A market for crew change experts emerged
Looking back, the maritime industry had its fair share of struggles from the pandemic. Overtly cautious authorities are not lifting their strict regulations for safety’s sake. For shipowners and charterers struggling to execute crew change, there is now a group of specialists who can make it happen.
Effective network is key
Dutch company, Boers Crew Services specialises in getting crew replaced for vessels at ports. Peter Smit, Co-CEO said, “We move around 10,000 crew members annually. This involves arranging about 20,000 visas with embassies around the world, and we now have about 20–30 per cent more customers since this time in 2020.” Hans Boers, another Co-CEO added, “The most important thing for us is to get seafarers who are the engines of the world from A to B – even when embassies are closed. If that happens, we have the contacts to get things done.”
Boers explained that arranging visas at short notice is challenging for shipping companies. Getting permission from immigration to let seafarers off the ship while in port for a crew change is one area that Boers specialises in. “Good communication and preparation are keys. We speak to immigration before the new crew lands at the airport, to see if they will allow us to sign off the people currently on board the vessel.” Boer highlighted.
Boers Crew Services also helps governments roll out the COVID-19 vaccines to crew waiting to board a ship or fly home to their families. “We have everything in place to assist port authorities in providing vaccinations for every seafarer – regardless of being at airside or staying in transit. Ultimately, our job is to get people onto ships or back home,” Smit concluded. The million-dollar question is: why did this group of experts not appear sooner? Or does most companies need to work on their communications with various port authorities?
Crewing Online News Team
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