pulse SAILING CYBER SECURE FROM $1 A DAY WOMEN OF WALLEM SEAVIEW: ONE WALLEM SHIP AGENCY: DRIVING TRANSPARENCY & EFFICIENCY TEXTBOOK RESCUE IN THE PACIFIC
2019 ISSUE TWO
FROM 3 MESSAGE THE CEO
CYBER 7 SAILING SECURE FROM $1 A DAY
SEA VIEW: 11 ONE Wallem
TEXTBOOK RESCUE IN THE PACIFIC
CREW EMPOWERMENT WOMEN OF WALLEM
SUBSCRIPTION AND QUESTIONS: firstname.lastname@example.org
MESSAGE FROM THE CEO
n the first issue my article was headed “Feel the Pulse” to encourage everyone to embrace the changes as we moved forwards. In this issue I want to “Hear the Pulse”, of staff ashore and on board all over the world engaging in dialogue about safety, change and, the many projects we have underway. At Wallem, we are changing the narrative on safety, on engagement with the staff at sea. We are focused on a voyage towards a modernised transparent solution for maritime services and solutions. The pulse of change in the modernisation of our processes and systems is continuing unabated, and the BASSnet project is going well. A big shout out to the project team on this, and to the many other domain supporters who are helping the project work remain and maintain a good level of pace. We should not underestimate the effort and dedication across the company that is required in an undertaking of this magnitude. Also, the work on our new HR systems, our new CRM and our new Agency software all continues apace with a great level of energy, and dedication. Since the publication of the first issue, we have also held three of our four annual Wallem Fleet Officer meetings in Manila, Delhi and Odessa. I was lucky enough to be able to make the Delhi conference. These events are a privilege to attend. We always welcome owners sending their representatives to participate and hear what the staff have to say. Nothing matches engaging in an open discussion about conditions of work, benefits and other topics near and dear to the seafarer. Engagement and respect are at the forefront of safety because without respect and collaboration, safety process and manuals have limited value. A large thank you to those who worked hard to put these together, it takes time and effort that I assure them is appreciated by all, and especially by me. Safety is a topic that is always top of the list in shipping and maritime world. We all talk about it, we are all supposed to respect it, yet we do not always practice it. Here at Wallem, we have always been keen to promote safety. However, recently, we have made an extra effort to examine our efforts and refocus our minds on what being safe means. Most in maritime would think of ship safety, but while this is critical, the need for safe behaviors in all we do is often missed. Cell phone habits have brought about lots of unsafe situations, whether using an escalator, walking in the street or
driving a car. Not using a seat belt, or not using a taxi that does not have seat belts fitted are all actions we should be aware of. Over the next few months, we will enhance and embrace a higher level of safety awareness in our offices worldwide. This was also a topic of significant debate at the Wallem Fleet Officers meetings. We made clear to the team that using the STOP card whenever there are unsafe practices is a prerequisite to being a Wallem employee. This will receive the FULL support of the Wallem management, and nobody should be afraid to use the STOP card for a valid reason in an unsafe situation. Our passion at Wallem to drive change remains unbridled, and we are starting to see the results as the company moves forwards. Stay safe and be safe. Frank J Coles Chief Executive Officer Wallem Group
GSB tanker trio joins Wallem fleet
Wallem has been selected by Golden Stena Baycrest (GSB) Tankers Pte Ltd of UAE as a technical manager for three 2009-built vessels, GSW Forward (11,261 GT), GS Avenue (6,149GT) and GS Adventure (6,153 GT). GSB Tankers’ main trades are edible oils, chemicals and clean petroleum products (CPP). Mishu Raja, Technical Superintendent at Wallem, said: “We are proud to partner with GSB. Due to the products they carry and tight contractual obligations, tankers demand particular attention is given to environmental stewardship and bestpractice, so we look forward to delivering the world-class customer service honed on decades of experience that is synonymous with the Wallem name.”
PSC zeroes in on Emergency Systems & Procedures
The member authorities of the Tokyo and the Paris Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Port State Control have launched a joint Concentrated Inspection Campaign (CIC) on Emergency Systems and
Procedures. Running from 1 September 2019 to 30 November 2019, the campaign pertains to all vessels, regardless of type. For the duration of the CIC, inspectors will be paying special attention to verifying the readiness of crew and emergency equipment, including launching and recovery of lifeboat systems in an abandon ship drill and crew familiarisation with conducting these operations. Mandatory annual inspections by SeaSafe Lifeboats include onboard crew audits, training and review of launching & recovery procedures specific to the equipment onboard, at no extra cost. For more information and to schedule an annual inspection, contact the SeaSafe team on: email@example.com
Royal Caribbean opts for Wallem Agency in Myanmar
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCCL), one of the world’s largest and most well-known cruise line operators, has appointed Wallem to provide ship agency services to its vessels calling at Yangon Port in Myanmar. Wallem will provide ship husbandry, guest and crew medical
support, crew movement, safety and security services. Managing director for Ship Agency at Wallem, Dickson Chin, commented: “We are proud to be awarded such a prestigious contract by RCCL and expand our services to Myanmar after our successful cooperation in Hong Kong and Singapore. As the leading cruise ship agent in Asia, our team consistently delivers exceptional service and experience to our customers, so we are looking forward to welcoming RCCL cruise ships and their crew to Myanmar.”
Wallem Vietnam hosts Philippine naval guest
Wallem’s Ship Agency team in Vietnam recently played host to an unusual visitor. The team successfully attended to BRP Ramon Alcaraz, an offshore patrol vessel in the Philippine Navy, which visited Ho Chi Minh Port for three days in early September, following a joint naval exercise in the South China Sea. Wallem acted as a sub-agent to the Philippine Navy’s general agent Syarikat Maju Chantan Shipping and Forwarding. The 115m long Ramon Alcaraz, or PS 16, with top speed of 29 knots took part in first ever joint exercise mounted by the US Navy
and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which involved as many as 1,260 military personnel, eight warships, and four aircraft from 11 nations across a vast sea area stretching from Thailand’s Sattahip naval base to Vietnam’s Gulf of Tonkin and Cape Cà Mau and down to Singapore. After the drill concluded, the Philippines warship steamed towards Ho Chi Minh Port. With only 24-hours notice of its arrival, Wallem’s Vietnam team arranged the port call and coordinated every aspect of the visit including liaison with multiple stakeholders. General Manager for Ship Agency in Vietnam, Tu Anh Bui, said that although it was the first Philippine’s naval ship that the office had ever handled, all the officers on board were highly satisfied with the services Wallem provided during its brief stopover in the Vietnamese capital. TECHNOLOGY
BASSNet roll-out steams ahead
In April 2019, Wallem announced the roll out of BASSnet, a suite of integrated
software, that will soon be used companywide for managing the entire fleet. Over the last six months the project team have been working at full steam as they get everything ready. Project Director Abhijit Ghosh, who is overseeing the implementation, described to Wallem Pulse some of the major milestones reached so far.
BASSNet implementation is running to schedule. We have made strong headway on various IT integrations & pilot vessels build-up.
“I’m happy to report that the implementation is running to schedule. Crucially, we have created the database for the ‘Safety’ and ‘Maintenance’ modules for the vessels involved in the pilot phase, and made strong headway on various IT integrations, individual pilot vessel build-up, and revision of present financial processes.
In fact, we are involving Wallem senior officers at every stage of the project to ensure as much as possible of their experience and expertise is captured for when the system goes live.”
Abhijit Ghosh and his colleagues from BASSnet are working hand-in-hand with a number of Wallem Masters and Chief Engineers and other in-house staff. Abhijit explains the benefits of this collaborative approach: “Their input and intimate knowledge of Wallem systems was invaluable in defining the database configurations and roles for each module, for example. Without them, we wouldn’t have made the progress we have.
A team of domain experts is currently working on aligning the Safety Management System to BASSnet processes. This is a major undertaking as the process flow has to be correctly incorporated for each module. Whilst keeping an eye on overall progress, Abhijit says, the project team is continually checking and double-checking its work to mitigate risks. “Our aim is to achieve a zero-defect solution, as we proceed towards the execution phase.” ∎
Basilio A. Ogatis WELLNESS @ SEA
Health & Wellness Campaign gets underway
August saw the start of this year’s Wallem Health & Wellness Campaign aboard all Wallem-managed vessels. Forming part of the Wellness@Sea Programme, the ongoing campaign tackles a different theme each year to raise awareness among the seafarers on importance of mental & physical health. Wallem Port Superintendent Rohit Jolly is a member of the team running the campaign, which this year puts the spotlight on physical health: “The wellness of our seafarers is an utmost priority. We believe that physical wellness is intrinsically linked to emotional and mental wellbeing, which is why this year we are focusing on helping our seafarers make better choices about their physical health. By looking after the wellness of our seafarers, we are also looking after the worldclass services we provide to our customers.” The campaign highlights simple steps seafarers can take towards maintaining a healthier lifestyle. These include keeping a balanced diet and remembering to eat plenty of fruit and vegetables; getting regular exercise and building physical activities into daily routines; cutting down on the coffee to reduce caffeine intake; as well as tips for building a wind-down routine to alleviate stress and improve sleep quality. Chief Officer onboard Seas 5, Basilio A. Ogatis, told Wallem Pulse: “The programme
really drives home the importance of mental and physical health. It teaches us methods for managing fatigue and simple tricks to help control our emotions in stressful situations.
Are we doing enough to protect seafarers’ human rights? It astounds me how countries seem willing to abandon their citizens if those citizens happen to be seafarers who through no fault of their own are caught up in the arrest or detainment of a ship. At best, they work so slowly they might as well be are inert. The ITF does the best it can with the resources it has available but receives no way near the support it needs. Besides, something seems inherently wrong when we have to rely on charity organisations to try and free these seafarers. When any normal business
You learn to be more focused and resilient even when under pressure. It also provides guidance on how to help and support our crew members when someone is in distress.” ∎
runs out of money, the staff can go home. Yet when a shipping company flounders, the investment fund writes off the bad investment and simply walks away from the whole affair. In doing so, it leaves the crew stranded. Nobody wants to pick up the bill for their flight home. Because the local port won’t allow the ship to be unmanned, conditions onboard rapidly deteriorate despite the crew’s best efforts. I think there are two solutions worth considering. The first requires ship owners to pay into an international crew fund to deal with these situations and ensure crew are repatriated to their home countries and reunited with their families after their ordeal. The second is for arresting agents and local ports to have an obligation to provide a local replacement crew, so that the original crew are not stuck while the vessel is in legal limbo. Finally, at a more fundamental level, national governments should take greater accountability for the welfare of their citizens. Frank Coles, Wallem Group CEO
Sailing Cyber Secure From $1 A Day Text by Rod Steel, Head of IT, Wallem Group
aintaining shipboard PCs in the same way as the rest of a vessel’s machinery makes more sense than crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, writes Rod Steel, Wallem’s Head of IT Most vessels run a planned maintenance system (PMS) of some sort, but one type of item you are unlikely to find scrolling down its manifest of equipment to be inspected and attended to are the PCs and related apparatus that have become so vital in keeping a vessel sailing these days. This is doubly ironic since the operation of the PMS itself relies on such a PC. Vessel PCs typically get replaced at five-year intervals during dry docking. By this time, they are older than most PCs used onshore, which are generally expected to last three or four years, and that is in a benign environment without the vibration, shocks and voltage irregularities that machines on board must endure. Moreover, the limited connectivity available on most ships means their PCs are seldom updated with service packs or security patches that form a routine part of cyber defense in our office installations. One estimate I’ve seen suggests nearly one-in-ten PCs on ships are still running Windows XP – an operating system that was officially discontinued 15 years ago. With Microsoft due to stop support for Windows 7 next year, the situation is about to become significantly worse! According to Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers of the United States, there are two certainties in life: death and taxes. Had Franklin lived in modern times, I believe he would have added hard disk failures to his list. Running spinning hard disks in a shipboard environment, often 24/7 for years at a time, and expecting them not to fail is asking for trouble. It’s a when-not-if problem. And you can almost guarantee
that the breakdown will happen at a bad time! Leaving PCs uncared for is unwise for another reason. It increases the chance of a cyber incident, especially given the frequent reliance on USB sticks to transfer data between shore and ship. Crew frustration also builds as PCs slow down or run out of storage. While it is inconceivable a pump or compressor would be fitted on a ship and expected to run for years without following some sort of maintenance regimen, that’s exactly what happens with the business PCs on too many vessels. However, the tide is beginning to turn. The arrival of high throughput VSAT as a cost-effective replacement for older broadband services like Inmarsat’s FleetBroadband means it is now possible to run a shipboard IT environment to the same standard as one in a typical office without investment in specialist hardware and software. This turbocharged connectivity lets service desk staff remotely access equipment on board to perform upgrades, health checks and other housekeeping tasks on equipment. Critical patches can be applied in a timely manner, keeping the shipboard environment as secure as possible. With non-stop coverage of cyber security in the maritime press, it is astounding how many owners ignore the basics of replacing PCs at timely intervals with hardware running on a modern operating system that is regularly updated. Those who chose not to surely face a fourth certainty: cyber security breaches. It may sound like an extra expense but replacing the shipboard PCs regularly makes remarkably good economic sense. Working out at roughly $1 per day, it’s probably one of the most cost-effective cyber security precautions you can take! ∎
shipboard PCs regularly makes remarkably good economic sense.
COVER S TORY
Empowered crew propel shipping forward Ship management needs to move with the times if it is to support emerging needs of ship operation in the early-mid 21st century. In responding to new regulations, technologies and greater automation, we must take steps to address their implications on the seafarers at the sharp end of vessel operation. Looking after the crew means putting at their disposal the best available technology and training tools to ensure safety and efficiency at sea, protecting them when they need support from the shore, and continuously addressing their HR needs and career aspirations. “We are nothing without our crew and our staff ”, says Frank Coles, Wallem Group CEO. “They are the glue that creates the brand, and so providing a quality workplace encourages quality and loyal people.” To empower its crew, which today includes a pool of 7,000 seafarers worldwide, Wallem has taken a holistic approach to develop a framework for training, talent development, welfare and diversity.
People power forward As onboard equipment becomes more complex, troubleshooting and even maintenance will increasingly call for interaction with shorebased colleagues. The emphasis in training is therefore shifting towards soft skills, such as teamwork, leadership and communication rather than focusing purely on the mechanics of a skill. Wallem seafarers undergo regular training to internal competency standards that stand well above mandatory minimums, beginning with instruction on core safety, environmental and technical requirements for vessel operation. Wallem has eight training centres in crewing hubs worldwide and has recently invested US$ 1M to rebuild its training centre in Manila. In addition, the training centre in India will soon move into one custom-designed building, moving three sites into one, including installation of brand-new state-of-the-art simulators. The training centres provide the crew with an immersive environment to hone existing skills and acquire new ones. Training is delivered using the latest simulators, in interactive classroom sessions led by experienced instructors, and online computerbased training. At the foundation is a library of 500 courses covering core competencies, topics particular to specific vessel types and trades, and owner-specific requirements. This library is continually expanding as new training needs arise, reflecting regulatory, technological and commercial developments. IMO’s global sulphur cap is a typical example. Like many others, Wallem manages some ships
that feature exhaust gas scrubbers and others that will switch to lower sulphur fuels to comply. Figuring out the impacts on engine performance and fuel consistency has been a key step in creating a training package to prepare those working onboard, according to Fared Khan, Marine Director, Wallem Group. “While commercial discussions and technical debates are important, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that ultimately crew will be the ones expected to use these systems and deal with new fuels,” he says. It is a particular example which makes plain the reliance of successful vessel management on crews, but it is also one showing how each element of crew training, operations, communications - and indeed wellbeing - need to be aligned and seen in a wider context. For example, Fared Khan says. Wallem’s training is also designed to instil an appreciation of commercial considerations, helping crews to see their work within the bigger picture and realise how their actions and behaviours make a difference. Other courses are formulated to take account of relevant internal policies of different owners, which can vary significantly. Courses draw on real-life scenarios and incidents, making them more relatable and improving the absorption of concepts and procedures. This approach provides greater context for learners and more opportunities for instilling soft skills. As Frank Coles puts it: “You cannot deliver technical services that meet multiple industry objectives on efficiency, safety and the environment based on wishful thinking. You need a competent, well-trained crew.”
Empowering seafarers is critical to upholding Wallem’s reputation as a provider of world-class services.
Supportive environment However, training is only one side of the coin. Looking after crew by providing a working environment where they feel respected, valued and supported engenders loyalty, creating a culture based on taking pride in quality and safety. This realisation prompted Wallem to establish a Wellness Management System (WMS) focused on crew physical and mental wellbeing. Since its inception in 2015, the system has expanded to tackle issues such as bullying and harassment, cyber-wellness and gender. Feedback from the company’s workforce has been instrumental in determining the direction of this evolution. When the system was initially created with the guidance of a clinical psychologist with maritime expertise, it emphasised the importance of sleep, exercise, a balanced diet and mindfulness in boosting resilience to stress and as first step coping mechanisms for seafarers struggling with mental health issues. These topics feature prominently in Wallem’s pre-joining safety briefings and are continually reinforced through scheduled workshops. Having dedicated communication channels for wellness issues means Wallem’s shore staff can take positive action to address issues much sooner than was previously possible. Intervening in problems early has proved highly effective in preventing escalation, resulting in a marked reduction in the number of conflicts reported onboard.
Providing a quality workplace encourages quality and loyal people.
COVER S TORY
Staff have praised the programme for giving them ways to deal with fatigue and control emotions in stressful situations, as well as the techniques it offers for helping and supporting colleagues under strain. One AB commended the programme for imparting listening skills, which encourage ‘mutual honesty and respect to your crew mates’.
On board with diversity Empowering seafarers and the colleagues who support them from shore is critical to upholding Wallem’s reputation as a provider of world-class services. But technology alone cannot address broader issues affecting the lives of people working at sea. Diversity in an organisation as a whole is essential because when managed well, it encourages growth; allows for the incorporation of more ideas and innovation; allows for tapping into a wider talent pool and reduces the vulnerability that comes with only having one form of thought. Diversity is linked to wellness as the culture onboard a vessel can drastically affect a seafarer’s wellbeing. Fostering a positive and supportive culture at sea mitigates risks and builds overall productivity which echoes Wallem’s value of ‘supporting quality through safety’ “Wallem is committed to promoting gender diversity and creating supportive and respectful environments both onshore and onboard Wallem-managed ships that allow everyone to flourish”, says Frank Coles. “Wallem remains one of the biggest employers of women seafarers. As crew shortages become more acute, it is ridiculous to disregard half the pool of possible candidates based on gender.” And, while addressing the entire workforce using a holistic approach that takes in training, wellbeing and diversity, Wallem has also been able to attain a seafarers retention rate of 88 per cent - one of the highest across the entire shipping industry. “At Wallem, we cherish the technical expertise, the ingenuity, and, above all, the dedication of the skilled men and women who are pivotal in our success,“ says Frank Coles. Today the shipping industry is being pushed into uncharted waters by building regulatory momentum to tackle greenhouse gases and the exciting possibilities opened up by digitalisation. While no one quite knows exactly what technological solutions will emerge, we can be certain about is that human talent in will not only remain relevant to safe and efficient fleet operation but become more important than ever. ∎
SEAVIEW Several times a year Wallem’s fleet officers and shore team get together for the Fleet Officer Meetings (WFOM) in various locations around the world. In August and September such meetings took place in Manila, the Philippines and New Delhi, India. The theme for the WFOMs this year is ‘ONE Wallem. Modernising Shipping Together’. “The focus and objectives of these meetings is engagement with the officers for input into how to do better in providing service and solutions for ship owners. It’s not about technical lectures; it is more and more about safety and how we work together,” – says Frank Coles, Wallem Group CEO.
“In my view, ONE Wallem means teamwork, engagement, respect, trust and open communication towards the development of safety, competency and success of the company. Skilled and well-trained people are essential in this”. Therese Joy Juaniza Wiper
We asked our seafarers what ONE Wallem means to them during the WFOMs in Manila and Delhi.
“One Wallem provides equal growth opportunities for all employees without any bias or prejudice based on race or gender. We are united and we stand together. We focus on attitudes and the human factor; and we are prepared to change old methods of working. This helps us to achieve higher levels of safety and quality in what we do”. Josephine Jennifer Lenceia Anto Coreara ETO
“ONE Wallem means that we are equal in communications between ship and shore regardless of rank. We work together as a team”. Reynoso V Eda Third Officer
“We need to recognize the involvement of each person, regardless of rank and position. In Wallem, each role in the company is vital to success”. Melvin G Pallado Chief Officer
“In this competitive arena, the survival and progress of an organisation depend on the cohesiveness of its most important resource: its PEOPLE. Ship staff and shore staff work together as a family with full commitment and responsibility, standing up for each other, embracing change and helping each other out to achieve the common goal of safety and operational excellence”. Capt. Rahul Singh Master
“We work together as ONE Wallem by thoroughly engaging in the safety mindset where everyone can be heard, and we work together for continuous improvement”. Jose Sales Master
Wallem Seafarers at the WFOM Manila
“ONE Wallem for me is a commitment of everyone in the organization to stay on course in our vision to provide quality service to our customers”. Lewis Terence M Ang Junior Engineer
WFOM Manila “One of the most important highlights in One Wallem is how we communicate. Information is always shared between the office and vessels and it gives the seafarers onboard a feeling of being a part of the team and encourages teamwork and high performance. Training also plays a crucial role and is helping us to address various situations onboard in the most efficient manner”. Gaurav Shyam Srivastava Second Engineer
“Breaking down the silos is what One Wallem means to me. We develop synergies by working together. This is especially important in the fast-paced automation of the shipping industry. The seafarers must quickly learn and adopt new and advanced technologies while streamlining existing processes, with the help of timely training”. Rahul Srivastava Chief Officer
“For me ONE Wallem means that we work together as a team, to create, improve and adapt for our common goal to modernise shipping”. Kristoffer C Asis Second Officer
Women of Wallem (India) with the Wallem Group CEO Frank Coles and Mrs. Coles
“We are constantly striving to be more effective and efficient in delivering quality service. We work together with full transparency to promote harmonious relationships, both onboard and ashore”. Shenna Managaytay Fourth Engineer
“While our industry has just started to realise the potential of women and talk about equality and inclusion, Wallem has been promoting diversity for a long time. In One Wallem we all work together as a team. Religion, nationality and gender make no difference, no matter what the rank. We are interconnected and we all help each other”. Amita Second Officer
We should empower each other, break the barriers and deliver exceptional customer service. We need to work in one direction and always stay committed to our goals. June Del Maur Able Seaman
WOMEN OF WALLEM
WOMEN of WALLEM The Women of Wallem, or WoW, is a non-profit organization which unites mothers, wives, girlfriends of Wallem seafarers. With chapters located in the hometowns of the Wallem seafarers, WoW regularly organizes community outreach programs, life-skill workshops, socially oriented get-togethers, and in some places even Zumba classes. We spoke with Mrs Licette Reyes, Chairwoman for WoW in Manila, Philippines, and Mrs Dhapare, Chairwoman for WoW Chapter in Mumbai, India, to find out what it means to be a WoW member. Mrs Licette Reyes Manila, Philippines
How did Women of Wallem start in the Philippines? Women of Wallem started in the Philippines in 2007. It began as an informal group with fewer than 20 wives of seafarers from Viken Shipping. We’ve since expanded by setting up chapters in Cebu and Iloilo, on the southeastern tip of Panay island. Our membership has more than tripled, with over 60 members across the Philippines, all of whom are volunteers, including mothers, wives, sisters or girlfriends of Wallem seafarers. What kind of activities does WoW arrange? WoW organizes a whole range of activities. Some are related to health and wellness, such as fun runs, classes in yoga and Zumba, and annual flu vaccinations. Others focus on education. Our ‘Back to School’ program, for example, was set up to encourage children to study hard at school by offering them book tokens and other rewards at the end of the school year. Community outreach is another important activity, where our members visit vulnerable or less fortunate people around us, including the elderly, the disabled and orphaned/abandoned children. We also run seminars and workshops on household finance and even setting up small businesses as a way of helping our members
acquire new skills and improve their livelihood. But not everything we do is serious; we also have fun celebrating festivals. You can count on us for parties during Easter, Halloween and Christmas, and every summer, we organize a special outing to help members get to know and strengthen links with one another. What’s the biggest challenge of being a mother, wife, or girlfriend of a seafarer? As a mother, I found it very difficult when my son first went away for his one-year cadetship. It was hard to get in touch with him, because of the time difference and work hours. Even when I reached him, sometimes he was too tired to speak for long. Now, five years on, he’s climbed the ranks to become a Fourth Engineer, but still, I get worried when he doesn’t reply to my messages! The difficulties faced by the seafarers’ wives are more challenging as they have to bring up the children, manage household finances and try to solve any problems life throws at them on their own. Can you share a story or incident that makes you feel proud of your work at WoW? I am proud of how WoW assists its members in setting up small businesses utilizing their skills, whether sewing, baking or whatever else. This, combined with the knowledge they gain from our workshops, means they can be financially independent and contribute to their families. When I see their businesses are doing well, it makes me feel that our effort is worthwhile.
Mrs Anita Dhapare Mumbai, India
How did WoW start in Mumbai? The Mumbai chapter of WoW was born in 2004. There were about 40 of us who got to know one another for a common reason: we were all seafarers’ wives. Today, we have branches operating in Calcutta and Delhi, but regardless of location our goals are the same: to let seafarers wives and their families come together and help each other overcome any difficulties which we might face. What kind of activities does the WoW team organize? In Mumbai, we’ve run many activities helping local orphanages. We recently visited a school for the street kids and donated essential supplies – things we take for granted – like stationery and clothing. It was a humbling experience but a very worthwhile project. We also visited a nursing home, and spent time chatting to the residents who do not have family to rely on or many visitors. They were so appreciative of our companionship. What’s the biggest challenge of being a mother, a wife or a girlfriend of a seafarer? Oh, wow. This is a nice question. Okay, so I married my husband 35 years ago in 1984, but even then, he had been already sailing with Wallem for three years. So, it’s been a long time with Wallem. It’s a big challenge looking after and raising your family when your husband
spends so long at sea, but I believe it’s a positive challenge. It has helped me put my kids on track for good careers. I looked after and brought them up. You know, it gives you an immense satisfaction. You feel like you have achieved something. If you could go back and choose again, would you have married a seafarer or not? Definitely a seafarer! In my family, it’s not only my husband. My son is also in the same field. In fact, he’s also with Wallem. My other son chose the air over the sea and became a pilot. These are challenging jobs with lots of responsibility so I’m really proud of them. What message would you like to give women in the maritime industry and other WoW members? It is a job where you face many challenges, but they will make you feel great about yourself. A woman has so much power in herself. She can handle both home and career simultaneously, and this is what actually nowadays many women do. ∎
Join WOMEN of WALLEM
If you are interested in getting involved or joining a WoW chapter, or even setting up a new one, then get in touch Philippines Ms Charolyn Maur: firstname.lastname@example.org India Ms Richa Daroh: RLD@wallem.com
SH IP AGENCY
driving efficiency and transparency
Wallem is preparing to roll out two new software tools, which used in tandem will revolutionize its ship agency business. The a3 Agency System and Sedna collaborative platform will help staff deliver world-class service to its customers.
Dickson Chin 16
verseeing the a3 and Sedna implementation is Wallem’s IT Projects Director Andy Chan. He believes the new systems will transform the way staff in Wallem’s agency business carry out their work: “The cloud-based a3 Agency System is designed specifically for the shipping business. Its pre-defined workflows and powerful off-the-shelf features enable Wallem to standardize its business processes, operations, and reporting. Taking advantage of pre-built integrations between a3 and SEDNA, we are deploying them as a unified platform to streamline operation, communication and collaboration.” With each appointment, agents must attend to mountains of documentation, including cargo manifests, letters of authority, notices of readiness, stowage plans and bills of lading. At the same time, they have to watch over every stage of the port call, liaising with numerous stakeholders to make sure that a string of tasks is completed in the right way and the right order. The a3 Agency System automates these processes, saving time and reducing the risk of error. It also makes it easier for staff to keep track of progress for the duration of a port call and generate reports on key operational metrics, such as time in port, operational delays and the KPIs that are important to the principals for greater transparency about their vessels and cargoes. a3 will be integrated with Sedna, a collaborative platform which provides team inboxes allowing
BEHIND THE SCENES: Andy Chan,
staff to work together on incoming messages and increase their responsiveness to customers. Instead of forwarding or copying team members on critical messages and the subsequent chain of responses and internal discussion, Sedna lets users work from a single platform, where all communications are shared, and every attachment, tag, and comment is held in one place. This arrangement better aligns with the complex transactions common in ship agency where large teams are required to work on the same project over a prolonged period. “We want to be more efficient and leverage the technology to deliver top-level customer support. Timely response and transparency of communication are essential for any business but especially so when there are multiple stakeholders involved. a3 and Sedna will help us to process data more quickly and be less prone to human errors, at the same time all involved parties will have a complete overview at hand anytime, anywhere”, says Dickson Chin, Managing Director for Ship Agency at Wallem.
IT Project Director, reveals how the new systems will be implemented. Over the past three months Wallem’s IT department have worked tirelessly with a team of specialists from a3 to prepare the new software environment so that it can be rolled out to users beginning later this year. Besides delivering longterm improvements in productivity, a3 will ensure accuracy, consistency, and transparency in the handling of financial and operational data. Managing changes in people and process is arguably the hardest and most critical factor in the success of this project. The wide variety of tasks that arise and the fast turnaround times needed in our agency business present unique challenges for adopting standardized workflows and procedures. Wallem stands committed to creating more effective processes that trim wasteful admin, help its staff focus on what matters, perform their role with agility and drive the business forward. Whatever way you look at it, ship agency is a complex business, but the introduction of a3 and Sedna is a significant first step in realizing this goal. Our team is providing regular updates to Wallem’s agency teams around the world as the project progresses. The team is also liaising closely with domain experts on designing new practices, whilst preparing training resources that will help users get to grips and make the most of new technology. Over summer, a series of discovery and design workshops were held in Hong Kong and Singapore, which will be the first two offices to adopt the new software later this year. We are working all out to prepare system configuration, financial integration, and Sedna implementation to achieve a successful deployment.
TEXTBOOK RESCUE IN THE PACIFIC
In August 2019, the Wallem-managed bulk carrier, ISL Star, participated in an AMVER search-andrescue mission to recover eight fishermen adrift in the Pacific Ocean. Although it was the first time the vessel’s Master and crew had ever carried out a rescue, excellent teamwork and adherence to procedure meant the operation proceeded without a glitch
he Hallelujar, a 60ft Indonesian-flagged fishing vessel of wooden construction, had been adrift for 10 days when ISL Star received a message from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) that the crew on board was seeking immediate assistance. By the time of the rescue, the eight crew members on board had run out of food and freshwater. “In situations like this working together really is essential”, said Capt. A. Misra, who was Master on board ISL Star when the incident happened. Throughout the 15-hour operation, keeping constant communication with the USCG, Wallem shore team and Rescue Coordination Centre (RCC) in Guam, the crew was able to conduct what can only be described as a textbook rescue. “When we arrived at Hallelujar’s last reported position, there was no sign of the distressed boat or crew members in the water. After a tense wait, the SAR mission coordinators in Guam provided us with a new search pattern based on the latest intelligence. The hunt resumed, but no sightings of the Indonesian fishermen or their boat were made”, said Capt. Misra. The RCC offered fresh information at 1200hrs after the Hallelujar was spotted from the air just 16NM from ISL Star’s current position. The U.S. Navy pilot reported that, after calls made from the vessel to his plane as he passed overhead, he could confirm that all eight crew were alive. The Wallem ship immediately set a course for the stricken boat, arriving at 1320hrs. Meanwhile, the crew went about extensive preparations for the rescue, including placing lifebuoys on along both sides of the deck, hanging nets down the sides of the vessel and readying a rescue boat for launch if required. “The most challenging part of the operation arrived when we had to manoeuvre and recover the fisherman one by one”, recalls
Capt. Misra. “After sighting the ship, they had abandoned their boat and become dispersed in swell of more than three metres. Some were floating in water without lifejackets, some on a small oar boat, while others still had clambered on a life-raft dropped by the U.S. SAR patrol aircraft.” It took a rare combination of skill and patience to steer the 225m-long bulk carrier and align it alongside individual survivors without endangering their fellow crew, whilst keeping a careful eye on the movement of the abandoned fishing vessel which was now adrift and in close proximity to the scene. As soon as the fishermen had been safely brought on board, the focus immediately shifted to their welfare. The crew had to act methodically whilst treating the survivors with dignity. Straightaway they were given freshwater to drink as they were showing signs of dehydration. After recuperating a little, they were taken for a medical examination to check for injuries and then issued with clean clothes and allowed to rest. Before handing responsibility for the rescued fishermen to the Palau authorities, Capt. Misra made sure that each of them received a food package, encouraging them to build their strength on their way to the island. By this point, more than 15 hours had passed since ISL Star diverted from its planned course to mount the rescue operation and ship’s crew had been on high alert for the duration. It was the first time Capt Misra had led a rescue operation of this sort in his 21-year career: “I am immensely proud of the way the crew came together to save the lives of the eight fishermen. It is something I will never forget.” Wallem is very proud of Capt. Misra and the entire crew of the ISL Star, and the professionalism they demonstrated at every stage of the rescue operation. ∎