There are as many challenges in crew management as there are ships at sea and so no day is ever the same for crew managers. In fact, the only certainty for crew managers is change.
Crew managers have the unenviable task of dealing with the daily stress of servicing vessels and captains in the best way possible.
They remain completely dedicated to getting it right, are always willing to be flexible in their approach and are always on call – I once met a crew manager who took a call from his captain while attending a wedding ceremony…
It’s now standard that crew managers will be equipped with one crew management system or another, providing them with an overview of the whereabouts of the hundreds of crew members who depend on them. In this sense, crew rotations and all of the complexities involved in carrying them out have become a lot easier than they were 10-15 years ago – for a traditionally conservative sector like shipping, this is already a great achievement!
However, the crew managers’ work does not stop here...
Starting a crew rotation is merely the beginning of a long and exhaustive trail of emails, text messages and phone calls to ensure crew arrives safely, on time, and fit for purpose at the same port as the vessel that they need to board.
As service providers to the crew management industry, specialist travel management companies (TMCs) need to understand these factors and work together to place crew managers in control of their ship’s travel.
For digitalisation in crew management to be successful, travel companies, port agencies, land transportation companies, hotels, rental car companies and anyone else who is involved in getting crew to/from a vessel need to join forces.
ATPI has created an open source platform with which multiple service providers can easily connect, allowing for quick, centralised communication; a crew manager can contact all of their chosen service providers from one place and service providers can upload quotes, confirmations and execution details to the platform. This way, the crew manager can arrange, check, double check and control anything else that they need to have arranged for a smooth crew change.
Our aim for this platform was to provide crew managers with a ‘helicopter view’ of their ship’s total travel, from door to deck, meaning that they’ll never have to try and quietly slip out of a wedding ceremony in order to manage a crew rotation ever again.
From the perspective of an organization that works with dedicated crew managers day in and day out, the introduction of digitalisation to crew management provides endless opportunities to improve the every day lives of crew managers across the globe.