Scots marine publisher helps Australians navigate Barrier Reef
Monday, July 3, 2017 

AFTER a think tank highlighted Scotland’s poor export performance last week, we hear from an entrepreneur who has shown what a relatively small firm can achieve in global markets with the right vision and commitment.


Name: Iain Macneil.

Age: 46.

What is your business called?  Witherby Publishing Group.

Where is it based?  Livingston.

What does it produce? Specialist technical, operational and navigational publications for merchant shipping.

To whom does it sell? To the world’s fleet of merchant ships, particularly those carrying, oil, petroleum, liquefied gas or chemicals. Approximately 80 per cent of sales go overseas.

What is its turnover? £6.5 million.

How many employees? 45 (38 in Livingston and seven in India).

When was it formed? 2008 as a result of the merger of the company I founded in 1998 (called Seamanship International) with Witherby Publishing (established 1740).

Why did you take the plunge? During the period when I was qualifying, I thought the training and reference materials available were appalling. I felt strongly that it was worth taking a risk to do something about it - and that enthusiasm has not yet diminished!

What were you doing before you took the plunge? After a career at sea, primarily on tankers, I had taken a position on a Floating Production Storage and Offloading platform 165 miles north east of Aberdeen with Maersk on Conoco’s McCulloch field.

How did you raise the start-up funding? Liquidated all my unit trusts and shares. Re-mortgaged my house, took a six month mortgage holiday and took out personal loans by maxing up credit cards.

All in, I managed to put together £100,000 of my personal money. In late 2004, when my now wife joined the company, she made a similar gesture of financial faith!

What was your biggest break? Winning a major project to develop content for Shell at around the same time as I met my wife, who was chairing an Archangel Investment company that also had Shell as a client.

What do you most enjoy about running the business? The hands-on nature of creating the best content and reference material for the shipping industry that we can from wherever is necessary in the world.

Last month I visited Australia to work with the country’s Reef Pilots and Maritime Industry bodies to prepare safe navigation guidance for ships transiting through the Great Barrier Reef.

What are your ambitions for the firm? As Witherbys is 277, getting it to its 300th anniversary is pretty key!

How we achieve that is equally important – we want to show it is possible to be successful while maintaining a social conscience, profitable while being an exemplary employer and ambitious while maintaining integrity.

As an employer, we provide a number of additional benefits over and above the ‘usual’ you might find. These include winter tyres, across the board medicals, access to a private GP. We constantly review the benefits we offer, always looking for options that make a real difference to people’s lives and continually open to suggestions from the staff (recent ones have included self defence classes!)

What are your five top priorities?  We have three kids: Caitlin, Calum and Abigail. Giving them the best education that is appropriate to each of them is very important, while encouraging them to go in to jobs where they are doing something they are passionate about, is a key personal priority.




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The Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI) has released two new inspection questio
Friday, August 28, 2015 

The Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI) has released two new inspection questionnaires this year.

  • CDI Marine Ship Inspection Questionnaire 8th edition went live on the 1st September 2015

  • CDI-Terminal Inspection Questionnaire 6th Edition went live on the 1st February 2015


Both inspection questionnaires include a significant number of new procedural and a high number of new questions as well as changes to existing questions to ensure that the inspections of Bulk Liquid Chemical Tankers, LPG Tankers and Bulk Liquid Terminals remain fully up to date and reflective of current best practice in the industry.


In both editions for both schemes CDI has specifically asked new questions relating to CDI’s range of publications


In the 8th edition Ship Inspection Report (SIR) CDI asks the following new questions;

  • Is there a copy of “Chemical Tankers A Pocket Safety Guide” onboard

  • Is there a copy of “ CDI Guidelines for Liquid Chemical Hose Management” onboard

  • Is there a copy of “CDI Best Practice Recommendation Regarding the use of Nitrogen” onboard


In the 6th Edition Terminal Inspection Report (TIR) CDI asks the following new question;

  • Is there a copy of the CDI “ Bulk Liquid Chemical Handling Guide for Plants, Terminals, Storage and Distribution Depots” (BLCH) guide available


The reason CDI has taken this step is having utilised the wealth of expertise and knowledge within CDI’s Chemical company members, its Terminal Operators; Ship Operators and Industry Associates to produce this array of best practice information, CDI wants to ensure  that these publications are being provided to the industry for their use; resource; continuous improvement and the further sharing of knowledge and best practice  within the industry.


Background Information

The CDI Foundation is a non-profit making and non-commercial organisation funded by the chemical industry. CDI’s core membership currently consists of 73 international Chemical Companies.

CDI is responsible for the accreditation of inspectors and auditors to provide inspection and audit reports for use in the risk assessment process. CDI online databases provide the facility to create, edit and interpolate the inspection and audit reports on a 24/7 global basis.

CDI is a Dutch foundation operating from offices in the UK; audited accounts are filed annually with Companies House. The Foundation conducts its activities entirely within EU competition and US anti-trust law. The databases are maintained at secure sites in the Port of Rotterdam.

The three CDI schemes are each managed by their own Executive Boards, made up of individual representatives from the chemical company participants. Reporting to the Executive Boards are the Technical and Accreditation Committees, responsible for the inspection protocols, and the accreditation of inspectors and auditors. The committees are of split representation, their membership being 50% from chemical companies and 50% from supply chain companies. Additionally, there are the Quality Audit Committee and the Finance Committee.

There are over 150 CDI accredited global inspectors and auditors who can conduct CDI inspections and audits around the world. In addition to meeting academic and industry experience criteria, the inspectors and auditors are trained, examined and performance monitored in the field. Training and examination is undertaken by Warsash Maritime Southampton and the Centre for Maritime and Industrial Safety Technology (C-MIST) at Heriot-Watt University Edinburgh. Accreditation certificates remain the property of CDI and individuals failing to meet the continuous rigorous standards have their certification revoked.


CDI Objectives

  • To constantly improve the safety, security and quality performance of marine transportation and storage for the chemical industry.
  • Through cooperation with industry and centres of education, drive the development of industry best practice in marine transportation and storage of chemical products.
  • To provide information and advice on industry best practice and international legislation for marine transportation and storage of chemical products to customers and stakeholders.
  • To monitor current and future international legislation and provide experience, knowledge and advice from the chemical industry to the legislators.
  • To provide chemical companies with cost effective systems for risk assessment, thus assisting their commitment to Responsible Care and the Code of Distribution Management Practice.
  • To provide a single set of reliable and consistent inspection data which chemical companies can use with confidence.
  • To provide the chemical industry with an independent organization for:
  • Training, qualification and accreditation of inspectors.

  • Development and maintenance of databases on which inspection and risk assessment information can be promulgated.


    1994, CDI-Marine

    CDI-M was created by the chemical industry to improve the safety and quality performance of bulk liquid shipping on chemical tankers. CDI-M now provides annual inspection reports on the world fleet of chemical and liquid petroleum gas tankers, almost 900 ship owners with over 4900 ships participating in the scheme. The inspections are conducted by 100 CDI-M Accredited inspectors located in ports around the world. CDI-M is an information provider to EQUASIS, the European Commission’s Quality in Shipping Campaign. Via the EQUASIS web site, ship inspection reports are available to the Port State authorities.


    1997, CDI-Terminals

    The CDI-T scheme was developed in 1997 and similar to the Marine scheme; its purpose is to improve the safety and quality performance of bulk liquid storage terminals. 127 major chemical storage terminal companies are participants in the Terminals scheme. Over 50 CDI-T Accredited inspectors carry out the detailed management and technical inspections of liquid storage terminals on most continents of the world, with over 200 terminals inspected around the world.


    2002, International Marine Packed Cargo Audit Scheme

    The IMPCAS is potentially the largest scheme of its kind in the world, with over 100 auditors based in the major container handling ports. Developed to provide audit reports on each category of service provider involved in the logistic distribution supply chain, the scheme extends to include: Shipping Companies, Ships, Tank Container Operators, Container Freight Stations, Freight Forwarders, Agents, and Container Terminals.


    The Members of the Chemical Distribution Institute:

    Agility Chemical, Perstorp Oxo AB , Chevron, The Dow Chemical Company, Lyondellbassell, BP, DSM, Shell, DuPont, Flint Hills Res. LP,  Arkema, ExxonMobil, Centrotrade, Celanese, Evonik Services, Rhodia, Koch Industries Inc, Sabic, Akzo-Nobel, Methanex, Orica (Australia), Solvay S.A., GPN, Norfalco, Aughinish, ConocoPhillips, Huntsman LLC, QVC, Infineum, INVISTA, Styrolution America LLC, Petrobras, Shin-Etsu PVC b.v., Holborn Europa, Kuwait Petroleum, Borealis, PMI Comercio Int’l, Yara Switzerland Ltd, Cargill International, BASF, Gulf Petrochemical, Idemitsu, Qenos Pty Ltd, Braskem, EQUATE, Calumet Penreco, Greenergy, Styrolution Germany, Petro Rabigh, Tasweeq, Nynas, Petronas, Tricon Energy, ENOC, Gazprom Global LNG Ltd, Styron LLC, Americas Styrenics LLC, SASOL; Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Ltd, Mexichem, AFROX, SIPCHEM. TonenGeneral, Phillips 66.UBE Chemical Europe. KEM ONE. Southern Chemical Corporation. SASOL. REPSOL; Saudi Aramco, PotashCorp, Chemtrade Aglobis AG, Vivergo Fuels Ltd ;Asahi Chemicals Corporation ;NESTE Oil N.V. ;

IMO titles available to download and view on iPad IMO titles available to download and view on iPad
Thursday, October 24, 2013 

From early November, customers will be able to purchase and view IMO books on to their iPad.

IMO eBooks have been available since 2011 for installation on PCs via the popular ‘IMO Bookshelf’, but now users will also be able to opt for the flexibility of purchasing and viewing eBooks via their iPad.


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The Nautical Almanac as an eBook The Nautical Almanac as an eBook
Tuesday, August 13, 2013 

For 2014, The Nautical Almanac will be available for the first time in Witherbys eBook format (*.ebk).

The eBook will operate in the Witherby Digital Publication Manager, which is an immediate free download from the Witherby Digital website, or can be access from within the Witherby Digital Outfit Manager.

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Amended Shipping Routes – 1st August 2013 Amended Shipping Routes – 1st August 2013
Friday, July 26, 2013 

On 1st August 2013 at 0000 UTC, extensive changes to the ship routeing systems in the Dutch sector of the North Sea entered into effect, modifying approaches to the Hook of Holland, North Hinder Junction and IJmuiden.
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Withdrawal - SIGTTO Co-Mingling of LPG - Alert to the industry - August 2005 Withdrawal - SIGTTO Co-Mingling of LPG - Alert to the industry - August 2005
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 

IMO RESOLUTIONMSC.325(90) - (adopted on 24 May 2012): prohibits the blending of bulk liquidcargoes during sea voyages. This amendment to SOLAS chapter VI will come intoforce on the 1st of January 2014
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Witherbys attend the Independent Publishing Awards Witherbys attend the Independent Publishing Awards
Thursday, March 7, 2013 

As new members of the Independent Publishers Guild, Witherbys were delighted to attend the IPG Independent Publishing Awards 2013, held on 7 March at the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire.
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Witherby Publishing Group Shortlisted for Award Witherby Publishing Group Shortlisted for Award
Tuesday, February 12, 2013 

Witherby Publishing Group havebeen shortlisted for an award at the 2013 IPG Independent Publishing Awards.
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A Piece of India that is Scottish Forever A Piece of India that is Scottish Forever
Sunday, November 25, 2012 

The Witherby Publishing Group Trust and Core Competency Marine’s cricketing event on 25th November 2012 at New Delhi was an enjoyable occasion that brought together a diverse group of cricket fans.
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Back-up Arrangements of Digital Products Carried On Board Ship Back-up Arrangements of Digital Products Carried On Board Ship
Wednesday, October 3, 2012 

The Maritime Safety Committee, at its 81st session (10 to 19 May 2006), and the Marine Environment Protection Committee, at its 53rd session (18 to 22 July 2005), gave guidance on the carriage of publications on board ships, and approved the IMO requirements on carriage of publications on board ships as follows.
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Latest Ballast Water Management approvals at IMO Latest Ballast Water Management approvals at IMO
Monday, October 1, 2012 

The afternoon session on the opening day of MEPC 64 had ballast water on the agenda.

There was still frustration that the convention was not ratified as 35 contracting states have signed, representing 28% of the world fleet, leaving the BWM Convention still below the 35% of world merchant fleet required to bring the convention in to force.

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CDI Issues Best Practice Recommendations Regarding the use of Nitrogen CDI Issues Best Practice Recommendations Regarding the use of Nitrogen
Friday, September 28, 2012 

With the anticipated rise in the use of nitrogen in the maritime industry both on board and ashore, there is an increasing risk of further nitrogen-related incidents unless precautions are taken and operations managed correctly.  The information paper, ‘Best Practice Recommendation Regarding the use of Nitrogen’ from the Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI), considers the hazards and makes recommendations for operations involving nitrogen
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Chris Clucas joins the board at Witherbys Chris Clucas joins the board at Witherbys
Thursday, September 13, 2012 

Chris Clucas who is one the most well known names in the business of transporting liquefied gas by sea has been appointed to the main board at Witherby Publishing Group as a non-executive director. Chris has worked
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Expansion sees the role of Publishing Manager created Expansion sees the role of Publishing Manager created
Monday, September 3, 2012 

Today, we welcome Gillian Macrosson to the team at Witherbys.
Since completing her degree in publishing, Gillian went on to work at Chambers followed by Blackwells, where she  worked for 19 years, and was the Senior Production Manager at Wiley-Blackwell in Edinburgh where
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OCIMF’s new publication ‘MTMSA’ to supersede ‘Marine Terminal Baseline Criteria’ OCIMF’s new publication ‘MTMSA’ to supersede ‘Marine Terminal Baseline Criteria’
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 

MTMSA is a process which has been developed by OCIMF as a standardised tool for global application to assist terminal operators in the assessment of the effectiveness of their management systems for berth operations and the management of the ship/shore interface
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Bulk Liquid Chemical Handling Guide Bulk Liquid Chemical Handling Guide
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 

The Bulk Liquid Chemical Handling Guide for Plants, Terminals, Storage & Distribution Depots (BLCH) Guide will be published on 8 October 2012.
The BLCH Guide is a 560 page publication, presented in two volumes, that provides detailed guidance for the management and employees of terminals and for terminal inspectors when answering the questions of the Chemical Distribution Institute (CDI) – Terminal inspection protocol. The publication 
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