Security and service pool formed

Apr 19 2013

Maritime security experts and service providers worldwide have teamed up to form the World MarSec Union, whose members aim to deliver price reductions by bulk purchasing logistics and services from specific providers in each port.

Each service provider has agreed to lower prices for each member company based on a group rate. The idea is to offer a small service company the same cost savings advantage that can be negotiated by a large corporation.

The Union is a membership organisation, which claims to be able to reduce the cost of armed guards by about 15% per leg on each voyage.

Savings can double for those teams that are disembarking at Galle, or any of the other 34 ports that are signed up to the Union, creating a 15% saving per transit, or $1,800-$2,300 from an initial $25,000-$35,000 estimation.

Using Port Suez, a major embarkation point for MarSec operators, as an example, standard market costs for embarking a team runs to around $6,000-$6,500 per transit. Airport transfers, visas, shuttle fees and armoury costs make up a huge chunk of the overall transit fee, which eats into profits.

Service and equipment suppliers joining the membership scheme can take advantage of a call centre and marketing service in real time at no additional cost, other than the cost of membership.

There will be up to a 20% in reduction to the rental prices across the board. As a MarSec member, companies can get secure and legal back office support that before was only available to the top multi-nationals of the industry, the organisers claimed.

For example, in order to place unused weapons across the HRA and to reduce armory costs, MarSec can contact all of its members, offering the kit and custodian at a rate that is claimed to be fair and competitive on a 24/7 basis.

This in turn could save thousands of dollars in armoury costs, allows work for at least one of a company’s team members while the other MarSec member is able to make a transit, which in other circumstances the company would have had to refuse in some cases, due to lack of operational kit.

Another advantage claimed is that rather than disembarking a team and having to fly them out of country, the Union can arrange a return leg back to the port of origin for a $4,000 handling fee.

The Union will take care of the transfer details and costs and even control the logistics and operational needs during the exchange from its 24/7 operations centres based in Florida US, Valletta, Malta and Helsinki, Finland.

From its control and command centre in Florida, the Union can monitor and report the progress of a transit for a flat fee of $650 per mission. The operations support team will arrange all the logistics involved in embarking and disembarking, share intelligence with the team on the vessel and a company’s own operations manager and relay all necessary transit information to the client.

The Union’s operations support team consists of three full time intelligence analysts and one section commander for live operational support. This includes Sat-phone linkup, UKMTO and MSCHOA reporting dialogue every six hours, live real time intelligence gathering from government sources and human intelligence from key partners strategically placed in the HRA.

For help in areas such as Lagos, West Africa, Beira, East Africa, or Male in the Maldives, the Union offers a legal solution for weapons and guards. MarSec said that it is familiar with the logistical problems faced when sourcing a fastball transit. “Clients require more and more from their MarSec providers and time frames are seldom respected let alone followed,” the Union said.

All members of the World MarSec Union are offered a backup plan should they face a major problem. For example, stuck in red tape at customs, or if the team is grounded at an airport due to bad weather, visa problems, or team sickness, the Union can cover these eventualities for the service provider and its client.

General vessel emergencies can also be covered, including –

  • Live 24/7 medical advice, or medivac if needed.
  •  Repair advice on line for weapons and vessel.
  • Order of parts & spare parts to suppliers.
  •  Dispatch of parts, by sea/air.
  • Fueling and bunkering in 35 locations.
  • Salvage emergencies.
  • Hard/soft, toxic/non-toxic waste disposal.
  • Shiprepair at sea and in nearest port.
  • Crew manning.
  • Provision suppliers.
  • Vessel hardening material.

Although these duties very rarely fall into the realm of the MarSec provider the company said that it had circumstances where the Master has had no other choice than to turn to the team leader for advice and counsel.

The Union can also provide third party liability, employer’s liability, professional liability, personal accident and travel insurance at affordable rates. With its insurer, an operator can save up to 25% per transit with a Union insurance solution. Single insurance coverage is also available for a specific mission.

MarSec now offers armed transit support vessels and is able to embark and disembark teams in the troubled Western African HRA, including, Cape Verde, Ghana, Liberia, Togo, and Nigeria.

An in-house legal support team is on hand to offer various flag state approvals. The Union undertakes this by standardising the application process and tailoring the existing paper work and certificates with MarSec’s pre-approved application template.

The local legal representatives will then take the case, which can save both time and money in exchanges between different legal bodies.

Another service offered is a K&R insurance transit. For a shipowner without armed guards, this can cost as much as $250,000 per transit and with a regular armed team, up to $23,000 per transit.

By using the Union’s insurance deals, the additional cost per transit is usually less than $13,000.

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