Crew change on ships at Vizhinjam near Thiruvananthapuram has been roiled by efforts of a local steamer agent to block rivals from undertaking staff swap
Pvt Ltd, a local steamer agent, has formed an association – Minor Ports
Traditional Steamer Agents Association – with the aim of creating a monopoly
over crew change business at Vizhinjam.
Vizhinjam emerged on the world crew change map in July
on the world crew change map in July as embattled ship owners and managers
sought newer locations for swap staff on ships after travel restrictions
imposed by nations to deal with the spread of coronavirus disrupted this key
activity globally since March.
for crew change, Vizhinjam has seen some 350 crew being rotated from 26 ships,
of which 25 were carried out by Dowins Resources and One by Capital Holdings.
Dowins Resources and Capital Holdings secured orders from Kerala High
Court to undertake crew change
and Capital Holdings had secured interim orders from the Kerala High Court to
undertake crew change after the Customs Department denied them permission to
carry out this work at Vizhinjam.
On Saturday 12 Sep,
Dowins Resources tried its best to stall Mumbai-based Atlantic Global Shipping
Pvt Ltd from carrying out crew change on ‘STI Precision’, an oil tanker owned
by the New York Stock Exchange listed Scorpio Tankers Inc, one of the world’s
biggest tanker shipping companies.
Despite orders from KHC, Atlantic Global Shipping faced “delays” and
“harassment” which it blamed on Dowins Resources
Shipping had also secured an interim order from the Kerala High Court to carry
out crew change that included sign off of two Croatian nationals. It faced
“delays” and “harassment” which it blamed on Dowins Resources.
even sent a threatening e-mail asking Atlantic Global Shipping to drop its plan
to carry out crew change on ‘STI Precision’ and instead appoint one of its
members as local agent.
“We are not
threatening you, but we are just conveying our member’s grievance, (and) also
to avoid any loss and damage for the owners,” the e-mail said, adding that the
association had made crew change operations at Vizhinjam a success after taking
much risk, hardship and money.
Despite the threat, Atlantic Global Shipping went ahead and did the
threat, Atlantic Global Shipping said it went ahead and did the crew change,
though the ship was held up for a few hours before it could set sail.
“How can an association say
that only its members can work in Vizhinjam for crew change and nobody else.
What is the authenticity and locus standi of this association,” said an
official with Atlantic Global Shipping.