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RightShip scraps ratings system in favour of new safety score

RightShip will scrap its ratings system in favour of a new safety score in the biggest shake-up at the maritime risk management organisation since Martin Crawford-Brunt (pictured) took over from Warwick Norman two years ago.

The launch of the new Safety Score is scheduled for September this year and has been designed, RightShip said in a release today, in response to industry feedback that called for more transparent methods of assessing vessels.

“The new Safety Score provides a metric that is explainable, transparent and only includes factors which are in the control of the operator, to help support improved safety across the entire maritime sector,” RightShip stated in a release.

The news can be seen as shifting the ratings company, originally founded by big charterers, more towards the shipowning community as well as taking a step back from the predictive side of the business.

The Safety Score will be housed on the new RightShip Platform, which will replace the current platform Qi as well as the predictive Risk Rating once the Safety Score goes live.

RightShip’s previous Risk Rating predicted the likelihood of a vessel having an incident across the next 12 months. The new Safety Score focuses on providing the operational performance at the vessel, DOC holder, flag and class level.

The Safety Score uses a methodology that analyses the severity of any previous incidents, the frequency of incidents and any previously identified detentions and deficiencies for a given vessel. The new score also takes account of the proactivity of owners, operators and managers in managing safety and risk, by looking at their responsiveness to incidents, deficiencies or detentions.

“It creates a level playing field for all vessels on the water, regardless of type, size, age or builder, allowing industry participants to benchmark their safety procedures against the sector’s best performers,” RightShip claimed today.

The Safety Score can also be used by other stakeholders including ports and terminals, regulators, banks, financiers and insurers to get a simple benchmark of a vessel’s operating and safety performance. The six subscores and the timeline on the new platform provides an overview of the various factors which the end user can review for their specific application.

Commenting on the launch of the Safety Score, Crawford-Brunt, RightShip’s CEO, said: “We have created a balanced score which can be used by all members of the supply chain. For our due diligence customers, it provides a clearer insight to the operational performance of a vessel and DOC holder. The Safety Score is an indicator designed to be used as one of many factors in the due diligence process. Coupled with maritime expertise, it allows for the assessment of a nominated vessel and the provision of a vetting recommendation for a charterer.

“For the shipowning community, the new Safety Score takes into account management performance and approach, giving owners a true understanding into how they can improve safety across multiple parameters. It also encourages shipowners to invest in system improvement, processes and technologies that make the entire supply chain safer.”

Crawford-Brunt said he hoped today’s change would “drive a new conversation” within shipping about how to manage risk whilst safeguarding operations.

Crawford-Brunt came from a class background when he took over from Warwick Norman at RightShip in March 2018, whereas his predecessor worked for major charterer BHP Billiton before creating RightShip in 2001.

Speaking with Splash today, Crawford-Brunt said: “We have spent the last two years collaborating with diverse stakeholders and customer interests across the shipping industry in the development of the Safety Score. These varied perspectives have been incorporated therefore it does not favour a particular end user. For owners, they are sure that the score is a fair reflection of the factors that they can improve or maintain in their operations as well as providing a good opportunity to showcase their safety performance to their customers. For charterers and those interested in marine assurance, the metrics will make it easy to benchmark vessels and obtain a clear overview as initial input to their vessel selection process.”

Further developments at RightShip in development are a revitalisation of its inspection process, a new carbon accounting offering and refreshing its GHG rating.

With shipping facing a recession caused by Covid-19, Crawford-Brunt said his company was concerned that the industry might see a spike in accidents.

“We believe that the risks facing the maritime industry will continue to increase in the coming months compounded by the humanitarian and economic challenges brought about by the global pandemic. A continuous focus on safety and operational performance is required to avoid storing up a bigger problem for the future,” Crawford-Brunt said. “This includes supporting our crew onboard ships and in particular their wellness, ensuring that risk assessed inspections onboard continue to complement – not replace – emerging remote methods and ensuring robust risk and due diligence processes are implemented and followed.”


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Good leadership..providing fair and balanced system for shipowners. Refreshing breath of fresh air from attempting scientific solutions and predictions in shipping without using scientists.

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