APL Maritime Ltd: Safety Compliance and the Opportunity to Sail

8 people posing for a picture in front of a white curtain

International maritime Business cadets are constantly finding themselves presented with unique opportunities to gain their knowledge and test their skills through hands-on work in their field of study. Several IMBU students had the fortunate experience of working with APL Maritime Ltd., Headquartered in Washington D.C. At APL, cadets are given a valuable experience rooted in vessel safety and compliance, crewing and labor relations, and port and terminal operations. Last week, APL Maritime Ltd. invited some of their past interns, IMBU seniors Michaela Garrity, Jacob Soifert, and Hannah Jette to their Senior Management Conference. Held in Baltimore, APL’s conference is a reunion of sorts. The company invites the top three license officers from each department on each of their ships as well as keynote speakers, such as the current and past National Maritime Administrators. The interns were lucky enough to get a firsthand view on issues surrounding the American flagged fleet through presentations, classes, and leadership/teamwork simulations. They discussed changes in the industry in regard to new regulations, ship management systems, maritime labor issues, and company policy. Here, they share their experiences:

Michaela Garrity:
The experience I had with APL Maritime Ltd. will continue to serve me well no matter where I go in the shipping industry.  It was while I was there that I fully realized the rue multitude of paths that are open to me.  I was under the direction of two MMA alumni: Captain Christian Volkle and Ms. Ashley Zarella. Under their guidance, I learned a great deal about the operations side of the shipping industry.  Every day was a different experience where I might be working on anything from dealing with ship crewing issues to assuring compliance with the regulations and inspections that need to be carried out in order for the ship to sail.  I worked on projects regarding the STCW Rest Hour requirements for mariners, with the goal of finding the best solution and system in order to keep APL in compliance and to make sure their mariners are safe.  Another such project I was involved in was making APL Maritime compliant with the Maritime Labor Convention that came in to effect this past August.  

Hannah Jette:
Overall, I feel incredibly honored to be a part of the APL Maritime Ltd. family. APL has been an amazing company to work with. Even as a junior member of their team, I was afforded the opportunity to travel all over the world with them. This past winter I sailed aboard two of APL’s container ships, the M/V APL Philippines as well as the M/V APL Agate seeing Tokyo, Italy, as well as California, and a great deal of the U.S. East & West Coasts. My main responsibility was to facilitate the creation of new shipboard training procedures. In order to do this, I worked directly with the Captain, Chris Volkle, and took thousands of photos and videos and worked closely with programmers to develop new interactive shipboard training modules to promote vessel familiarization.  We believe this will promote safety aboard all of APL’s American flagged vessels. I have been working on this project since June 2013 and have been invited to continue my work through this next semester. During this experience I have begun to shape a vision of what I want to do for the rest of my life. I have discovered a true passion for the liner shipping industry and hope to become a part of it as soon as I graduate with my dual degrees in Marine Transportation & IMBU.

The recent Senior Management Conference proved to be an extremely eye-opening experience. I learned a great deal in only a few days by being surrounded by so many people I look up to for their work ethic and success within our unique industry. The team-building exercises were particularly enlightening. I believe these kinds of events are exactly what APL needs to promote company communication with a new fun twist. Jake did a fantastic job with organizing this part of the conference.

Jacob Soifert
Massachusetts Maritime Academy offers students something that most colleges around the nation do not have. While students in other schools are confined to just classroom education, our students are out in the industry learning by application. For the International Maritime Business major, we are required to do at least two internships, this gives us the chance to take what we have learned in the classroom and put it to use. 

I did my internship with the Panama Canal Authority and most recently APL Maritime LTD. The opportunities given to me in my short four years here has been outstanding, I have traveled the world and learned the depths of international business. While I understand there are still miles and miles to go, MMA has laid a sturdy foundation for me to build upon in my career. 
This winter I had the great experience to work with a premier shipping company in APL Maritime Ltd. My internship was not like your average internship, while other students were given small projects and tasks; I was planning a major event for my company. One of my primary responsibilities was to plan the Senior Management Conferences that were being held for the company. I was heavily involved in this planning from the beginning of my internship all the way to after my internship was concluded, and fortunately enough for me I was asked to attend and see how my hard work had paid off. It was a great experience to see all the effort I had put in finally coming to fruition in one large event. All of the company’s office staff along with our Senior Management Teams aboard our ships attended and together we discussed the way the company and industry is moving towards. Most students do not get the chance to be out there with the industry leaders and talking with CEO’s of companies about where our shipping industry is going, but fortunately enough for Hannah, Michaela and I we had this great opportunity. It’s not every day that you get the chance to go out and meet the past MARAD administrator and the current administrator and discuss his opinions on this nations American flagged vessels. This was a truly memorable experience for all of us.