Seafarers employed on Tsakos-owned vessels operated under its management arrangement with Columbia Shipmanagement will now be paid electronically as opposed to by ‘Cash-by-Master’, under an agreement signed with global maritime payments provider ShipMoney.
The deal means crewmembers will have complete control and access to their wages while onboard ship, including the timing and currency of remittances sent home. It will also dramatically reduce the need for large amounts of cash to be delivered to ships and eliminate the need for Tsakos to administer individual crew wire payments sent to home bank accounts.
The latest contract with the Greece-based ship management company will see ShipMoney’s products being rolled out to its fleet of 90 vessels consisting of tanker, container and dry cargo ships, following a successful trial.
Welcoming the arrangement, Harry Katsipoulakis CFO of Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement said: “Our crew is the most important asset we have in our company. By introducing ShipMoney, we’ve been able to streamline the onboard crew payment process across the fleet by enhancing the safety in money transfer, reducing costs, saving time and providing a new benefit to our valued crewmembers and their families”
Stuart Ostrow, President of ShipMoney, said: “We are very excited to be working with Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement and to be able to introduce our electronic payment programme to its crew worldwide. One of the important benefits to the deal relates to foreign exchange, which is often a hidden cost for crew. The majority of today’s crew are contracted and paid in US Dollars and most employers remit individual US dollar wire payments to individual seafarer bank accounts. If the seafarer’s home bank account is not denominated in Dollars, then the receiving bank has complete control over the conversion from US Dollars to the currency of the crew member’s account.
“A 2017 World Bank study identified that banks are the most expensive option when converting currency with an average cost of approximately 11%. Mobile Money offered the least expensive option at less than 4%. Over the life of a crew member’s career, this differential could be substantial. ShipMoney is truly a win-win for both Tsakos and its crew members,” he added.
Maritime Payment Solutions, LLC (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 and adoption of the prepaid payment programs for the cruise line industry. ShipMoney is the second generation of this endeavor. 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 in partnership with over seventy banks. The business supports over 2.0 million active prepaid card accounts throughout the world.
Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement (“TCM”) S.A.
Established in 2010 TCM with principal offices in Athens, Greece, TCM constitutes a joint venture between the Tsakos and Schoeller Groups. TCM combines the considerable management and operational expertise and professional skills of the two groups, both in ship management and client service.
Tsakos Columbia Shipmanagement (“TCM”) S.A. provides technical management, along with operational and crewing services to a diversified fleet of approximately 90 vessels consisting of tankers (including shuttle and LNG gas carriers), as well as to container and dry cargo ships with an aggregate capacity of about 9.0 million deadweight (dw) tons. TCM builds upon its founders’ reputation while striving to provide the highest quality services to owners of ships trading all over the world.
Committed to deliver first class shipmanagement services, TCM continually reviews the performance of its fleet and takes bold initiatives to ensure its steady improvement with a view to fully satisfy its customers’ expectations. Towards such an end, it recently established the “Maria Tsakos” TCM Academy, a training centre, which comprises a state-of-the-art type A (highest) Kongsberg Bridge Simulator together with Engine Room and cargo handling simulators and other training facilities.
Visit us at: http://www.tcsm.gr