Crew Change and the future of shipping streamlining processes


By Ilaria Grasso Macola11 Nov 2021

Singapore-based platform Greywing has developed a new technology called Crew Change to help companies make smarter changes around Covid-19 regulations. We profile the technology and look at how it could become fundamental for the future of shipping streamlining processes.

At the end of March 2020, a few weeks after the world went quiet because of Covid-19 lockdowns and travel bans, Nick Clarke – CEO at Singapore-based, Y Combinator-backed, platform Greywing – was talking to a security officer about how to solve shipping security issues in the Gulf of Guinea, when the customer mentioned they were having issues related to Covid-19 and couldn’t perform crewchanges.

Hrishi (Olickel – Greywing’s co-founder and the company’s CTO) and I had a quick chat and we did a lot more research, talking to all crew managers we could get a hold of, in Singapore and elsewhere,” he explains. “Over the next couple of days, we realised that crew changing issues were increasing exponentially and Rishi came up with the idea of replacing piracy intelligence

with crew change intelligence.”

Launched on the market at the end of July 2021, Crew Change helps companies plan smarter crew changes around Covid-19 regulations through the use of industry data from their previous experience in building the Greywing’s risk platform, which was already based on trying to find the best possible route to move vessels from one point to the other.

We realised that we plugged into, cleaned and built good datasets for most of the information you would need to solve crew changes,” adds Olickel. “We also realised that we were the only ones that had that level of access across the industry, as at the time we had both public and private data, good enough to task an automated system to try and solve that.”

Organising ship operations to get from A to B

Working with different industry stakeholders, including shipping industry partner S5 Agency World, Greywing built a comprehensive dataset of world ports, routes, and costs, to help companies make the smartest choices for their businesses and staff.

Once you have that, it then becomes a matter of optimisation. Given these end-dimensions that you’re looking at, can you chart the best pathway forward?,” Olickel asks. The answer is relying on the human factor. “Automating and using the expertise crew managers have is really enough for us,” adds the CTO.

Greywing is still working on how to better present the technology to the users, making sure that the interface is intuitive and easy to use. “How do you best present that information? We have all the information but then cut down to what exactly a user wants to know at any point in time,” he continues.