Slow Internet hampers online ship training

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Maritime and manpower services company Abojeb Group this year is taking steps to further digitize its operations, including the adaption of artificial intelligence and blockchain in its ship management operations.

At the sidelines of the inauguration of Abojeb’s new office in Parañaque City on 28 November, general manager for Jebsen Competence Development Center Joeran Noestvik said they are extending to online training from the province despite being hampered by slow internet speed.

Jebsen Competence Development serves as the maritime training institution arm of Abojeb providing learning and developmental programs for seafarers.

“We are starting our training of safety management system from the province, so the seafarers don’t need to go here and train the whole day. We’re transferring gradually to the province, but our problem is the bandwidth. With a better bandwidth, the seafarers save a whole day and stay with the family. We gradually want the seafarers to spend more time with the family,” Noestvik said.

Abojeb has crewing offices in Iloilo, Cebu and Davao City, with 8,500 of the 12,500 pool of crew aboard at any given time.

Along with many shipping companies in the maritime industry, Abojeb is also transitioning into the use of artificial intelligence to push for more efficient operations.

“There are so many systems when you run a ship, if you integrate all of that in one platform, (there will be) less training for the crew (because) they have everything in one platform, they spend less work, same for the office — it’s more efficient, you don’t need paper anymore; everything’s stored electronically. But we need bandwidth.”

According to Noestvik, they are also looking into integrating blockchain into their systems and will be meeting with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) in December for a potential partnership.

“We want MARINA to join us. So that instead of having copies of all the seafarers’ documents, we’ll ask MARINA to give us a link to their database through blockchain. We try to be innovative.”

With this, Noestvik said that they aim to increase efficiency by 10 percent each year.
“We’re a hundred percent sure that we’ll exceed that, with the prospects that we have.”
Abojeb reported 1,400 more seafarers in 2018 than in 2017, Noestvik said. The company also recently started manning 80 of Maersk’s international tankers.

“We work hard to show our potential clients how we work, how we assess, how we run the business and how we take care of the crew.”

Abojeb’s recently opened 3,000 square meter office occupies the 5th and 6th floor of the Ri-Rance Corporate Center 1 in Aseana City.

Abojeb operated in its Port Area office before deciding to upgrade its facilities and move.

“As we move to our new home, we are excited to serve our customer and seafarers even better. Our company exists to deliver great people and services to meet the demands of our customers all over the world, and we now have the infrastructure to do this even better,” managing director of Abojeb Carl Martin Faannessen said during the inauguration of the office, which houses the company’s entire workforce.

Faannessen also said they are continuously looking at hiring land-based professionals due to global demand for Filipino talent in the healthcare and education sector.

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