One third currently have a vessel in lay-up due to Covid-19, said a poll of attendees at Riviera Maritime Media’s Understanding vessel lay-up options in the age of Covid-19 webinar
The webinar gathered a team of panellists: LISCR senior vice president marine operations Thomas Klenum, Shipowners’ P&I Club head of loss prevention - London Carri Woodburn, Lloyd’s Register Marine & Offshore vice president Middle East & Africa Tony Field and V.Ships Leisure managing director Per Bjornsen – to highlight the key considerations and challenges of laying up vessels due to Covid-19.
While 33% of webinar attendees said they currently had a vessel in layup due to Covid-19, 7% said they had at one point but had re-activated them. Some 60% said they did not.
Of those who said they had a vessel in lay-up, one third had experienced additional difficulties due to the situation compared to previous lay-ups.
Whether to use hot or cold lay-up was a hot topic in the webinar, with V.Ships Leisure’s Mr Bjornsen saying calculations carried out by the company for a medium-sized cruise vessel showed total costs are higher on cold lay-up due to the increased re-activation period and re-activation cost as well as risk.
He said “Over a 12-month period the warm lay-up is still the best solution financially and for cash flow.”
Webinar attendees were asked in a poll whether, given the unknown timescales with Covid-19, they have used, or would they consider hot or cold lay-up. The majority - 58% - opted for hot lay-up, with 28% for warm lay-up and only 14% choosing cold lay-up.
And further polls revealed challenges faced by ship operators when it comes to lay-up, with 20% saying they had experienced challenges in recent months when finding a safe location to lay-up a vessel and 33% agreeing they found this somewhat challenging. Only 13% said it as the same as before the pandemic.
While 33% of those polled said they had a system for assessing/evidencing personnel levels required to maintain vessel safety and security during lay-up, 44% were unsure on this.
Key considerations of a vessel in lay-up include monitoring weather forecasts, with our poll revealing the majority - 66% - did so every day, 13% every couple of days and 6% once a week.
There was an almost even split when it came to whether webinar attendees have emergency contingency plans in place specific to the laid-up vessel: 40% said they did, but 46% said while they had such plans, these were normal operational procedures.
The most important factor when it comes to considering a berth lay-up is safety and security (46%), followed by costs at 38%. Only 7% opted for both location and accessibility.
Panellists on the webinar highlighted the importance of crew welfare during Covid-19 lay-ups. Ms Woodburn said “Crew welfare is now as important as it has ever been. Some seafarers are experiencing more extreme isolation than they would normally, connectivity to family and friends can be vital in wellbeing.”
She also singled out how there were challenges on facilitating crew change and a knock-on impact on morale.
When asked in a poll if they have an established practice ashore for encouraging the positive health and wellbeing of crew, 50% said yes, it is a well-established system that works well, while the other half said yes but it is quite new and still being embedded.
The response was mixed when asked if they put in place any additional measures to support the crew during lay-ups, as while 43% said yes, 57% were not sure.
Our webinar highlighted the importance of planning for re-activation of fleet. Highlighting this theme, our poll asked: Are you aware of the vessel survey requirements of your P&I Club when coming out of lay-up? Some 38% said yes, 34% said no but someone in my team is aware, while only 9% said no and 19% were unsure.
Asked whether they consult, or are aware of, their P&I Club’s issued advice when making operational decisions, 37% said yes, 37% said no, but somebody in my team is aware, with 26% saying that they were unsure.
You can view the webinar, in full, in our webinar library.
And you can sign up to attend our upcoming webinars on our events page.