What to consider when choosing a crew management company?
The maritime field is incredibly diverse, spanning across many industries around the world. Not only that, but marine jobs vary greatly by industry, project and location. Requirements for these workers can change drastically by location, project, Union representation and vessel, and keeping up with these is challenging. Furthermore, finding skilled, trained and loyal mariners for positions is a hurdle that many companies struggle with. Because of these factors, many turn to crew management service providers who can identify and locate qualified candidates for nearly any maritime position.
Whether you’re looking for a provider that has the expertise to hire a single mariner or deliver full marine crew management services, the following four traits are important for you to consider.
1. The level of customer service provided
When considering whether or not to outsource crew management services, you’ll want to first consider the provider’s reputation in the industry. Do they have good, long-standing relationships with a variety of customers, as well as those in similar industries and locations? Do they have a successful track record of hiring quality seafarers for the types of projects you’re hiring for? And finally, you’ll want to ensure that they have a “black book” of experienced, trained, qualified and loyal mariners at the ready.
2. Can the crew management company do the job you’re asking?
You’ll want to ask very specific questions about what they are capable of doing. For example, are they knowledgeable about what is required of the mariners you need by the job and project? Can they facilitate the required certifications, such as Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STWC) and any client or operational area requirements? Further, you’ll want to ensure that they have the tools need to properly manage the rotation scheduling of the hired mariners to ensure that crew changes take place smoothly.
3. Do they have the ability to manage international workers?
A reputable crewing management company should be able to manage the requirements associated with international seafarers. Common documentation required for international projects includes work visas, flag-state and immigration paperwork. You’ll also want to learn what types of immigration support they can provide, if any. These are major pain points for companies operating in international waters.
4. Can they offer travel and logistics support for the mariners?
The best crew management companies will offer 24/7 travel and logistics support to ensure that mariners arrive on site, on time for the job. Many will book and pay for travel on behalf of the crew member, and will remain on-call around the clock in case a problem with the itinerary arises, saving everyone time and hassle. A manager should never have to worry about project delays due to late or no-show crews!
The best in the business can even offer scalable services, from single hires through full technical management, including ship, maintenance or project management; procurement; risk and insurance; established safety programs; re-flagging; chartering and more.
Ultimately, a reputable provider should be able to take the worry out of crewing, while flexing to your needs – no matter how large or small – to deliver the best, most qualified and reliable mariners for your vessel or project anywhere in the world.