Communication between ship and shore is easier than ever before. Does ease of communication help to promote trust between ship and shore?


Capt. Fared Khan
Marine Director , Wallem Sjhip Management
Capt. Nicolo Terrei
General Manager, RINA Academy Philippines
Yes, in today’s connected world, ease of communication between ship and shore does promote trust. At Wallem we believe that engagement with open communication within the teams onboard and all ashore promotes transparency and trust. Open communication is essential in breaking down any barriers between ship and shore, building high performing teams who deliver positive results. Using communication technology today to share expectations and challenges real time is a powerful tool if used effectively. Video and phone calls between ship and shore bring the important human touch to the demanding maritime business. Positive engagement is key to our approach in ensuring that our seafarers are proud to be part of the Wallem team and that our vessels are operated safely and efficiently. Yes. Indeed communication helps both sea and shore based personnel in many different ways. With the technologically advanced innovation nowadays, we can ensure that communication is much faster and able to acquire feedback in due time even sailing for a long voyage. Communication promotes trust not only for ship and shore but rather to ship-owners and charterers. Through constant communication, for instance, of the updates from the maritime institutions concerning STCW related concerns, master's and superintendents appraisal evaluation to crew members, transactions of crew wages, etc. requires high attention and consideration from both parties, where basically trust comes in.  Communication is not just the solution to promotes ease for both ship and shore personnel but rather it is a KEY to ensures that everyone's competency is highly given emphasis as trust and loyalty are values or behavior that an individual should possess in accordance with the required aptitude competencies.
Colin Gillespie
Deputy Director (Loss Prevention), The North P&I Club
Sokratis Dimakopoulos
Chief Operating Officer, Minerva Marine 
No. Ease of communication by itself does not help promote trust between the ship and shore. Communications used correctly can help build trust, but if used insensitively they can damage trust. The ease of modern communication has led to a situation where vessels can be monitored and managed closely from shore – it is almost too easy to get involved and expect immediate responses from the vessel. Getting the balance right between using communications for oversight/control of operations and providing the necessary shore support to the vessel’s crew is key. Too much oversight and control will erode trust and decision-making on board.   It is also important to get the softer side of things right – the tone of messages and phone calls is important. It’s easy to seem abrupt or demanding in communications (on either side) when very busy. Communication between ship and shore needs to be managed carefully in order to promote trust and efficient operations. Yes, the advanced communication and data transfer capabilities, which are used nowadays in shipping for many applications such as asset condition monitoring, cyber-enabled maintenance, energy efficiency optimization, environmental performance monitoring, facilitate the close contact, the transparency and the increased knowledge and information sharing between ship and shore and, therefore, assist in building a high-trust relationship.  However, every technological advancement could have a number of hidden risks (e.g. less human interaction, over-reliance on technology, loss of privacy) and, as such, robust and well-structured processes must be put in place with the aim of preventing potential negative side effects.
Stavros Meidanis
DPA/ CSO, S&Q Manager, Capital Ship Management Corp.
Yes, is the first answer to this critical question.  In our days, the facility of communication is a amazing thing. For those who recall the sparse radio communications between ship and shore, the present level of communication might seem pretty well miraculous. The aim of proper communication between ship and shore is to  ensure effective and non-conflicting communication.  At management level the overall aim is to establish a framework which entails the communication values and best practice in the company. The lack of understanding of the working environment both on ship and shore side, could lead to negative results. A well-established communication between two sides, taking into consideration the above, will result mutual understanding of needs, increase trust and empowered lines of responsibility combined to provide solutions to any problems