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The Human Element in Container Shipping


Edited By Burkhard Lemper, Thomas Pawlik and Susanne Neumann

The shipping industry is run by people and for people. Thus, the main element in shipping is the «human element» – the mariners at all levels. Since the human element aboard vessels – being in and coping with a very special environment – is the crucial point of every transport chain, it is important to take a closer look at maritime human resource management issues which are scarcely tackled in scientific literature. This book deals with topics such as the criminalization of seafarers, piracy as part of shipping companies’ risk management, corporate social responsibility and human error in shipping.


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8 according to the STCW Convention, and examines the topic of Maritime Crew Resource Management. Special requirements for preparatory trainings are deducted. Based on experience gained in aviation, the development of Crew Resource Management is highlighted and evaluated for possible conclusions relevant for shipping. The chapter on cross-cultural management for seafarers discusses three elements that are essential in shipboard work. These elements include shipboard leadership and intercultural competence, intercultural communication in multinational crews, and teamwork in multinational crews. Awareness of these essential elements can be used as a starting point in critically improving the cultural competence of seafarers. Thereafter, performance influencing factors in maritime operations are presented and discussed. This section deals with some important human, technological and organizational factors known to influence performance and outcome of maritime operations. Factors include human physical and psychological characteristics such as fatigue, stress and alcohol abuse; the nature of tasks and human interaction with technical systems as well as physical and organizational work environments. Subsequently, the human error in shipping, which is generally referred to as the predominant cause of marine casualties, becomes the focus of attention. It is explained that there is more to this categorisation than simply concentrating all attention on the mariner, the person at the sharp end of daily shipping routine. This article analyses the human error concept from the casualty investigator’s point of view based on current statistical data as well as conventional and new trends in order to systematically approach human behaviour and underlying factors in the...

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