What makes Marine and Energy Travel different? And why does this industry sector need a specialist TMC?

5 min read

Marine and Energy Travel refers to the challenging job of getting crews to ships and technicians, engineers and support crew to rigs (that could be anywhere around the world) on time, safely and on budget.

Since 90% of the world’s goods and resources are transported by ships, there is a global army of ship’s crew and offshore workers who play a vital role in the world economy by spending lengthy periods of time at sea for us to benefit from all the modern-day commodities we rely upon. Equally in the energy sector the maintenance and management of our energy infrastructure requires the skills and time of a workforce that ensures our services continue uninterrupted.

The services of a specialist Marine Travel Management Company who serve and support these sectors cannot be underestimated! Crew Managers have a tough job and need to rely on a specialist. Along with access to Marine and Energy Travel air-fares Here we list why it pays to use a specialist:

#1 Geographical Knowledge

For example, a typical request can involve organising flights for crew travelling from various airports across Europe and Asia to arrive in Sakhalin, Russia. The entire crew must be there waiting (with some requiring an overnight hotel) to travel by bus to the port where a helicopter transfer takes them to the installation. Missing this connection would mean a boat transfer which takes 24 hours and therefore not an option!

Marine travel consultants really understand the importance of time-critical connections and their geographical knowledge and skills allows them to come up with feasible options by re-routing via other destinations. Using their knowledge and ability on how to split tickets on different airlines to obtain the best option.

#2 Expertise

Traveling on non-conventional routes can be limited but also in demand. A specialist business travel agent will work with their clients by assisting with forward planning of crew rotations to secure seats in advance wherever possible. If a routing is full, having the ability to waitlist seats whilst holding an alternative can be invaluable to getting a crew member in place, on time!

Let’s also not forget frequent changes to plans. It is a regular occurrence to receive a call at 2.00am on a Saturday morning to be informed that a ship is now docking in another port and all the crew’s flight plans must be changed immediately.

#3 Services

Supporting the Marine and Energy sectors is much more than organising flights. Here at Good Travel Management, a division of the John Good Group, this is what we do as with our expert port agency teams are regularly required to organise meet and greet services at ports liaising with port agents and directly with vessels to confirm travel requests.

For hotel accommodation and car hire bookings, travel management companies will usually arrange prepayment or billbacks of costs as crew members do not generally have their own corporate credit cards.

Accurate information for each traveller must also be communicated to the airlines when travelling on Marine and Offshore fares such as vessel name and registration country, any missing information can lead to crew having unwelcome issues at the airport check-in desk.

#4 Duty of Care

Crew members do not have the same business travel preferences as their Corporate travel counterparts, as getting from A to B is the primary driver for Ship / Rig operators. Nevertheless, it is imperative that all aspects of duty of care for crew are considered and particularly now the airline and airport hygiene standards and policies.

From pre-trip planning, travel policy content to traveller tracking, it is essential the specialist corporate travel agency understands and works closely with each client to understand their objectives and goals. Without a doubt having a robust 24/7/365 operation is essential to help clients ensure their personnel can travel the globe efficiently.

Marine Travel and Covid-19

During Lockdown, nearly all forms of travelling ground to a halt, even commuting, as millions of people started to work from home where they could. However, for many working in the marine and offshore sector it remained business as usual…….at least when it was possible! Health and Travel restrictions meant some employees working in the industry have had, and continue to have, shifts lasting months not weeks.

It has been reported that the UK government has added offshore oil and gas workers, a sector Good Travel Management specialise in servicing, to its list of essential workers, meaning they will not need to self-isolate if they have travelled to England in the course of their work and are required to start work within the usual 14-day self-isolation period.

For Ship Owners and Energy Companies, mobilising a vessel or rig cost thousands of pounds per day. Therefore, ensuring crew are in place, on time, anywhere around the world is paramount. It is a challenging business for the substantial number of operators and supply chain contractors ensuring the smooth and seamless movement of people all year round.

Managing travel requirements for this sector requires expertise, passion and knowledgeable teams who understand the importance of mission critical travel.