How to Make Crew Change Overs Easier Than Ever Before
At Martide we know that as crew change dates creep ever closer, filling certain positions can be a great source of stress for many shipowners and managers. Maybe you've ever wondered why there always seems to be certain seafarer ranks that you struggle to find candidates for.
Not only that but with so many different components that make up every crew change, from making sure dates align to booking travel and so forth, that simplifying your process is virtually a must.
And that’s why Martide has created the Crew Changes feature. Our aim in designing and building this function is to simplify what can be a complex issue for many small to medium sized shipping companies.
We're great believers in using technology to make life easier - which is why Martide was founded in the first place. And whether you already have a Martide account but aren't sure what the Crew Changes page is all about, or you're looking for a better way to run your operations, this blog post is for you.
And the good news is that the Crew Changes feature is easy to use (even if you're not the biggest fan of technology!) So in this blog post we’re going to walk you through how to use it to your advantage.
How to make your crew change overs easier than ever before
Log in to your Martide account. In the menu on the left hand side you will see Crew Changes. Click on it and you will see a page that looks like this:
This is the main Crew Changes page which shows you at a glance where you stand with your vessels and their crew change over dates.
As you can see from the image above, you can see the change over date, the name of the vessel and how many crew members you will have off signing on that date, and how many who will be on signing.
You can also see the name of the Person in Charge (PIC), whether any of the Top 4 ranks (Master, Chief Officer, Chief Engineer and Second Officer) are part of the crew change, and the status of the change over - which will either be In Progress, Pending, Cancelled or Completed.
To break that all down into bite sized chunks, on this page you can:
- See your vessels, change over dates, person in charge (PIC), number of on and off signers, if any of the changing crew are Top 4, and the crew change status.
- Add a new crew change.
- Filter your crew changes by Vessel, Change Over Date, Person in Charge or Status.
- List your crew changes by A-Z or Z-A or by first to last date by clicking the little pyramid icon next to Change Over Date, Vessel, Person in Charge or Status.
- Change the status of a crew change to In Progress, Pending, Cancelled or Completed by selecting the status from the drop down box. (See the image above.)
How to add a new Crew Change
It’s as easy as ABC to add a new Crew Change. Simply click on the blue button at the top of the pages that says +Add crew change. That will show you a pop-up box that looks like this:
Your drop down list will show you the names of all of your vessels - providing, of course, that you’ve entered them into Martide's system.
(You can read all about adding your vessels on our dedicated support website here.)
Choose the vessel you want to create a Crew Change for then enter your crew change date into the box and click the Add crew change button.
That will take you to a new Crew Change Overview page. It looks like this:
The only information that will be showing is the name of your vessel - in our example our fictional ship is called Tigra Claw. You will also see the changeover date that you entered in the pop-up box, and the status of the change over - which will be Pending by default.Now on this page you can fill in the rest of the information about the crew change by:
- Entering the vessel's email address.
- Selecting the airport seafarers are to arrive at.
- Changing the crew change date if necessary.
- Adding the berthing date and time.
- Selecting the person in charge.
- Entering the name of the port where the change over will take place.
- Entering the port agent's email address.
- Checking the boxes for the documents on signers must have: OK to Board, Letter of Guarantee, Extra Visa and Other.
- Selecting the status of the crew change: Pending, In Progress, Cancelled, or Completed.
- Adding your on signers.
- Adding your off signers.
- Sending the information about the seafarers who will be on signing to the port agent by clicking the Send to port agent button.
- Asking the seafarer for their confirmation by clicking the Get seafarer's confirmation button.
That's quite a lot to take in, we know, but the design is simple and the end result will be faster, more organized crew changes, we promise!
So, now you'll need to add your on and off signers.
How to add on and off signers
Once you’ve entered all of the crew change information it’s time to select your crew members who are signing on and off.
At the bottom of the Crew Change Overview page (see the image above) click +Add on signers. That will open up a pop-up box with a list of all seafarers currently available:
In this box you can:
- Look for a seafarer’s name in the Search bar.
- See available seafarers, their rank and their status (Active, Applicant, Retired, Rejected, Unavailable, Not For Rehire or Left.) In our example we have two seafarers who can be signed on.
- Check the box next to the seafarer who is on signing and click the blue Add to on signers button. They will now appear on the main screen.
Next click on +Add off signers. That will open up a pop-up box with a list of the seafarers onboard the vessel who can be signed off and it will look something like this:
Now you can:
- Search for a seafarer’s name in the Search bar.
- See seafarers, their rank and their status. In our example, we have one seafarer who can be signed off.
- Check the box next to the seafarer who is off signing and click the blue Add to off signers button. They will now appear on the main screen.
When you have seafarers who can be signed on and off, that section of the Crew Change Overview page will look something like this:
On the left you can see your on signing seafarers and on the right the off signing seafarers.
Next to the seafarer’s name you can see 6 icons:
- Document: when this is bold, it tells you that all documents are correct.
- Passport: when this is bold, it tells you that the seafarer holds the correct visa(s).
- Airplane: when this is bold, it tells you if flights have been booked.
- Contract: when this is bold, it tells you that the contract has been signed. (As in our example above.)
- Ship: when this is bold, it tells you that all transport documents are correct.
- Trash can: click this to delete the seafarer from the on or off signing.
How to add notes to your crew change
To make sure all of your team are on the same page and that you don't forget anything important, you can also add notes to both the on and off signing lists.
To do that click the 3 vertical dots next to On Signers or Off Signers:
When you click the dots you will see a little message that says Add Notes.
Click it and it will open up a pop-up box that looks like this. We've typed a note to remind ourselves to double check the crew change date:
Type your note into the box and click Save. Your note will now appear at the bottom of the list of on or off signers, like ours below:
By the way, if you want to delete a Crew Change scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Delete this crew change button - see the image above.
How to filter your crew changes
We know that if you've got a lot of vessels in your fleet, you need a way to sort them quickly and efficiently so you can find exactly the information you're looking for.
To do this, go back to the main Crew Changes page.
At the top of the page you will see 4 filter options: Vessel, Change over, Person in charge and Status as well as a Filter button at the top and a Clear filters button to the right of the filters:
These buttons allow you to:
- Click on Vessel and you will see a drop down list of vessels. Check the boxes next to each to filter your change overs by vessels.
- Click on Change over and you will see two date boxes. Enter the from and to dates that you want to see change overs between.
- Click on Person in charge and you will see a drop down list of names of PICs. Check the boxes next to each to filter your change overs by who is in charge of them.
- Click on Status and you will see a drop down list of statuses: Pending, In Progress, Cancelled and Completed. Check the boxes next to each to filter your change overs by status.
- To hide the 4 filter options, click the Filter button at the top of the page next to the +Add change over button.
- Click the Filter button again to get them back:
And that is how to effectively and efficiently manage your crew changes when you’re using Martide’s maritime recruitment and crew planning software solution!
You will also find a whole range of guides there for shipowners and ship managers which will walk you through everything from some of our lesser known, but still essential, features to our main pages.
Want to learn how to quickly and easily change the abbreviations for seafarer ranks that we use by default to the ones your shipping company uses? No problem. Interested in finding out how to use Data Templates? We have you covered.
Want to learn more about creating a job vacancy so you can get those seafarer jobs filled quickly? Yep, our Support site will help. (By the way, it is absolutely free for employers and manning agents to create a job advert on Martide.)
If you’d like to browse all of our help guides for shipowners, crew managers, recruitment officers and manning agents you can do that here.
This blog post was originally published on May 27th 2020 and last updated to reflect changes to the Crew Changes feature on April 5th 2022.
Eve is Martide's content writer and publishes regular posts on everything from our maritime recruitment and crew planning software to life at sea.