Shipping is a vital part of our business. As a physical energy trader, we rely on the expertise and professionalism of our seafarers to ensure our cargoes reach our customers safely and efficiently. It is essential for us to keep our crews safe while they are at sea, at ports and travelling to, or returning home from, ships. As part of our ongoing commitment to our seafarers, we signed up to the Neptune Declaration on Seafarer Wellbeing and Crew Change in January 2021.
The declaration was originated in response to Covid. The pandemic created significant disruption for global shipping activities, with quarantines and lockdowns delaying timely crew rotations and creating potentially unsafe working environments. It was signed by over 850 organisations and called for multilateral action to recognise seafarers as key workers, facilitate vaccinations and improve health and safety standards.
As part of this, Vitol’s technical shipping manager, LSC, developed their existing seafarers wellbeing programmes further to provide access to Covid vaccines, arranging for vaccinations at port where available. An awareness campaign was launched to encourage seafarers to get vaccinated and LSC also established and implemented gold standard health protocols based on existing best practice.
To facilitate crew changes LSC increased its collaboration with ship operators and charterers. Crew changes for voyages worldwide are discussed and fixed in advance with charterers to minimise adverse impacts on wellbeing and the business.