Covid-19, a new global crisis, unforeseeable and of unthinkable consequences, especially for a slowing economy like Italy. The role of a service company such as SIRM, is to ensure the efficient functionality of the on-board equipment and systems and the overall efficiency of the ship. A typically “people intensive” business model is in place, because, in order to ensure assistance and maintenance services, it is necessary to use specialized technicians who carry out assistance, repair and maintenance activities on board ships entering Italian ports.
To ensure continuity of service, companies operating in the service sector have reinforced protection measures, integrating Personal Protective Equipment with new equipment (protective masks FFP2/FFP3, glasses, gloves, etc.) and new procedures (minimize contact, maintain safety distances, etc.), but this is often not enough, as the risk is never totally neutralized, especially in tight environments such as ships. Service activity cannot, just as ships, be stopped
There is great uncertainty about how long it will take to get out of this pandemic. Companies like ours need to accelerate the change in business model, making the best use of available technology to support ships from remote service centers, thus minimizing any visit on board. The use of available technologies and platforms (WebEx, Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype, videoconferencing, remote analysis of system logs) could be the first step towards a new and more efficient way of working, focusing on quick response and preventive and proactive detection of critical failures.
As in any revolution, all this could lead to the birth of new companies and new integrated technological platforms dedicated to the shipping sector. We now need to make the most of what is available and lay the foundations for the future in order to be ready at the end of this crisis period. We must comply as closely as possible with the measures put in place by national governments to respond to this pandemic and minimise the risk of contagion.
The Italian government reacted promptly to the rapid, and violent, spread of the virus. In addition to the drastic measures of social distancing and strong mobility limitation that culminated in the lockdown of the entire country, the government has decided to adopt a substantial package of measures to support the economy, businesses and families.
Today in Italy we live in a surreal atmosphere, the cities have emptied and silence has taken the place of urban noise, there are no more complaints about traffic and pollution and the population seems to have found a unity lost for too many years. However, hope never abandons us and we firmly believe that sharing the two hashtags #Imstayingathome and #itwillbeallright, it’s the only thing we can do right now.