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With new technologies crew remain a shipowner's greatest asset

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Shipowners and managers are embracing new business philosphies and technologies against the challenging economic backdrop the industry faces, but seafarers remain their greatest asset according to KVH Videotel.

Speaking at a knowledge sharing session for Middle East maritime executives Nikeel Idnani, Honorary Secretary IMarEST UAE branch spoke about the current market in which shipowners are navigating in a changing operating environment.

On the one hand they face changing regulations call for increased attention on environmental compliance while on the other, new innovations are surfacing through which ship managers can address regulatory issues, optimize their fleets and reduce operating costs.

Nikeel emphasized not being able to manage what is not measured with a primary reference to data which is captured onboard ships through sensors and sent ashore for analysis enabling efficiency of ship operation.

In the keynote presentation, Rob Parkin, maritime sales director for KVH, explained against a challenging global economic backdrop, ship managers, owners and charterers are embracing new business philosophies, technologies and commercial models to drive better returns, remain competitive and viable.

Parkin highlighted to shipowners that their greatest assets are their crews, not the technology. There exists an increasingly competitive challenge of recruiting and retaining ships staff since younger crew are increasingly “digital natives” with expectation of access to the internet.

Learn more about the importance of the seafarer at the ImarEST seminar at Seatrade Maritime Middle East - Original Intelligence: Maritime's human backbone

To differentiate their fleet from competition, shipowners must provide for connectivity to bolster crew morale while still being affordable since as he termed it “the dollar drives everything”.

He noted that on many vessels, a large portion of broadband data consumption was for crew’s personal use.

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