What do the Spartan battle of Thermopylae and Crew Changes have in common?

Crew changes are a problem of too much data that cannot be aggregated and turned into practical decisions without technology. In this article I break down the scale of the problem and what we are solving next.

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Nick Clarke
CEO and Co-founder of Greywing. @NickGreywing

We have hit the wall with crew changes.

So far we have had great success in tracking vessels and the crew onboard down to their nationality and where they need to fly home to.

Where clients tell us they are failing is with their inability to cut down the time it takes to assess whether certain nationalities can change at certain ports

And we have been struggling with this element too.

The Hidden Variable

Port State & Immigration Restrictions for Seafarers

This is the variable that makes all other variables largely irrelevant. If a port state has implemented quarantine or testing procedures that are either impossible/improbable to complete or that are so onerous that a Crew manager prefers to let the crew stay on board then a crew change will not happen.

We see this regulary. These are the Spartan Walls (of text) we have hit:

  1. Port State Restrictions

  1. Immigration Restrictions

That is what a Crew Manager is expected to read and interpret, for each port, for each nationality of crew. Just to assess whether a crew change might be possible.

It is insane.

And right now we just link them to the specific data for the ports where they are considering crew change. Sure Greywing speeds the process up but I defy you to show me a human who doesn’t cringe when confronted with that Spartan wall of text, multiple times a day.

So what would Crew Changes look like if they were easy?

The basic concept and what that is going to look like;

You do a Crew Change search

  • We show you where crew changes are currently possible for the crew on your vessel.
  • Where you have the time to comply with port state restrictions
  • Where you have the time to comply with Immigration requirements
  • Where we can show the PCR test requirements
  • and finally where we can clearly show the quarantine requirements

And for all of the above provide a clear way to understand and consume the data.

Right now we solcve more of this problem then anyone else. The next thing for us is to solve the immigration part of this puzzle and we have worked out how, so that is one wall of text we can remove

But we have not worked out how to break down the data around port state restrictions into a structured format that we can use to apply decision based logic to so we can defeat the second wall of text. Within both of them are the PCR and quarantine restrictions.

Does anyone know a good source to get data from on Port State, PCR and Quarantine restrictions? It would be super useful for us to have it to integrate?

If you think of anything drop us a note at operations@grey-wing.com.