In launching our new live interview series, we are bringing you in-depth knowledge direct from the leading experts of our industry. On the 22nd of April we hosted a live interview, titled “Making the Right Decisions While at Sea” with Mr. Nedko Nedelchev, Fleet Manager of V.Ships Cyprus, who is responsible for overseeing a fleet of 19 vessels, 16 of which are tankers.
The discussion we had centred on the following topics:
- Challenges a fleet manager is facing while ensuring the safety and integrity of the vessel and crew
- The importance of making the right decisions while at sea
- Real-life scenarios and examples of effective decision-making onboard
- Decision-making in the face of COVID-19
About the speakers
Nedko Nedelchev is a Fleet Manager of V.Ships Cyprus. He is leading a fleet of tanker vessels ranging from product tankers to VLCCs. Previously worked as a Technical Superintendent and Engineer, onboard different types of vessels. He is an active supporter of sustainable shipping and initiatives promoting energy efficiency and reduction of CO2 emissions from the vessels.
Effective decisions of a fleet manager are one of the main components of the safe performance of their fleet.
A fleet manager is directly accountable for and has the direct authority to make decisions in ensuring the safe and continuous operations of the vessel. At the same time, it is the fleet manager’s responsibility to make the necessary decisions that protect customers’ interest. Their work further expands to training, developing and mentoring the fleet cell, which includes both seafarers on board and the staff ashore.
It is important to build a concept of “Safe Culture” onboard the vessel and the company as a whole.
Building and implementing “Safe Culture” should be at the highest priority of any company operating in the maritime industry. According to our guest Mr Nedelchev, this of course begins with strictly following the procedures and the safety management system. Additionally, this can also be facilitated using several other tools:
- Communication. It is critically important to ensure an effective communication between a vessel and shore, in the office and of course, onboard.
- Seafarer retention. It equally important for the seafarer to care about the vessel and know the vessel as well as the company procedures. Crew retention is therefore the means of maintaining ensuring this through prolonged and developed familiarity with the vessel and the company.
- Training and development. Safety regulations come into force and are updated on a continuous basis. Because of this, seafarers must be continuously briefed, informed and trained on such updates.
- Performance recognition. A great practice followed by V. Ships is to recognize and award seafarers who demonstrate certain appropriate skills and reward them by developing and promoting them.