Page 10: of Maritime Logistics Professional Magazine (Q1 2016)

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All seafarers are looking for safe passage, reliable equip- Most crews tend to be very IT literate, and typically bring ment, comfortable quarters, great food and competent ship onboard three electronic devices. Smart phone use has mates - but what they really, really want, according to two knocked Wi-Fi-enabled laptops into second place. Those re- recent surveys, is reliable, affordable and available communi- sults line up with similar ? ndings from Crewtoo’s quarterly cations and internet access. In days gone by, there were two “Seafarers Happiness Index,” which measures satisfaction types of sailors: those who drank and those who read. Nowa- rates in 10 areas, including connectivity, which Crewtoo days, it’s mainly comprised of a third type – those who take says is one of the two top concerns, alongside shore leave. heavy advantage of digital services to stay in touch, informed Crewtoo is a social media site owned by KVH Media group and entertained. And they are looking for employers that can that has 112,000 mariner members, representing over 50 accommodate those needs. nationalities, over 30% of which work on bulk carriers and

Ships’ crew today come packing all manner of personal, container ships. The largest group of respondents – over portable electronic equipment – from smart phones to tablets, 15% – are captains, followed by engineers and then, third laptops and gaming stations. They expect to be able to use and second of? cers. The issue of internet access, connectiv- those devices to connect via social media sites; read online ity and Wi-FI is seemingly one of the most prevalent and newspapers and books; watch movies and TV shows; play emotive affecting seafarers. online games; get training; and take certi? cation tests. They expect to be able to connect home via phones, email or video The Have & Have Nots services such as Skype, to communicate with family, handle The October 2015 third-quarter survey revealed a “grow- ? nancial matters, deal with emergencies and participate in ing disparity in Internet access,” with most employers offering other online meetings. In short, they want the same connectiv- one of three connectivity scenarios aboard: good, often cheap ity and access onboard, they’d get onshore. or even free internet access; occasional access further limited by cost or technical issues; and no connectivity, a situation

Beam Me Up Scotty likened to “the stone age.”

Maritime researcher Futurenautics explored these issues in Further impacting morale, limited or poor connectivity ac- “Crew Connectivity 2015,” which follows up a similar study cess becomes an even bigger issue for crew that have dif? - done in 2014. Both surveys highlight the importance of com- culty obtaining or taking shore leave, leading to an increased munications and the needs of crewmembers, but also reveal sense of isolation, depression and loneliness. who is providing connectivity, what types of equipment need Moreover, many mariners feel that the Marine Labor Con- to be supported, and the barriers that remain to full connectiv- vention 2006 is inadequate for addressing their communica- ity. Among the key ? ndings of the 2015 report, which is based tions needs. They want the MLC updated with speci? c guide- on 3,000 responses from over 30 countries, are shown below. lines for employers on connectivity, covering access, speed, 103,000 58% 7% respondents saying they respondents reporting Futurenautics’ estimate of had access to “some zero access the numbers of mariners form of communications without connectivity all or most of the time” 10 Maritime Professional 1Q 2016I I 1-17 Q1 MP2016.indd 10 2/29/2016 10:24:23 AM

Maritime Logistics Professional

Maritime Logistics Professional magazine is published six times annually.