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Anchoring Trust: Modernizing Maritime Workforce Management and Payments

The maritime industry is facing a major shortage in talent. Here’s how to turn things around.

Table of contents

Key Takeaways

  1. The rise in ecommerce in recent years has led to a shortage of skilled maritime workers. Slow tech adoption contributing to gradual decrease in trust among maritime workers. Centralized workforce management and payment systems can boost transparency and reliability, improving trust among workers.
  2. Slow tech adoption contributing to gradual decrease in trust among maritime workers.
  3. Centralized workforce management and payment systems can boost transparency and reliability, improving trust among workers.

Once upon a time, a pandemic hit the globe, leading to a major rise in ecommerce, and, consequentially, an increased demand of the maritime shipping industry.

The problem? Fewer workers than ever have been signing up to take on maritime positions, leading to a significant shortage in talent.

Lack of job stability, long and irregular work hours, and dysconnectivity from family and HQ are just some of the immediate reasons this shortage is happening.

Mind the Tech

The industry’s unique set of circumstances – with a globally transient, mostly disconnected workforce – makes it harder for employers to provide employees with the kind of superior, seamless experience that could help recruiting and maintaining talent.

On top of that, technology adoption has been notoriously slow in the maritime industry on more than one front, including that of workforce management – from hiring to managing, and, especially, to paying. This lack of proper workforce management and payment capabilities is leading to slow, siloed, and bumpy processes, data flows, and communication with seafarers.

But, while the worker conditions of a crewmate will always be challenging, a modern workforce strategy can have a significant positive impact on giving them an elevated experience, that could keep them in the industry for longer.

After all, 76% of workers in the industry say it is too difficult to send money back home, and 86% of them agree that more mobile banking services would improve their well-being.

Technology is already solving for these issues — or, as the saying goes, “there’s an app for that.” And when 86% say that they would choose shipping companies that use new digital technologies, it seems that the workforce itself is not only aware of these solutions, but has come to expect them.

Still, as most maritime employers are in early stages of digital transformation, we give you this blog post – where we dive into the different ways a proper technology-infused workforce management and payment strategy can transform workers’ experience.

Efficiency and Transparency

Mid to large fleets use 10 to 20 different technology solutions, making siloed data an unfortunate natural state, and thus leading to all sorts of inefficiencies.

Siloed data can be especially detrimental to the efficiency of workforce operations, resulting in potential errors and delays in compensation and lack of transparency for workers.

This can severely impact workers’ trust. Often located in remote locations as part of their work, seafarers depend on timely and accurate payments to maintain their own welfare, as well as that of their families back home while they are away.

By using a workforce payment and management solution that standardizes and centralizes payroll and payment operations, eliminates siloed data, and ensures efficiency and transparency, you’re building a reputation of trust and reliance – giving your workers full visibility of their compensation, tax deductions, and benefits. These are especially important when it comes communication with HR and HQ, which tends to be difficult to maintain in maritime conditions.

Payment Reliability

Around 20% of maritime workforce payments are made in cash. This is mainly due to lack of bank connectivity and seafarers’ lifestyle preferences. There are several problems with this, with the three main ones being the following:

  • Lack of security: Carrying cash leaves workers at larger risk of theft.
  • Remittance challenges: Many maritime workers hope to transfer a portion of their funds back to their families. This, of course, becomes a whole lot more complex to do with cash-based compensation and requires split-payments.
  • Foreign exchange fees and complexities: Because they’re required to travel all over the world, maritime workers often need to convert their salaries to different currencies at one point or another. Converting cash is usually expensive. On top of that, it can be difficult locating accessible places to convert these funds – especially if you’re travelling to remote areas.

All this to say, choosing reliable and flexible payment methods to pay workers with will very likely boost your appeal as an employer.

The payment capabilities an employer offers should address the risk of cross-currency volatility and allow workers to split their payments as they see fit – i.e., allow them to send funds back home smoothly.

Payment Accuracy

In a highly globalized world, and with transient spread-out workforces, ensuring payment accuracy without the right technological capabilities is pretty much impossible.

Such technological capabilities include automation, built-in compliance, and integrations with other relevant software (including payroll platforms), thus streamlining data flows, eliminating manual inputs, and minimizing errors – immediately improving the ability to calculate salary accurately.

Such technology is especially relevant in the maritime industry, where hours are highly irregular and crew rotation takes place constantly. Ensuring instant tracking and seamless integration of all these data points means your workers don’t have to be concerned about not being paid accurately for the work they’ve completed.

Compliance and Worker Protection

Compliance and worker protection laws are complex in any context – but especially so in the maritime industry.

Maritime employers are required to report on multiple accounts, including matters of vessel identification, laws pertaining to international waters, and local regulations. All these laws are crucial to giving your workers a sense of protection and trust.

With that, compliance should be your absolute top priority. The right level of industry-specific expertise and processes updated with the latest regulations changes play a crucial role in providing employees the reassurance they need.

Dedicated Support

With many maritime workers stranded at sea for long periods of time, the chances of insufficient support become that much greater. And this acts as a heavy burden for seafarers, who are unable to get the responses they need regarding payroll and payment queries.

Ensuring access to their personal financial documents and information, payslips, important updates, and to dedicated support, means giving workers the overall sense of support they deserve – whether it’s tax deduction breakdowns, benefits explanations, or the rights they’re entitled to as maritime employees.

Clarity means everything for an industry where workers often feel lost at sea.

Your workforce strategy with Papaya Global

An end-to-end, AI-driven, and expert-based workforce management and payments strategy can transform your workers’ experience – making them feel secure and protected and maintaining their trust in the company.

Here’s the Papaya Global approach to building the perfect strategy for workforce management and payments:

  • ֹA dedicated, complaint workforce payment solution for your ENTIRE global workforce – transparent, with a “land date” guarantee.
  • Ultimate flexibility with built-in split-payments and pay-to-card capabilities.
  • Centralized technology that allows you to streamline all your payroll and payments from a single platform – for all employment models (employees, contractors, or EOR workers.)
  • Boots-on-the-ground experts in over 160 countries, guiding you through complex laws and regulations (including industry-specific).
  • Employee-centric vision, with flexible payment options and dedicated employee portal and app.

Hop on board today, matey.

Book a demo.