RightShip chief executive Martin Crawford-Brunt says the maritime risk management and environmental assessment organisation is expanding its global reach
Martin Crawford-Brunt is the relatively new chief executive of the maritime risk management and environmental assessment organisation RightShip. RightShip was formed following the Ships of Shame episode in Australia when, between 1988 and 1991, nearly 100 seafarers were lost on large bulk carriers, mostly off the coast of Western Australia. Mr Crawford-Brunt, a naval architect and marine engineer, took over RightShip in 2018, in response to the rhetorical question: “Does what I am doing in taking on RightShip have a positive impact?”
Ensuring he has a positive impact has been a trait of his career. In his earliest days, this led him to sail on a bulk carrier as a trainee surveyor. “I wanted to learn more about the actual operation of ships, to understand what to look for as a surveyor” he says.
This led to him becoming a senior surveyor and transitioning into the management levels of class society DNV GL. Again, his entry into management was part of a continuing desire to have a positive impact. “I look to what levers are available to improve industry – where can I have the biggest positive outcome on safety and develop myself?” he says. “This is what ultimately led me to RightShip. This is where I can collaborate and have the largest impact on safety and the environment.”
He admits he was lucky to work for DNV GL, given the focus on management and leadership development, combined with the opportunity to move around geographically, managerially and build up experience.
This also gave him insight into different cultures, something he says is essential when managing a geographically diverse company like RightShip. He says the founders of RightShip created an entity that can influence safety and sustainability in the shipping industry. “My role is to implement a second phase of that process,” he says, “to lead the staff to understanding the safety, environmental and social impact RightShip can have on the industry. Although there have been some great advances in all three areas since the 1992 Ships of Shame enquiry, some of the recommendations are still to be enacted and RightShip needs to be more global as an organisation.”
He intends to achieve this in the same way he has achieved so much throughout his career – by searching for the levers that will provide the best possible outcome. At RightShip, this involves combining technology with experienced people. “In the last 24 months we have expanded our team in the digital and operational areas, including a number of female superintendents,” he says. The ‘levers’ are being used to expand RightShip’s capability globally, to carry forward the aims of RightShip’s founders. “Good safety is good for the crew and good for shipping,” says Mr Crawford-Brunt.