The shipping industry has been evolving over the years, making it far more complex and expensive than ever before. Successful companies are adopting ways to make smarter decisions to increase efficiency and reduce costs. 

The three main components in vessel operating costs or OPEX are cost optimization, cost estimation, and cost control. The costs are related to various factors like the crew costs, marine insurance, P&I, stores, spares, lubrication oil costs, repair and maintenance that includes unscheduled repairs, vessel age, lack of qualified technicians. These issues and the maintenance tasks can be alleviated if the crew are well prepared and planned.

Who are the stakeholders involved in vessel maintenance?

  • Shipowner
  • Ship operators
  • Fleet manager (technical)
  • Flag state and administrations
  • Crew

Some of the periodical inspections done during a vessel lifecycle are Administrative surveys, Class Surveys, and Certificates, Preventive Maintenance. It is essential to have a good maintenance plan that includes not only preventive maintenance but also dry docking. These inspections or maintenance are made easier with software that ensures safe, efficient management techniques for reliable and cost-effective solutions.

Crew Travel and Training Costs 

Crew quality is a rising concern among shipowners, operators, and managers. With the increase of technologies and complexities, it is all the more necessary for highly-skilled workers. Skimping on crew costs by ship owners would be an unwise move on their part. Proper training for the crew is also an important factor to be considered. Skilled workers will increase the overall operational efficiency of the ship, while inadequate training can cause accidents and mental disorders.

Retaining seafarer’s as part of the crew requires looking into their onboard satisfaction and wellness even during the downtime. Seafarers want family healthcare benefits, paid on time, training, and career progression. Without these, seafarers will look elsewhere.

Crew travel is big and complex business. A robust travel policy properly implemented ensures safety, health, comfort, and security, bringing about cost efficiency for shipowners. 

To be continued next week…