The shipping industry should not underestimate the importance of the proper handling of marine lubricants by well-trained marine engineers in the drive to cut costs.
Caroline Huot, CEO annd Managing Director of Gulf Oil Marine said Thursday that the way in which marine lubricants were used could make the difference between a vessel "making money or not", especially in the current operating climate. "Apart from bunkers, lubricants have also taken a large portion of cost in shippping operations. It is a costly item," Huot told delegates at the first Worldwide Mairitime Universities Conference in Vladivostok, Russia. Delegates heard that marine lubricants were estimated to account for 22% of shipping operation expenses, a proportion which had
increased in the last five years.
Huot also said the shipping industry needed more well-trained crew members to keep up with new legislation and technologies.
"Marpol Annex VI regulations for ultra low-sulphur does not only affect bunker fuel but also lubes as well," she said.
Huot added that while there had been improvements to engine designs and common rails systems over the past 10 years, there was a lack of industry effort to provide practical trainings to marine cadets.
"The industry needs 86,000 crews in the next three years. We need well-trained professionals who can handle the demand of the working in the current shipping climate," she said.
Proper education should be reinforced and opportunities should be created for practical training to acquire field experience, Huot added.
"Now more than ever, it is needed for stakeholders of the shipping industry to come together to train future generations of seafarers," she said.