Good leadership is vital to success of maritime crewing strategy, crew and ship safety
A NEW report led by researchers from Solent University in Southampton, UK, shows that a stable crewing strategy can help reduce handover times and increase crew retention
A NEW report led by researchers from Solent University in Southampton, UK, shows that a stable crewing strategy can help reduce handover times and increase crew retention.
Furthermore the report says that stable crewing can improve safety by strengthening work relations and promoting better communications both on board and ashore, reduce recruitment and training costs and reduce staff turnover.
Started in April 2017, the Effective Crew Project has examined the benefits and challenges associated with the implementation of either a stable or a fluid crewing strategy on board merchant vessels, reported New York's Maritime Executive.
Stable crewing, within the merchant shipping industry, is where the same top four senior officers (captain, chief officer, chief engineer and second engineer) operate on a back-to-back basis and return to the same vessel for several voyages, with all four joining and leaving the vessel at the same time.
The report goes on to conclude that good leadership and management skills are fundamental and need to be current and sensitive to continuous crew development and efficient vessel operations. Companies need to consistently collect more reliable data in order to better inform their crewing strategies.
The project's lead researcher Dr Kate Pike said: 'Stable crewing can improve safety, well-being and, over time, financial outcomes. However, it is important to recognise that 'one size does not fit all' and that different crewing strategies may suit different companies at various stages of their development, as they grow or reduce fleet numbers for example.
'Additionally, the importance of good leadership cannot be overstated and is vital to the success of any crewing strategy. It will have a strong influence over the safety of the crew and ship and the well-being of the seafarers.'
The pilot study, sponsored by the Lloyd's Register Foundation and TK Foundation, focused on vessels types with more than 20 crew including: tankers, car carriers, containerships, bulk carriers and chemical carriers. The research collected data from an industry wide survey and 29 interviews with experienced maritime stakeholders and experts from other industries, including healthcare and aviation.