Shipowners can now save costs on crew transfer with the help of a high-capacity crew transportation alternative
A crew change at the open sea can be a risky process. COVID-19 related travel restrictions have resulted in hiked labour costs as seafarers remain onboard beyond their contracted periods; resulting in higher costs for extended stays onboard.
Rising crew change costs
Costs of relieving and replacing crew have reportedly increased 10 per cent between January and mid-July 2020. The fee for capesize dry-bulk carriers alone have peaked at $3,144, according to the Baltic Exchange, a publisher of benchmark shipping rates. Some shipowners have resorted to diverting vessels to a narrow number of ports that facilitate changes – incurring higher costs as a result. Other shipowners charter flights to relieve and repatriate seafarers.
Though Peter Sand, BIMCO’s chief shipping analyst noted higher crew and operational costs are usually borne by shipowners, management firm Executive Ship Management remarked shipowners may push for the extra expenses to be shared by other parties including charterers if there is no resolution to the crew change crisis.
A new cost-effective alternative
Damen Shipyards Antalya has added a cost-effective solution to facilitate crew change. Named “FCS 7011”, this vessel enables costs-savings by a pay-per-trip structure; a change from the usual day rates. With onboard comfort taking priority, the vessel for crew transfer has luxurious reclining seating with excellent visibility that enables seafarers onboard to adjust and enjoy reduced chances of seasickness. The incorporated interceptors enhance comfort by minimising pitch and roll motions.
In line with Damen’s aim of becoming the most digitalised shipbuilder, the FCS 7011 also features the brand’s Triton – a connected vessel platform. With sensors located around the vessel, the platform will collect information beneficial to operators; enabling remote monitoring, preventive maintenance and efficient sailing, resulting in lower fuel consumption and emissions.