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BEYOND PAPER: the e-recording and e-logbook era

by Evagoras Charalambous Chief Technology Officer, Prevention at Sea

The business of shipping keeps the world moving and has done so very successfully for centuries. Until recent years, operational models and practices have more or less remained the same with changes occurring gradually, and daily routines and workflows have remained largely unchanged over time.

However, in recent years, the tightening of regulations concerned with safety and environmental impact within a relatively short timeframe has meant that new regulations and reporting requirements are simply being added on top of evolving existing regulations.

High demands on what needs to be recorded, the frequency, and the details in logbook entries have grown considerably. This is while seafarers juggle an already time-stretched workday at sea where challenging and stressful conditions are the norm, promoting lack of adequate rest and fatigue.

Paper logbooks can be found on board all ships, basically unchanged since the earliest days of commercial shipping. However, their use is being challenged by the power of digital software that can facilitate electronic record-keeping and submission. The time burdens associated with paper record-keeping alone is significantly promoting the uptake of digital software for this purpose.

As a maritime technology & marine risk prevention firm, Prevention at Sea leads the way in the transition from paper to electronic record-keeping and reporting. Our constant effort to design and develop innovative software solutions have made us proud to launch unique software solutions that fulfill the need to change and adopt to the increasing demands for digitalization of records and reports to the market.

One of these software solutions is the Lloyd’s Register-certified MORSε platform (Maritime Operations Records Suite for ε-logs) - a unique and centralized cloud-ready, state-of-the-art, platform that offers a variety of regulatory and operational ship logbooks in electronic format. MORSε will soon be communicating with other Prevention at Sea software products, including N.ε.MO. (EU MRV/IMO DCS monitoring) and the RH Managεr (work/rest hours) with the aim to providing a unique combination for effective monitoring and reporting on the performance and daily operations recorded in logbooks.

We have also developed the multiple award-winning ε-ORB (electronic Oil Record Book) in order to support the industry’s transition from paper to using electronic systems for oil record books. In addition to being certified by Lloyd’s Register, ε-ORB is also certified by Class NK and China Classification Society and has obtained several approvals from major flag registries.

All vessels are required to keep manual records of all oil storage, discharges, and incinerations in an oil record book (ORB). Switching to using ε-ORB, as opposed to using traditional paper ORBs across a fleet reinforces the transparency, credibility and traceability of vessel reporting. This is because the ε-ORB prevents the falsification of log entries and the automated calculations prevent vague entries and mistakes. It also guards against potential and practical ORB inconsistencies.

As part of our continuous innovation and ε-log upgrades, Prevention at Sea and Rivertrace have initiated the project ‘SENSεAS’, resulting as a first step in the development of SMARTSAFE ε-ORB. A new module on the ε-ORB software is now capable of automatically collecting data from the ship’s OWS content meter which ensures accurate ORB entries and enhanced monitoring from ashore.

With ε-ORB currently in use onboard over 700 ships, we have welcomed its significant uptake by the industry alongside great successes achieved during the recent completion of two vessel inspections by AMSA with no remarks. We look forward to other PSC authorities in supporting the digitalization of ship record books.

Prevention at Sea is proud to be leading the transition from paper to electronic record-keeping and reporting as digitalization sweeps through the industry with great positive effect.