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  • Gabe Barrios

How to Work Better with Your Third-Party Agents


Working in the crewing department can be hectic, especially for crew managers.


When you think about it, they are the ones in charge of finding quality talent across different nationalities, getting them aboard vessels through different ports, ensuring that all necessary paperwork is up-to-date and compliant, processing payroll and coordinating with accounting, facilitating and updating training certificates, and monitoring crew changes for relievers every few months. It’s a cycle that repeats itself and there definitely is a need to make sure that everything is planned, tracked, and executed on time to prevent hiccups and operation blocks.


Given the many different moving parts of crew management, it’s understandable that crew managers outsource some of their processes to help make their lives easier. For example, it’s common for the crewing department of shipping companies to partner with third-party agents like manning agencies to help them find and hire seafarers for their ships.


That’s why it’s important to ensure that crew management tools enable crewing departments to work better with their third-party agents. Here are some things platforms should be able to do to make working with external partners easier:


Set expectations and benchmarks

When working with an external partner, it’s important to be clear with expectations of what they need to fulfill. For example, with manning agencies, do they simply provide you with a pool of potential candidates, or do they go the extra mile and provide ticketing and visa processing? Even beyond that, crew departments should also be able to benchmark the performance of suppliers in order to optimize operations for crewing needs.


Provide transparency between stakeholders

It’s a misconception that communication eliminates mistakes; while it does help clarify things, it also opens up possibilities of misunderstandings. That’s why coordinating with external partners requires utmost transparency to help minimize the need for unnecessary chats and enables people to stay on top of their tasks and avoid delays.


Decrease confusing back-and-forth communication

Getting seafarers onboard and managing them is a time-sensitive process and communication gaps can lead to blockers. Ideally, both crewing departments and third-party agents should collaborate on one platform that seamlessly bridges those gaps to patch up potential hiccups. Some ways to promote this is by providing limited access to external partners within an organization’s ERP and highlighting which tasks are needed to be done by certain individuals.


That being said, Seafair offers a crewing platform that enables crew managers to do all three to optimize their working relationships with third-party agencies. Not only does the platform enable clear and transparent communication between all stakeholders, but we also launched a new manning agent access portal that enables them to make the work easier when seeing current and upcoming vacancies, aligning necessary skills and expectations and providing quality talent to shipping companies.


Seafair pushes the ease of coordinating with different stakeholders, from internal partners, external agents, and even seafarers, innovating the crew management landscape. To learn more about our crewing platform features and benefits, schedule a demo through this link, and our team will reach out to you with your FREE 14-DAY TRIAL!


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