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7 essential crew management KPIs for the shipping industry

Aleksandr Fedorenko
5 min read
02.07.2020

7 essential crew management KPIs for the shipping industry

In the shipping industry, crew management requires evaluation and analysis as well as the execution of other processes. Tracking your key performance indicators will help you do that. This can appear handy when, for instance, you need to decide whether outsource your crew or to keep it in-house. If the management team has already made the decision, they will need to use the performance metrics to carry out a comparative analysis and sum up the costs. Having the results will make it easier for the shipping company to understand whether it is worth following the chosen strategy in the long term, or if there are some changes the management needs to make.

In this article, we discuss the top 7 key performance indicators for crew management, which will help organizations which transport goods via ships to optimize time, resources and costs.

1. Crew disciplinary frequency

This KPI calculates the total number of violations of the code of conduct committed by the crew members. This metric designed to help maintain order among the team demonstrates the behavior of employees. It also relates to the management’s response to the situation, as the ability to maintain discipline on the vessel also needs to be considered.

Breaches of the code of conduct by the crew members include the abuse of illicit drugs or alcohol, criminal offenses, abandonment, registered warnings, etc. Since the number of crew members on each ship is different, when calculating the disciplinary frequency, it is also customary to take into account the number of hours on board in addition to the number of breaches.

2. Lost time injury frequency rate

Lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) will help you demonstrate the ability of the shipping company to ensure the safety of the crew as well as protect them from injuries and death. To do this, this KPI tracks the number of unfortunate hours, which occurs when the injured team member does not have the ability to fulfill his duties. Accidents during leisure time on board are also counted.

Statistics on disability includes the number of people killed as a result of industrial injuries, working days missed the number of people who cannot work on a permanent basis due to accidents, partial injuries and time spent on board.

3. Training days per officer

This particular KPI demonstrates the ratio between the time spent on training the officers and the total number of their working days. As a rule, the result is the average number of training days per officer’s day spent in the sea.

The indicator of the costs of temporary training resources helps shipowners see what’s the best way to maintain and increase employee competence. As the quality of training is difficult to track the number of days is used for evaluation. The results are calculated once a quarter. However, with online dashboards for KPI metrics, you can customize your own periodicity depending on the company's business goals.

4. Experience rate of the officers

This KPI shows the level of experience of the staff currently on board with company`s Safety Management System (SMS). In order to get the numeric result, experience points are assigned to each crew member on the ship according to a predetermined scale. For each year the maximum number of points per person is 4. This means, one can get only a point per quarter. The experience that crew members have gained from over a year ago is not taken into account.

After tracking this KPI, it will show number of points per crew member.

5. Crew member retention rate

The shipowners' ability to retain employees and prevent staff turnover is measured using the crew membership retention rate. Information on it can be obtained by analyzing the employment database. This applies to both the contractors who work on board as crew members and people who are no longer part of the crew. Later, the average number of crew members on board is calculated. It is worth noting that the indicator can change depending on the fleet size.

6. Cadets per ship

The KPI shows the ratio between the total number of cadets under training with the DOC holder and their total fleet. The result is the average number of cadets per ship. This KPI expresses the company’s commitment and ability to take on new cadets.

7. Crew planning efficiency

You can consider utilizing the key indicator called Crew Planning Efficiency if you need to calculate the number of breaches of regulations or agreements related to the International Convention on Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers or the Maritime Labor Convention.

Planning helps the shipping organization to structure and optimize workflows within the crew. Keeping track of metrics on this KPI will help ease working processes for the crew members and avoid cases of violations on board during or after the workday.

Analyzing the main key performance indicators of crew management will be useful to all shipping companies, regardless of the vessel or fleet size as well as other factors. It is important to track how disciplined, safe and experienced are the crew members on board, and plan the work according to international standards so that the processes organized for within the team don’t go against those standards. Moreover, a timely analysis of the situation on board will improve the efficiency of the shipping company saving its time and money.

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