north american maritime ministry association draft...

North American Maritime Ministry Association Draft American Maritime Ministry Association Draft Summary Report
North American Maritime Ministry Association Draft American Maritime Ministry Association Draft Summary Report
North American Maritime Ministry Association Draft American Maritime Ministry Association Draft Summary Report
North American Maritime Ministry Association Draft American Maritime Ministry Association Draft Summary Report
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  • North American Maritime Ministry Association Draft Summary Report October 26, 2016


    In Service of Seafarers Welfare This report gives a brief summary of a research programundertaken byNAMMA that we believe is directly relevant to Port Authorities acrossNorthAmerica.Inthebeginningof2016,Mr.MichaelSkaggs,ourDirectorofPrograms,beganexploringport leviesandvoluntary contributions forseafarers welfare. The results of our Hindings: Many of our centers facecrisis-level funding shortages year after year because of the enormouscostsofprovidingforseafarerswelfare.TheresultsofourresearchpointtoastarkHinancialfutureforseafarerswelfarewithouttheactivesupportof port authorities. Without functioning at least as an advocate forseafarers centers, port authorities have the potential to slow down thegoodworkof theseorganizations.Wehave learnedthatportauthoritiesarethesinglemostimportantactorintheportlevyarrangement,eventhough they are neither the source nor object of funding. With a minimum of effort andresources, theystandtoaccomplishanenormousamountofgood;withno involvementatall,theworkofseafarerscenterswillfacegreaterchallenges. 1

    Presented by

    Dr. Jason Zuidema Executive Director

    Prepared by

    Mr. Michael Skaggs Director of Programs

  • North American Maritime Ministry Association Draft Summary Report October 26, 2016

    Port Levies De,ined. First, a deHinition. By portlevies, we use Dr. Olivia Swifts term from her2013 global survey commissioned by theInternational Seafarers Welfare and AssistanceNetwork: small fees that visiting ships are askedto pay toward the support of seafarers welfare.While the word levy suggests a mandatorycontribution, in North American ports they arealmost always voluntary. At present, in only oneNorthAmericanportthatNAMMAsurveyedisthelevyHixed.What Seafarers Centers Do? What seafarerscenters manage to do on tiny budgets isremarkable. They transport seafarers, at nocharge, to a variety of locations ashore; theyprovidecommunication facilitiesandequipment;andmostimportantly,theyofferawarmwelcometo seafarerswhoare grateful for a fewhoursoffthe ship and the chance to connectwith friendsandfamilyfromwhomtheyhavebeenisolatedforquite some time. There are precious few thingsmore fulHilling than seeing a mariner meet anewborn child for the Hirst time via Skype! Putsimply,wemakesurethatseafarersknowtheyareseen,thattheyareacknowledged.

    StatisticsonPortLevies.Afewstatisticshelpvisualizethestateofseafarerswelfare.First, themajorityofcentersreceivelittleassistancefromportleviesofthe69centerscontacted,only

    36 have a port welfare voluntary contribution in place at thistime.Severalothersreportedthatitisunderdiscussion,butalsomentioned that those discussions have occurred over manyyears.Furtherofthose36centers,mostrealizelessthan15%oftheir operating budgets this way. This is one part of a web offunding,butotherroutesarenotanyeasier.Commercialmodelsarenotviablesolutions:Sinceourgoalistoprovideallweofferascheaplyaspossibleorfreely,thereisrarelyenoughmargintocover expenses. Charitable contributions from outside the portcommunity are helpful, but also insufHicient by themselves. Theremoveatwhichtheshippingindustryoperatesfromthegeneralpublic means that seafarers welfare often is as hidden an

    industry as seafaring itself, and fundraising is extraordinarily difHicult. And while many portauthorities generously contribute to the infrastructure needs of seafarers centers, the liquidresourcesnecessaryfordailyoperationsfrequentlyoutpacethefundingthatcentersrelyon.Weemphasize that in-kindsupport fromtheports inwhichcentersare located - subsidizedrent,utilities, maintenance and capital costs, and so on - cannot be overestimated in its impact.Without this type of assistance from port authorities, many seafarers centers would simplyceaseoperation.Allthosewhoreceiveitareprofoundlygratefulforthissupport. 2

    Port authorities sit at the nexus of relationships to gain support for seafarers welfare

  • North American Maritime Ministry Association Draft Summary Report October 26, 2016

    Second, while centers expect about half of their requests to bereturned,20%isamorecommonrate.Incomestreamsfromcashcontributions remain a desperately-needed solution, and onewhichportauthoritiesareuniquelypositionedtoaddress. In fact,our survey found that the single greatest indicator of a centersHinancialsuccessthroughportlevieswasaproductiverelationshipwithportauthoritieswillingtohelppublicizethegoodworkofthecenters and relay to shipping the importance of the servicesprovidedbythesecenters.Inonecase,aportauthorityevenpaysalevy to the seafarers center for each ship that calls;whether theowner then pays the port authority or not, that port authorityrecognizesthevalueoftheseafarerscenter.Thisrepresentsakeygrowth opportunity: in our survey, less than a third of seafarerscenters reported that their port authorities facilitated levycontribution. By taking on the responsibility of ensuring thats e a fa re r s

    centers remain funded, port authoritieshave an incredible opportunity toincrease exponentially the good workdonebycenters.Finally, the amounts requested aretypically minimal, with most centersrequesting $100 or less. Yet those smallamountspresentlargechallenges.

    Recommendations. We thus offer in thissummary report two recommendations to support the work ofseafarers centers. In turn, those services will lead to greaterproductivityinshippingandhighertrafHicinport. 3

    Port authorities have an incredible opportunity to increase the good work done by seafarers centers.


  • North American Maritime Ministry Association Draft Summary Report October 26, 2016


    board.Scheduleregularmeetingsorluncheons for information andadvice exchange. Most generously,ask whether they need help withfundraising.Thekeyfactorforthosecenters that have a high rate ofre tu rn i s re l a t i onsh ip s -relationships between the centerand the port, between the centerand agents, and so forth. Portauthorities sit at the nexus of allthese relationships and have theability to foster them and make

    themproductive.Oneseafarerscentertoldusthatiftheycouldchangesomethingtoimprovethelevysystemintheirport, itwouldbeforthecenter, theportauthority,andshippingall towork together in service to seafarers. Put plainly, doing so just makes good business sense:Happy workers are better workers, good seafarers improve shipping efHiciency, and moreshipping redounds to the great beneHit of ports. By recognizing the key role that seafarerscentersplayatthestartofthischain,theentirecommunitywouldstandtorealizesubstantialgains.Butnomatterhowgoodtheworkthatseafarerscentersdo,itoftengoesunnoticedbyshippingownershipunlessportauthoritiessupportandacknowledgetheseservices.Inaveryrealway,port authorities are the organizational link between seafarers centers and shipping; centersstandtogainenormouslyfromthisconnectionbutsuffergreatlyinitsabsence.Second, ifyourporthasa levy inplace, reviewhow it is collectedanddistributed.Howmanyshipspay?Whatmightcontributetohighorlowratesofpayment?Ifyourportdoesnothaveawelfare levy,whynot?Whatobstaclesstandbetweenthepresentomissionanda future levy?Starting a port welfare levy, or improving one already in place, is guaranteed to improveseafarerscentersbottomlines.And,aswehavementionedseveraltimes,thisbeneHitseveryoneelseinvolved,too.CompletingthissecondkeytaskwillbecomealmostinHinitelyeasieronceyoubeginaddressingtheHirstandstarting,fostering,andmaintainingtherelationshipsthatshould

    characterize a healthyshipping industry andthecareofitslaborers. 4

    Note: This summary report is meant for research purposes only. Opinions e x p r e s s e d d o n o t necessari ly represent t h o s e o f i n d i v i d u a l members of NAMMA. We welcome additional data and commentary.


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