Digitalisation is at the forefront of the Korean Register’s activities
Under Jeong-kie Lee’s leadership, the Korean Register of Shipping* (KR) has undertaken a restructuring.
Mr Lee explained: “Since taking office in December 2016, I have worked to speed KR’s transformation into a fully digitalised classification society, dramatically enhancing and increasing its ‘shipping 4.0’ capabilities.
The biggest decision I have made over the last 12 months has been to restructure KR’s internal organisation by maximising our internal operational efficiencies and focusing more on future technologies, most notably shipping 4.0.”
This process includes the establishment of a new research and development division, focused on developing shipping 4.0-related technologies and exploring future applications.
This new direction is an indication of Mr Lee’s leadership style in that he is setting the agenda: “My leadership style can best be described as ‘listening by communicating’.
However, I believe that any leader must start by setting clear criteria and goals, because leadership is quickly undermined when the leader does not know where they want to go, and respect is quickly lost.
“If people doubt the content of the mission or the way the mission is carried out, it leads to serious problems. To eliminate doubts and become a successful leader, I always listen to others’ opinions by encouraging continuous two-way communication, both inside and outside KR. This helps me to expand my knowledge, set the right goals and establish the best direction for KR, which helps to ensure that ultimately every single person in KR is moving in the same, and the right, direction.”
KR has joined Korea’s Hydrogen Economy project and as part of the project KR will develop Korea’s Hydrogen Economy Roadmap for the shipbuilding sector, alongside various R&D activities for hydrogen-related technologies including for hydrogen fuel cells, hydrogen storage and transportation.
Cyber security is also a big issue: “KR’s cyber-security services are now providing bespoke technical services to many foreign shipping companies looking to protect their shipping and business operations in this area,” said Mr Lee.
With KR engaged with shipping 4.0, digitalisation is at the forefront of the class society’s activities. “Automated control systems on board ships may soon lead to fully autonomous ships, transforming the nature of shipping. Increased digitalisation will allow seamless real-time data sharing, significantly improving operational efficiencies across the maritime industry. Increasingly, maintaining a ‘head start’ will be critical in developing new business growth potential for the future,” said Mr Lee.
On decarbonisation, KR is working in close collaboration with the South Korean Government and other key industry players on joint projects, and is sharing information on international regulations, with a view to the industry’s effective decarbonisation.
Mr Lee noted that: “As an EU MRV verification body, accredited by DAkkS, we have been working with many customers to help them meet the requirements of EU regulation 2015/757 and have delivered many bespoke training seminars, helping our customers to understand and plan for the new global sulphur regulations.” “We are proud of our Test, Certification & Standard (TCS) system which, alongside our Green Ship Test & Certification Center, provides test and certification services for future ecoship technology development,” Mr Lee explained.
* The Korean Register (KR) was established in 1960 with the purpose of promoting safety of life, property and the protection of the marine environment. KR currently classes an international fleet of 3,050 vessels totalling 68M gt. It is headquartered in Busan, South Korea, and operates a network of 66 offices around the world. It is authorised to perform statutory and certification services in 79 countries.