Low freight rates and a challenging market are concerns for ship managers as they begin 2013.
A survey of members of InterManager, the international trade association for the ship and crew management industry, has identified the main concerns affecting the industry as it begins the New Year.
In addition to fears about how challenging market conditions impact on operating budgets, ship and crew managers are also concerned at the difficulties of finding and retaining quality staff – both at sea and on shore. Responding to members’ worries InterManager plans to introduce a number of new initiatives this year to address training and recruitment matters, including a Young Executives group to encourage and support the industry’s rising stars.
InterManager President Gerardo Borromeo, who took the InterManager helm last October, said: “Today’s young executives are tomorrow’s leaders and we want to do all we can to support them and help them to develop their leadership qualities.”
Bureaucracy remains a problem for the ship management sector, particularly the burdens it places on time and resources. InterManager is supporting a number of projects to help, such as crew payment by ‘plastic money’, as well as continuing to develop its industry-leading KPI system to streamline and share best practices and improve efficiency – particularly important when budgets are stretched.
InterManager will also focus its efforts this year on crew management matters – with a cadet scheme, a worldwide seafarers’ survey and training and education initiatives in the pipeline.
Mr Borromeo said: “The human element is key to successful ship management and we must ensure we work together as an industry to raise standards and to encourage good staff – the best and the brightest – to enter and stay in shipping.”
The InterManager survey of ship and crew managers (see chart below) also demonstrated that piracy and the smooth and successful introduction of the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) are also concerns for ship managers.