Three multipurpose vessels were in need of unscheduled repairs and were therefore sailed to shipyards that were most convenient for the vessels’ positions.

Normal procedure of a dry-docking
Morten explains that every dry-docking is different. Each vessel has a class deadline which needs to be honored in order for the vessel to stay trading. A few months before the class deadline, the operator is asked to position vessel in proximity to an area with suitable shipyards. CFM prepares a specification in collaboration with the vessel, purchases spare parts and paint, and prepares a budget. The docking specifications are then sent to several shipyards in the area and the received quotes compared. After having both the shipyard and timing in place, various services such as the radio survey, a class inspector and lifeboat services are arranged. In addition, one of Clipper’s Technical Superintendents will supervise the complete dry-docking in order to ensure that the specification is followed and the budget kept.

CFM has grown with the task
To Morten Hvass it is clear that the increased amount of dry-dockings within such a brief period has put CFM’s staff and resources through a test. The organization’s ability to complete the task was possible thanks to a hardworking staff, flexibility and adaptation of processes. “I believe extreme flexibility and willingness to stretch resources has made this possible with very limited external help. All technical superintendents have either contributed to or participated in the dockings, or covered for colleagues that have been out of the office. We have recently shaken the structure of the organization with new management, and all in all, I think we can be very proud of what we have achieved”, Morten stated.  “We have been close to our limit, and it is quite sound to experience the limit once in a while, just to know where it is.” Clipper wishes to thank the staff involved, both onshore and onboard the vessels.

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