Leading lifeboat manufacturer and service provider Schat-Harding says more shipowners are opting to enter into long-term service agreements in order to ensure priority service for the lifeboats, davits and hooks on their vessels.
David Torres, vice-president sales, Schat-Harding Service, says, “We see a welcome trend away from ad hoc servicing of key lifesaving equipment and a move towards long-term Fleet Service Agreements. With world trade growing, shipowners cannot afford delays or detentions related to Life Saving Appliances. In addition, it reflects a growing recognition by owners that they want to keep lifesaving equipment in good order and ready to go by a company that really services their equipment, and also that our capability to deliver a consistent global service has grown considerably.
“In the last few months alone, five important shipowners from around the globe have chosen Schat-Harding to provide long-term fleet support for their lifeboats, davits and winches. With over sixty vessels between them, the shipowners have recognised the benefits of a Fleet Service Agreement, which ensures that their lifesaving appliances are always in good order, that spares are readily available and costs are clear and competitive.”
A major Hong-Kong-based shipmanager has entered a five-year agreement covering 24 ships. Most of the 5-year inspections will be performed in China by Schat-Harding’s China offices, but annual inspections will be carried out by Schat-Harding’s global network.
In the USA, a tanker operator has entrusted the care of the LSA for its eight oil and chemical tankers to Schat-Harding. This is the first FSA to be taken up by a US merchant company, and it is significant that all the vessels operate under the US flag.
In Europe, three key new agreements include twenty-three tankers managed from Portugal on behalf of a US owner, a Dutch seismic vessel fleet and the leading Mediterranean cruise ferry fleet.
These FSAs demonstrate that shipowners recognise the benefits of planned servicing and pricing, by a company that truly understands the equipment that needs to be serviced, and the ease of having one point of contact for all their FSA service needs, wherever their ships may be trading. “Schat-Harding’s global network has shown how it can work together seamlessly to provide global owners with the support they need at sensible costs,” says Torres. “Owners owe it to seafarers to ensure that their equipment is safe, and it cannot be safe if serviced by ad-hoc service companies with little to no experience of the equipment they touch and who do not even bother to use original spares, putting themselves and the crew in danger. FSAs give owners and seafarers safety and good service at a sensible cost.”