The maritime industry has been facing the issue of handling benefits for crews at sea for decades. Top management at Columbia Shipmanagement (CSM) took the initiative to allow the industry to better handle crew benefits at sea.
CSM has launched ColumbiaCrewCare, a benefit package that offers crew life insurance and an investment plan for medical costs, disability provision, pension planning, or house/car purchase.
“ColumbiaCrewCare is a cradle to grave benefits package involving a minimal and affordable contribution from the seafarer and very real benefits/investments for him or her and their families, which are accessible at any time. When it comes to caring about our seafarers, we wanted to demonstrate real commitment and to walk the walk as opposed to just talking about care,” stated Norman Schmiedl, Group Director of crewing at CSM.
It has also initiated ColumbiaFit to allow crewmembers to get fit and be healthy. A mobile app is being introduced to help crewmembers record their weight loss and allow them sign up for fitness classes, yoga, relaxation, and meditation techniques.
According to research, ill-health and obesity increases the risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19. In this aspect, CSM has made nutrition and healthy eating significant with its preferred catering partner MCTC (MCT Consultancy).
MCTC is an international maritime catering management and training business that holds the mission of changing food quality for the maritime crew to provide a healthier lifestyle through good eating habits.
“We have adopted a holistic approach to the issue of the health and well-being of our seafarers; fresh, nutritious and healthy eating provided by our preferred caterer MCTC; 24/7 mental health support and professional psychological help provided by Mental Health Support Solutions; and now a respectable benefits package for each crewmember no matter how junior and a corresponding commitment to fitness,” stated Mark O’Neil, President, and CEO of CSM.
“Crew need to no longer feel invisible. Their welfare is very much in our sights and our number one focus. A healthy crew – healthy in body and mind – is a motivated crew, a better crew,” he added.