29 Dec 2021
The consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020 impacted all areas of our personal and business lives. The introduction of containment and control measures from the World Health Organization (WHO) to “flatten the curve” saw many countries implement unprecedented measures to slow down the spread of the virus - from travel and social gathering bans to the shutdown of a number of commercial activities, including the maritime industry.
A review of maritime transport in 2020 by UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) offers some insight into the pandemic’s impact on the shipping sector, one of which is that the closure of borders in 2020 saw maritime trade shrink by 3.8%. UNCTAD projected the world maritime trade to recover by 4% in 2021, with growth volumes to increase by 2.4% between 2022 and 2026.
Despite the challenges that the pandemic brought, HullWiper has remained committed to providing and contributing to sustainable solutions for our delicate marine ecosystems. Before we say goodbye to 2021, here’s a look back at some of the milestones we have achieved this year.
Our family growth
HullWiper has a new home at the Port of Colombo in Sri Lanka. Launched in the first half of this year, we partnered with World Subsea Services Pvt Ltd to provide vessel hull cleaning services that will benefit ships sailing to and from Europe, East Africa, the Persian Gulf, and elsewhere in South Asia.
The most recent addition to our family of partners is Agemar Guinea (Agemar Agency & Logistics) who signed a lease agreement which aims to support the Guinean government’s goal to bring environmentally friendly solutions and operations into their waters and to shipping in general. The country’s close proximity to major shipping lines makes this operational hub in West Africa an ideal location for vessels to minimise on downtime deviations within the busy waterways.
Launched under the brand Intertrac HullCare, HullWiper joined forces with International Paint, a subsidiary of vessel hull paint performance specialists AkzoNobel, and underwater drone ROV specialist Orobotix to offer shipowners and operators a comprehensive hull care maintenance package.
We combine technology and innovation with a deck of solutions that include regular inspections, analysis and reporting to track hull condition, savings on fuel consumption while enhancing vessel speed and operational efficiency, compliance with port and shipping authorities anti-biofouling regulations worldwide, meeting BIMCO reclamation standards, ROV inspection information in quarterly reports and annual condition reports which will include biofouling development assessments in line with ISO 19030 standards.
After two years of social distancing, online meetings and working remotely, we finally had the opportunity to connect in person again. HullWiper attended the Gastech 2021 and Seatrade Maritime Middle East events in Dubai as an exhibitor. Attending these events provided the platform for networking opportunities and conversations to take place with a focus on sustainable shipping solutions.
And finally looking ahead
As one year ends and another starts, we are looking forward to the ongoing and new challenges that face us, personally and in business. We want to keep building on the successes that we have had and build on the relationships with principals that have supported us to date, with COP26 behind us we look forwards and to coin a phrase, “Sustainability” isn’t just for Christmas, it should be a way of life. Wishing one and all a happy and healthy new year as we move together onwards and upwards.