Palau International Ship Registry has become the fastest growing flag in the shipping world with 43.2 percent growth in the number of vessels joining the registry since 2013, according to Fairplay magazine.
Recording strong growth that puts it well ahead of other expanding registries such as Portugal, Saudi Arabia and the Cook Islands, Palau has attracted significant numbers of tankers into its fleet along with Ro-Ro vessels, bulk carriers and offshore ships. Tankers currently comprise just under half of Palau’s fleet, and Panos Kirnidis, CEO of Palau International Ship Registry, sees this as a growth area.
“We have been steadily growing, and we are attracting not only tankers but also passenger, container and general cargo ships who all want to sail under our flag. Growth is always associated with strength, and we have that with our latest software and recruitment. Our goal is to become one of the world’s leading registries and shipowners and operators are recognizing Palau has the infrastructure to support them.”
Palau International Ship Registry introduced a new deficiency prevention system at the end of 2016 as part of its drive to become a leading technological registry. A dedicated team monitors the location and destination of the flag’s vessels and analyzes their risk performance with over 93 percent confidence. The monitoring occurs without disturbing the ship manager until the point that the registry informs them when a high risk of deficiencies occurs. An inspector is then sent to the ship, free of charge, to carry out a preparedness survey. “We are there to look at the ship, through physical attendance, not just chasing paper correctness,” says Kirnidis.
Palau is committed to technology. “The creation of a smart registry, one that utilizes the best in smart technology for the benefit of owners, managers, seafarers and business in general, is where we are heading,” says Kirnidis. “We have invested in advanced technology to offer high levels of registration services and reduce bureaucracy. In an industry where paperwork, and all that it relates to, forms the framework of all operations, it is a bold step – but a forward thinking one – to put your faith in technology.”
The industry is currently undergoing changes to both regulation and economic conditions, says Kirnidis. “To remain a key player in this sector we, along with other registries, will have to be flexible, adaptable and attuned to the concise needs of our clients. Technology will be a key driver here but without losing the human touch. I would like to think we have displayed enough conviction to the industry to be worthy of this recent dramatic increase in business.”