Digital maritime platform RightShip has launched a due diligence service that allows cargo traders, financiers and insurers to assess sustainability, safety and sanctions risk ahead of vessel clearance.

Vessels are evaluated against a combination of rules, which check data points including incidents, Port State Control investigations, when the vessel was last inspected by RightShip, any geopolitical risks or sanctions, and whether the vessel meets flag, class and regulatory compliance.

The platform, RightShip Screening, will issue an immediate pass or fail assessment depending on whether the vessel is suitable.

The service is aimed at companies with low marine risk exposure, as well as those seeking to implement best marine risk management practices.

Greater scrutiny of the maritime industry has led to the development of more sophisticated means of avoiding detection, such as global navigation satellite system manipulation, which allows vessels to report false information about their location.

Potential sanctions risks have also ramped up in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as ships attempt to evade western sanctions by turning off their automatic identification system. According to maritime intelligence firm Windward, there was a 160% increase in these so-called “dark activities” by grain-carrying vessels in the Black Sea between July 2021 and June 2022 versus the same period the previous year.

RightShip carries out vessel inspections at ports around the world to assess a ship’s condition, adherence to international standards, and health and safety practices. It also provides tools to measure safety and greenhouse gas emissions from companies’ own operations and their supply chains.

“Our screening service allows customers to leverage our large data sets enriched by the experience of our marine experts, including proprietary data such as that generated by our physical RightShip inspections,” says Christopher Saunders, chief product officer for RightShip.

Saunders adds that screening can be requested or embedded in customer workflows via an application programming interface.

“Screening outcomes are received immediately, allowing customers to focus on completing their transactions in trades where time matters. In cases where additional scrutiny is needed, customers can also access our team of marine experts by requesting a full vet for a more comprehensive due diligence outcome,” he says.

Originally formed in Melbourne in 2001, the company’s initial aim was to address maritime industry standards following the ‘Ships of Shame’ inquiry into ship safety conducted by a Standing Committee from Australia’s House of Representatives. The report was prompted by the loss of six bulk carriers off the Western Australian coast between January 1990 and August 1991.