NYK, AIS automate tugboat attendance management, allowance calculation

As part of a digitalization project aimed at improving attractiveness of the tugboat industry, which is hit by labor shortages, NYK in collaboration with AIS, a software developer, will improve the efficiency of attendance management and allowance calculations by introducing TRANS-Crew, AIS’s labor management system for seafarers. 

Starting with this, NYK will also promote digitalization for inspection work and skill transfer among crew members in the future, aiming to address issues in the tugboat industry.

Tugboats are small vessels that assist large vessels with leaving and entering port wharves and are an essential part of logistics behind the scenes. 

To make the tugboat industry an attractive workplace, NYK launched its Tugboat DX Project in 2022 to use digital technology to address problems in this industry. As NYK researched tugboat-related operations, the issue of improving the efficiency of seafarer attendance and benefit calculation emerged.

Tugboat operations and crew embarkation plans change frequently according to the schedules of large vessels. As a result, tugboat companies spend a lot of time and effort managing time and attendance, such as linking crew members’ embarkation plans to their actual performance. 

They also calculate complex allowances that change with the crew’s position and time on board. In April 2022, the Seafarers’ Law concerning labor contracts and working hours for seafarers was revised, requiring strict control of seafarers’ working hours.

Based on the needs NYK has gathered from its affiliate tugboat companies, NYK will implement complex attendance management and allowance tabulation functions unique to tugboats, which have been considered challenging to systemize, into AIS’s TRANS-Crew. 

NYK and AIS plan to release the first of the new functions of TRANS-Crew in the fall of 2023 and the final version by the end of the year, aiming to link the information entered and tabulated in TRANS-Crew with commercially available payroll systems.

In the future, NYK will further promote its Tugboat DX Project to improve the attractiveness of the tugboat industry and the sustainability of the NYK Group’s tugboat business.

Photo credit: iStock/ Angel Di Bilio

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