Safety and security of the crew are of paramount importance for maritime companies. When crew are travelling to and from the vessel, the issue becomes even more important because officially they have already started their working contract, but are not under supervision of their line manager yet. Lack of company resources can significantly increase the risk of getting into a situation when managers don't react on incidents happening during traveling, on time. There can be hours and in worse case even days, before companies obtain information and are able to react. Why is that?
One of the reasons is that there is no tracking system which would allow office to be updated at all time of the nature disasters, terror attacks, long-term strikes, and so on, on the routes of crew traveling. If a company operates, let's say, fleet of 10 offshore vessels, with 500 crew traveling every 4-6 weeks to and from different destinations, it becomes an extremely difficult task for a crew manager. But what if it’s 50 vessels or more? Usually companies rely on the information received from the agents, vessels or the crew themselves. This can be a problem as in some situations (night time) even an hour of delay matters. Travel agents themselves are not authorized and normally will not take responsibility to cancel crew change and stopping the crew from traveling unless airlines are officially closed.
Here we come to the next point. If a company wishes to track each crew member while they are traveling, they need to be ready to cover their mobile internet expenses, which can be very costly, given different crew nationalities and high cost applied by internet service providers. And secondly, actually to get permission from the crew to be tracked.
Some can argue that crew are insured and insurance comes into force as soon as crew leave home. Please keep in mind that we are talking about system which would potentially save people's lives, company's reputation and hours of headache for everyone, not only about financial consequences.
It's for each company to decide if they would invest into a system like that. Although it seems to be complicated and costly, it can potentially be the solution and good initiative appreciated by the clients and auditors.
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