Storehouse Of Information Readily Available From ABS Using Computerized Retrieval

The American Bureau of Shipping has placed into operation a comprehensive computerized system for information storage, correlation, and retrieval known as ABSIRS. Implemented through an in-house IBM 370/135, ABSIRS handles data concerning shipowners, shipbuilders, ship characteristics, service histories and other pertinent data relevant to merchant vessels of the world. As an international classification agency, the American Bureau of Shipping has the unique opportunity of accumulating vast stores of information on merchant vessels throughout the world. ABSIRS enhances the value of this information by providing rapid accessibility to the American Bureau of Shipping and the marine industry.

The nucleus of ABSIRS is the Master File which contains all the data in the Record of the American Bureau of Shipping. The Record is an annual publication which lists the characteristics of 32,000 vessels, including all of those classed by ABS. In addition to the Master File, ABSIRS has six satellite files. There is an On-Order File containing data on vessels either under construction or under contract to be built, and a Dead File which retains data on vessels that have ended their service life and have passed from the Master File. There is also an Owners File and a Shipbuilding and Drydock File. The former holds name and address data of owners, operators and agents of vessels listed in the Record, and the latter contains the names, locations and descriptions of shipbuilding, drydock and repair facilities worldwide. A Construction File records details related to machinery and associated components, in addition to hull construction characteristics and materials for all vessels classed by ABS since January 1973. Lastly, a Technical Notes File holds informaton on casualties which may eventually show a recurring problem and thereby prompt revisions in the Rules.

Also included are damages of a significant nature.

Each file can be searched with spontaneous inquiries as an independent entity, and the information within each file can be cross-correlated with data in any other file or files.

Other stories from February 1974 issue


Maritime Reporter

First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.