Wilhelmsen Ships Service’s (WSS) liferaft rental concept, launched worldwide two years ago is thriving in the Eastern Mediterranean (including Greece, Cyprus and Lebanon) as ship owners and operators embrace the concept and the benefits of renting rather than buying liferafts. When the concept was introduced, WSS’s sales, customer service and supply teams found the Eastern Mediterranean market to be extremely positive and in the last two years, 122 local shipping companies have placed rented liferafts on more than 1 000 vessels. Nicos Shiakallis, WSS Area Director Eastern Mediterranean comments, “The growth in liferaft rental is an example of the snowball effect. After the initial companies changed to liferaft rental, their enthusiasm for the concept spread to other companies in the region. “
“In addition, once these vessel operators saw how effectively the global network managed the exchanges, they started looking at other ways in which we could work together. Many of these customers have now signed fleet agreements to enable WSS to provide other products and safety services to their vessels worldwide.”
Wilhelmsen Ships Service’s liferaft rental scheme enables vessels to rent newly-serviced Unitor liferafts on an annual basis, thus avoiding the difficulties associated with arranging and carrying out servicing on owned liferafts. The company has 42 liferaft service stations worldwide, able to exchange rented liferafts in over 900 ports at short notice. The level of predictability and security this provides to vessel operators has proved successful in saving time and money in what was formerly an unpredictable and time-consuming activity.