Stable crewing can improve safety, well-being and financial outcomes, according to a new report led by researchers from a British university.

Started at Solent University in April 2017, the Effective Crew Project has examined the benefits and challenges associated with the implementation of either a stable or a fluid crewing strategy on board merchant vessels.

The report finds that stable crewing can: reduce handover times and increase crew retention; improve safety by strengthening work relations and promoting better communications both on board and ashore; reduce recruitment and training costs; and reduce staff turnover.

The report goes on to conclude that: good leadership and management skills are fundamental and need to be current and sensitive to continuous crew development and efficient vessel operations; companies need to consistently collect more reliable data in order to better inform their crewing strategies; and that inconsistent data sets from shipping companies makes it problematic to put hard figures against the cost benefits.

A copy of the full report and executive summary is available online at

By Jake Frith