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How to hire the right captain for your shipping vessel

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2023 | Admiralty & Maritime Defense

Choosing someone to lead your shipping vessel is an important task. A solid pick can improve safety and elevate the efficiency of its voyages.

As the owner, it is in your best interest to scrutinize candidates. Here are some tips on hiring an exemplary captain.

Verify licensing

Start by finding out whether the job applicant has the necessary credentials. For starters, a captain’s license is mandatory.

Measure experience

Review the maritime history of the person you are considering. You want an individual with a proven track record of successfully navigating vessels of similar size and type as yours. It also makes sense to pick someone familiar with the specific routes and waters you plan to travel.

Focus on safety

Avoiding injuries is paramount. Investigate the applicant’s record and inquire about past incidents and accidents. A captain with a safety-conscious history is more likely to prioritize the well-being of crew and cargo.

Request references

Seek references from past employers or colleagues and ask about their experiences working with the person. Additionally, seek recommendations from industry peers to gain insight into reputation and reliability.

Assess communication skills

Effective communication is a hallmark of every great captain. One who can convey clear instructions is always preferable. According to an analysis from Forbes Advisor, poor communication reduces trust in leadership by 43%. It breeds trouble when staffers no longer have faith in their leaders.

Trust your instincts

Ultimately, you must pay attention to your gut. If doubts persist, consider alternative candidates. Keep looking until you find someone with whom you can build a strong working relationship and mutual trust.

Over time, a persistent and measured approach should reveal a stellar option. The right captain is not just a leader but a partner who will lower the odds of legal issues.