ClassNK’s Efforts Toward the Safe Operation of Large Container Vessels

12 March, 2014 – Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism established the Committee on Large Container Ship Safety on 29 August 2013 in response to the casualty of a large container ship which occurred on 17 June 2013. The Committee has carried out active investigations and analyses in order to determine the cause and mechanism of the casualty.

The results of the Committee’s work were compiled in the Committee’s Interim Report, the full text of which was released in Japanese on 17 December 2013 and in English on 4 March 2013. The report is available on the website of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism at the following address:

In addition to compiling the results the Committee’s investigation, the Interim Report also proposed future tasks for investigation and analysis. In order to carry out these tasks, ClassNK has established a new Investigative Panel on Large Container Ship Safety which will be chaired by Professor Yoichi Sumi of Yokohama National University, and composed of leading experts from shipowners, shipbuilders, and academic institutions.

The first session of this new Panel was held on 21 February 2014, and the members agreed to carry out the following course of action:
(1) Investigate the possibility of casualty occurrence
(2) Conduct on-board measurements of container ships in operation in order to verify actual hull structure responses and acting wave loads
(3) Consider and examine large container ship safety

The Panel plans to meet numerous times over the coming months to evaluate the investigative and analysis work, and expects to release its findings by the end of August 2014. The results will also be reported to the Committee on Large Container Ship Safety. ClassNK will make its full resources available to the Panel, and provide both funding and manpower to support the Panel’s activities.

Separate from this Panel, the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) has established a new project team to address large container ship safety, which began working in February 2014. As Chair of the new project team, ClassNK will actively contribute to the team’s work by providing the knowledge obtained through its independent activities and further lead IACS efforts to ensure large container ship safety. ClassNK will also dispatch another expert to the related IACS project team and contribute to its activities through feedback of the investigation results.

Furthermore, based on the findings of the Investigative Panel and results of related IACS discussions, ClassNK will carry out a review of relevant Rules and Guidelines.

For more information on this topic please contact:

ClassNK Executive Operations Division Tel: +81-3-5226-2047