How the Maritime Industry Can Learn From the Successes of Olympians

Industry experts explored the secrets behind Olympic success and how athletes’ experiences can be used to help lead the maritime industry, in a unique event during London International Shipping Week 2017.

The event was hosted on Tuesday morning by global maritime financial services provider ShipMoney with help from world renowned leadership expert Phil Kelly, Director of Pro-Noctis which offers personal and professional development coaching.  He has previously mentored Olympians, fast-jet pilots and CEO’s to be successful leaders in their fields.

Mr. Kelly led the event delivering a lively and interactive presentation to the audience, which was then followed by a panel debate moderated by Secretary-General of InterManager, Captain Kuba Szymanski.

Other panel members included Greg O’connell, EVP European Business Development at ShipMoney and Allan Graveson, former seafarer and Senior National Secretary with Nautilus International.

Mr. Kelly opened the discussion: “Across the various industries I have worked with, I would say for the last 20 years, there has been a heavy reliance on what we class as system one – processes, procedures, protocol and we forget about the people.

“But the maritime industry is going to drive people?  That’s not just talking about crew members, but also top of the house CEO’s.  So to the CEO’s – What are you doing at the top of the house to set an example to those that are out there delivering the day-to-day product?”

Leading the panel debate Capt. Szymanski said “The control of system one is superb in the shipping industry and I am very proud of it.  The ISM code is something that has helped a lot of people.  But system two, the human element, we really don’t know anything about this.  Look at what is happening, we hire and fire our seafarers.”

Mr. Graveson said: “You’re not dealing with an elite product, you are dealing with a commodity.  And this is effectively what has happened to the seafaring profession.  The seafaring community has been turned into a commodity and in many cases a disposable commodity.”

Capt. Syzmanski highlighted the challenge seafarers face by being paid in cash and not into their bank accounts.  They struggle to gain credit and send money easily home to their families.  Although seafarers are high earners they are not in the world of banking because they do not have regular income or permanent contracts.

Panel member agreed more focus must be put on the human element in the maritime industry.  They also praised more successful industries where there is a ‘coaching culture’ between employees, where staff members share knowledge as standard practice when on and off duty.

After the event, Stuart Ostrow, President of ShipMoney commented: “Seafarers must be treated as a valuable and integral part of the team.  And maritime companies should offer financial access and flexibility similar to shoreside staff.

“In today’s digital world of real-time transactions that can be initiated anywhere and at any time, there is no reason why large volumes of cash are still sent to ships to pay crew wages and onboard expenses.  It is our mission to effectuate change in the maritime industry to adopt alternative financial solutions.”

About ShipMoney

Maritime Payment Solutions, LLC (d/b/a ShipMoney) is an industry leading provider of payment solutions for maritime companies throughout the world facilitating crew payroll payments, international corporate remittances, money transfers, mobile top-ups, payroll advances, onboard expenses and all other forms of shoreside and onboard payments.  The founder of ShipMoney, Stuart Ostrow, was directly responsible for, and instrumental in the initial development of prepaid payment programs for the cruise line industry.  ShipMoney is the second generation of that endeavour.  ShipMoney is an operating subsidiary of Global Technology Partners, LLC.  GTP is one of the largest international prepaid payment processors in the world providing services and programs in over 30 countries.