Welcome from Harry Gilbert - Chairman of ITIC
Although I have now served as Chairman of ITIC for only nine months I have had the pleasure to have served on the Board for 13 years.
Someone told me very early on in my career that there is nothing new in the shipping industry and the one thing that has been a constant over those 13 years is that the same type of claim keeps cropping up time after time. In ship agency it is the release of cargo without a valid bill of lading. In ship management it is the by-passing of oily water separators and in broking it is inaccuracies in the description of the ship or overly optimistic valuations.
These claims continue despite the fact that the Club’s managers regularly publish articles and circulate letters to members warning them of the dangers. In this edition of the Intermediary you will again find articles on release of cargo without a bill of lading and on the use (or lack of it) of oily water separators.
I have always felt that one of the biggest advantages of being a Member of a mutual Club is that when things do go wrong the managers and Directors of the club have an understanding of the issues surrounding the claim and the commercial pressures on the Member. Indeed in many cases the Directors will say “there but for fortune go you or I”.
It is for this reason that the Directors are drawn from the professions represented by the Members and this “mix” is carefully maintained. In this way any Member who finds himself in difficulty, through no fault of his own, will at least be sure that his problem is well understood and that he will get a sympathetic hearing.
I am fortunate to have taken over as Chairman at a time when the Club is in a very good position financially and for the tenth year in a row Members have again been awarded continuity credits. We all hope that this trend will continue but unfortunately it can never be guaranteed.
Finally I would like to thank the Members for their support and to thank the managers for their excellent administration of the Club’s affairs.