Wilhelmsen insights

Ship management during COVID-19 pandemic

Wilhelmsen Ship Management shares proactive measures done to ensure uninterrupted operability of our fleet during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wilhelmsen insights |
WIlhelmsen Ship Management

In light of the evolving COVID-19 situation, we have implemented the following operational adjustments to secure the well-being of our employees and crew as we strive to deliver an uninterrupted operability of our fleet. 

Crew screening prior to pre-joining

We have added additional measures on our pre-joining procedures to detect and prevent any infected crew from joining onboard vessels. Health screening and travel declaration measures has been imposed to all crew prior to joining.


We have issued guidelines on practical protection against infection. Though measures have been put in place to prevent an infected crew onboard, these guidelines will serve as precautionary measures. Crew are encouraged to practice good personal hygiene habits, usage of personal protective equipment, maintain environmental hygiene and proper food preparation.

Handling of COVID-19 onboard

If there is any confirmed or suspected cases onboard, contingency plans will be activated and defined steps shall be taken until further instructions from authorities of the next port of call. We have also initiated communication and onboard drills for handling of COVID-19 onboard.

Port call

When calling at port, crew must take precautionary measures to protect themselves. Crew are familiarized with the safety guidelines focusing on safety measures to be taken prior to calling, during stay and after departure.


We have heightened our communication frequency with our vessels through port updates and safety bulletins. It is essential to keep the crew updated on the latest progress of the outbreak situation and measures for protection.

Crew change and shore leave

We note that some countries/cities are implementing lockdown to contain the viral spread. This has had a major impact on future crew changes. We will try our level best to do crew change where possible provided risk mitigation conditions are met. We are proactively evaluating the situation to ensure that our crew can be relieved as soon as possible.

Crew motivation

We understand this is an extremely difficult period for the crew to be away from home and family. We are implementing some initiatives to enable crew to increase their interaction time with their family.  We have also heightened our mental health awareness messages and extending further support from shore by having frequent casual discussions with crew to address the concerns surrounding the progress of the pandemic.

Contact tracing

Once crew change is possible, we will enforce additional measures to allow contact tracing as recommended by WHO. During crew sign off, measures will be implemented to enable contact tracing should this be necessary.

Overdue surveys

With the global travel restrictions in place, inspectors and auditors from class societies are unable to go onboard to carry out surveys. This means due certifications are unable to be renewed in time and flagstate dispensations must be done to ensure validity of the certifications. We are following closely with flagstate requirements to align our mitigation plans if travel restrictions continue beyond dispensation time frame.

Disruption in supply chain

The main challenges faced are limited availability of air cargo, service engineers, delivery and logistics options. This could mean longer delivery time for ships to receive their spares and stores. We have increased our vigilance to ensure ships will not be exposed to the risk of spares and stores shortages.  

Social distancing of shore employees

Some of us are operating from home as required by local government recommendations. The affected offices will be operating under their business continuity plan to ensure continuity of services. This arrangement will continue until further notice. 

Stepping up cyber security

Working from home as securely as possible during the pandemic is high on our agenda. We have stepped up our cyber security initiatives and communicated the guidelines to all employees. Employees are reminded to stay vigiliant as we expect an increase in fraud attempts.

Response to impact

We have yet to see the full scale of the impact. But we expect the impact of this pandemic to be felt throughout the industry, although differently for different stakeholders. We are proactively doing scenario planning and adjustments in our systems and processes to accomodate the anticipated changes. 

As we work closely with global and national authorities to ensure our service delivery to you remains uninterrupted, we will continue to keep you updated on the progress of our efforts.


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