With the ongoing disruption of COVID-19 and the subsequent quarantines required whenever somebody is exposed to, or found within breathing-space of, infected individuals, the world of supply chain has struggled to rise back up to its former glory. It’s unlikely that the novel Coronavirus will stop challenging the industry any time soon, with crew members of different nationalities facing varying isolation requirements, ports requiring more notice about crew changes, and port-side testing requirements, costs, and availability differing across the globe.
Greywing’s Crew Change
To help alleviate the stress of the current citation, Greywing has innovated a solution that will enable companies to plan smarter crew changes around local COVID-19 regulations using integrated data from S5 Agency World. The platform, soon to be widely known, is simply called ‘Crew Change’.
‘COVID-19 has put the maritime supply chain at constant risk of disruption with a global mismatch of crews, containers, and ships. We can’t yet predict when quarantine, testing and vaccination requirements will change, so it’s critical that decision-makers have ready access to the data they need to react to these changes. Crew Change will not just save fleet managers millions of dollars in streamlined crew changes and reduced delays, but the trickle-down effect will mean reducing costs and inconvenience for consumers around the world’, said Nick Clarke, Chief Executive Officer at Greywing, a company building the new operating system for maritime.
Expediting Supply Chain Strain
With the integration of Crew Change, companies can access a comprehensive view of the true cost of a change at each port ─ it becomes easily visible and comparable on Greywing’s CRY4 platform, which empowers organisations to make informed decisions based on data that considers a number of complex factors.
Ultimately, Crew Change is an industry first, and it’s allowing maritime decision-markets to plan their logistics routes flexibly, redirecting ships or crews as the COVID-19 situation evolves ─ in theory, this will bring an end to the long and costly delays of container backlogs that we’ve been seeing build up across the past year or so.
Can Companies Cope Without Crew Change?
Companies can, of course, shun the idea of integrating Crew Change into their logistics system. And, I’m not here to sell the product to you. But it’s worth noting that there is currently no other way for shipping companies to predict the cost, visa, and quarantine requirements of a crew change at once. Without Crew Change, the process of managing crews would rely heavily on an internal HR effort to source port-by-port information on COVID-19 restrictions.
A time-consuming activity that would require a ridiculous amount of (wo)manpower, in reality ─ something that few companies can realistically afford to commit. And, that’s in addition to cost considerations with flying crewmembers in to manage the potential crew shortfall because of the fluctuating availability of seafarer populations from regions like South Asia and Eastern Europe.
Of course, that’s something that Crew Change addresses too. The platform enables fleet managers to compare the estimated cost of flights required to move workers to crew change ports, allowing companies to assess and mitigate the impact of their crew changes in real-time.
So companies can cope without Crew Change. Definitely ─ they have done so this far. But Greywing’s solution is the first of its kind, and by embracing technology and the digitalisation of the shipping industry, the company has come up with a solution that won’t solve the global strife but will alleviate many of the stressors currently faced by organisations.
‘The only other option to Crew Change is to slow down the maritime value chain to gather actionable intelligence on their own. For shipping companies to make quick assessments under such uncertain conditions, they need easy-to-read data to make informed decisions. In working with Greywing, we are able to package our data in a way that organisations can seamlessly review COVID-19 restrictions against other key factors and take decisive action to keep global supply chains open’, said Jason Berman, Chief Commercial Officer at S5 Agency World.