Blockchain in the shipping industry, the safety culture among crew members, and the changing world of maritime payments were all debated at InterManager’s First Interactive Ship Managers’ Forum.
The forum was opened by Gary Pogson, lead specialist, Marine & Offshore Innovation Team, at Lloyd’s Register. Pogson posed the question ‘distributed ledger for engineered systems – hype or hope?’
“A lot of the hype over the past year or so has been driven by ICOs or Initial Coin Offerings, facilitated by smart contract capabilities on blockchain platforms such as Ethereum. This is the new crowdfunding and the numbers are significant.”
Around 60 delegates attended the forum at the Lloyd’s Register building. There was audience participation through the online app Slido. It allowed delegates to post questions and comments throughout the forum and guide the debate.
Yuzuru Goto, MD of “K” Line LNG Shipping (UK), spoke about the safety culture of crews and the launch of the “K”ARE Project. He recognised the need to improve safety culture as human error caused many accidents.
The project followed a serious incident when a “K” Line- managed ship collided with another vessel in Zeebrugge. The other vessel completely sank and there was significant damage to the “K” Line vessel.
Goto told the audience you can only shape the safety culture once you embrace failure.
“When I got the call at 3am I knew immediately that this was not a drill, it was for real.
“All you can think of is what if the worst has happened and we have lost crew members.
“Thankfully that did not happen, but there was damage to everything, and the other ship eventually sank.
“Upon reflection you ask yourself how did this happen and your initial conclusion is it is just bad luck.
“But when you look at it more deeply you realise it is down to the safety culture.”
What feeds decision making
Phil Kelly, from human performance, training and consultancy company Pro Noctis, delivered a presentation on what feeds your decision making.
Discussing the behaviour of people, Kelly said: “Particularly with today’s set of millennials, the next generation of leaders want things to be individualised.
“They want something that is not generic. Add into that automation, artificial intelligence, blockchain, cryptocurrency, and the one thing that binds this all together is us as human beings.
“There has been a lot of focus in your policies, infrastructure and IT and a lot of money invested.
“But we have forgotten about the people – and that’s not just the members of staff, that is right to the top as well. It seems the industry is a bit stuck and fearful of change.”
Continuing the discussion about people, Mark Charman, founder and CEO of Faststream Recruitment Group, spoke about seafarers and shore personnel.
He revealed that through a Perception Versus Reality report Faststream had carried out, the majority of seafarers surveyed said they would never make the transition from ship to shore.
85% said they were not interested in moving to a shore-based role.
Therefore, he concluded that attraction and recruitment is only going to get harder.
“If you don’t bear-hug your seafarers someone else will.”
Seafarer is key
Mark Robertshaw, SVP, Sales & Commercial, at Brightwell Payments took to the floor discussing the changing world of maritime payments.
He told delegates that through Brightwell’s research, the company has found that the majority of crew members fall into three categories when it comes to their pay.
- Young, single and not necessarily working towards a goal or plan
- Actively support their family back home and need to get money home to pay bills
- Want to send money home but have the luxury to watch rates and send at optimal times
Moreover, Robertshaw said some of the crew’s pay are in US dollars. However, their home currency is not in US dollars.
Therefore, it will be a big plus if an employer allows the crew to choose when they transfer the money to their home bank accounts to benefit from exchange rates.
Finally, how do we recognise the best seafarers in the world?
Roger Ringstad, MD of Seagull Maritime, revealed that the DNA of the world’s best seafarers has levels of knowledge, accuracy, speed, emotions, energy, affection and control.