London: In these hard times for owners where every cost is scrutinized, marine travel is something that is often missed when accountants come to cutting a company’s bottom line. A travel budget for a shipping company can run into millions of dollars. Moreover, the amount of time spent chasing cheap tickets is a hidden cost. The argument to outsource seafarer travel is growing as the maths make sense, argues V. Ships Marine Travel’s managing director, John Harding in today’s Maritime CEO interview.
Citing a new client, Seacor, who have been using V.Ships Marine Travel since last November, the shipping line has seen its travel costs come in at 11% under budget.
The company is now the third largest marine travel company in the world.
The important aspect the V. Group subsidiary is trying to nurture is is ability to empower the traveller. “Travellers want flexibility,” says Harding. A reuest form has been created so clients can ask for changes. Moreover, an app is under development, set to launch next year, which will show travellers every detail of their itineraries.
Ticket prices are likely to remain relatively cheap, Harding says, thanks to the rocketing airline capacity. “Middle East airlines are blowing the market away with capacity which means we should be able to keep fares down,” Harding concludes. [09/09/14]