(Houston, TX) The ABS-classed fleet has broken through the 170m gross tons threshold. The latest statistics show the fleet as standing at 11,055 vessels aggregating 170.29m gt representing an increase of more than 9m gt to date in 2010.
The ABS fleet has sustained consistent year-on-year growth for the last sixteen years and firmly positions the society as the third largest class society in terms of aggregate gross tonnage. The society believes it continues to be the largest society in terms of the number of vessels and offshore units in its class.
Industry statistics also show ABS has maintained its position as the favored classification society for new construction, a standing it has held for most of the last three years. The current orderbook is comprised of 2,384 vessels aggregating 50.95m gt. “The continued strength of the newbuilding market, given the current global economic uncertainty, is surprising,” says ABS Chairman and CEO Robert D. Somerville. “New orders to ABS class continue to offset the uncommonly high level of deliveries providing a consistently high demand for our engineering and survey services and giving us the youngest fleet profile in our history.” More than 67 percent of the in-service ABS-classed fleet is now ten years of age or less.
Somerville attributes much of the growth of the ABS fleet and the strong orderbook to the superior levels of service that the society is able to offer. “Shipowners and shipyards want to work with a classification society that is not only knowledgeable, professional and technically astute but also responsive,” says Somerville. “Together with our unrelenting pursuit of promoting higher safety standards, that is the continuing focus of our activities,” he stresses. “Whether it is through continued investment in computer systems such as the ABS Eagle Engineering and Survey Manager programs; assistance with understanding and adapting to the constant flow of new regulations, particularly in the environmental sphere; the ongoing training of our staff; or the support we are able to provide in the shipyards, especially in the newer yards in China, we believe that superior service will remain the principal differentiator between the leading class societies, with ABS setting the standard.”
The latest fleet statistics show that ABS continues to hold the leading market share for newbuildings on order in both Korea and China, the world’s top two shipbuilding nations. The society is equally successful with shipowners with its 30 percent share of all Greek controlled tonnage on order clearly demonstrating its success in this most demanding market.
The recent establishment of a fifth operating division for Greater China, responsible for administering the society’s activities in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong SAR and Taiwan is the latest demonstration of the ABS commitment to superior service according to Somerville. “The new division serves a dual purpose – it gives us an even stronger presence within China while, at the same time, allowing our existing Pacific Division to better focus on meeting the needs of our clients in Korea, Japan, South East Asia, India and Australasia,” he notes. “We will continue to adjust our organizational structure and develop new products and services that deliver the greatest value to our clients to better assist them in adapting to a rapidly changing technical and regulatory environment,” he stresses.
Founded in 1862, ABS is a leading international classification society devoted to promoting the security of life, property and the marine environment through the development and verification of standards for the design, construction and operational maintenance of marine-related facilities.