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Investing in crew safety is vital for tanker operators

Thu 20 Apr 2017 by Paul Gunton

Investing in crew safety is vital for tanker operators
Left-right: Vijay Rangroo (MTM Ship Management), Herbert Soanes (Misuga Holland), Mark Cameron (Ardmore Shipping) and Kim Ullman (Concordia Maritime) discuss crew safety

Crew retention and training are vital for tanker owners and shipmanagers to keep their ships in business, delegates heard at Riviera’s Tanker Shipping & Trade annual conference in November

Concordia Maritime chief executive Kim Ullman said investment in people was a key aspect of operations. “Training is a significant percentage of our operating expenditure. We are training hundreds of cadets,” he said. Safety and environmental measures go hand in hand with crew retention, Mr Ullman said, adding that the company’s behaviour-based safety system had resulted in zero lost-time incidents over the previous three years.

High crew retention is equally important for Ardmore Shipping, whose chief operating officer Mark Cameron took part in the discussion. Investing in crew welfare is a key requirement and can lead to profitable returns, he said. In addition, it can be important to retain crew for tanker matrix requirements from charterers, he said.

Misuga Holland chief commercial officer Capt Herbert Soanes agreed. He told delegates that his company is willing to invest in improving onboard culture to retain well-trained seafarers. He stressed the importance of connectivity on ships, as well as speaking with the crew to understand their concerns.

MTM Ship Management managing director Vijay Rangroo said investment in crew was non-negotiable and should not be cut. “We take care of the crew and offer our clients a fixed crew cost for a calendar year. We manage ships for various owners and cannot have different standards across the fleet.”