Op-Ed by Lieutenant (Military Retired) Dave Daniel Rachimi, MBA/MBI, CEO of World MarSec Union Inc.
Officers and seafarers traveling around the globe know that traveling in and around pirated waters is extraordinarily dangerous and full of life threatening risks. Experience has shown that time and time again, missions are subjected to financial losses, human injury, and at times, serious casualties.
It is as important to realize that not all private maritime security companies (PMSCs) are able to provide all of the resources necessary in all ports all of the time (namely weapons, ammunition, protective equipment, optics, medical support, firearms training, transport, insurance, and varying commercial flights). Not only that - but, unfortunately not all PMSCs conduct business with honor and integrity, and therefore, cannot always be trusted.
Four questions should come to mind at this point:
* How do I keep my PMSC profitable and still provide a savvy first class maritime security service to the shipowner while operating under full high risk area exposure?
* How do I get fast and affordable equipment and port services in all 35 high risk area ports?
* How do I know who I can trust?
* When in a desperate situation, especially at sea in high risk areas, who do I turn to for assistance?
It is for these questions and more that I started the World MarSec Union three years ago. As a thriving yet fledgling organization, the Union is becoming an important and vital organization for all PMSCs and captains to consider joining for the following reasons:
1. Money - the more PMSCs we have as members, the more money that can be saved with each of your missions because of group bulk package rates the Union can attract. The more we buy as a group the less you pay as PMSC.
2. Safety - Each pending member of our Union is vetted for previous business dealings and reputation.
3. Dignity - Being part of the union gives you a marketing advantage.
4. Security - We give you the guarantee that if you can't complete a mission because of any reason, the Union will complete the mission for you with your branding.
5. Competence - Union PMSC's tend to be better workers than non-union operators.
6. Support - You have the opportunity for one-on-one direct Union board contact 24/7 365 days a year.
Each union member has the right to use, for a reduced fee, other members’ gear in a JV insured contract. After all, no PMSC can have gear all the time, at all high risk area ports, and networking in real time is a must in order to support your clients. You can get an idea in real time of which PMSC is present at which port and what gear is available there.
Union supported missions are run by mandate with coherent plans as well as being backed - if necessary - with alternative plans, that are ready at a moment’s notice to completely secure a ship and its crew.
Access to many ports has been a huge logistic and financial headache. The Union strives to comply with international and local laws and has worked with many governments to ensure that its member companies have all the legal tools necessary to carry out our operations.
Unfortunately there are many PMSCs that act outside the law. Utilizing unprofessional, unqualified and untrained operational teams will not only harm the industry we serve but taint the reputation of our esteemed clients.
Therefore, the ultimate goal of the Union is to ensure that all PMSCs use well trained disciplined and professional teams and adopt the same standard throughout our industry. In other words, the Union also acts as a regulatory commission that oversees each PMSC to make sure similar standards of business are being upheld.
The maritime industry has seen, in recent years, a massive growth in port agents operating as weapons agents for PMSCs. Many have previously operated as chandlers and bunker agents, but the potential for high profits has seen a large number of unscrupulous agents enter the market.
There are no rules on which agent a PMSC may use at any ports. Many agents have adopted a cavalier attitude and act outside the law simply to ensure that they maintain a financial benefit. It is a must to have a single Union port agent in each port, qualified and certified by the Union which offers affordable prices to union members.
Many PMSCs also operate outside local and international laws simply to ensure that they win transits. The Union has adopted a proactive stance on this and maintains strict rules to ensure that their agents are operating within the law. The safety of operators and equipment is of paramount importance.
The Union uses bulk group purchases to obtain logistical services for PMSCs in each port with the aim of increasing profitability for all PMSCs and operators. It also provides first class affordable SAT phone services and non-lethal equipment.
A secondary, but nonetheless important, service is that the Union is also able to provide first-class 28007 standard services with the best possible equipment, optics, medical support training, unified battle drills and training.
The Union holds a good share of the PMSCs and agents registered across the globe. Today we support a group of 35, member and non-member companies.
By increasing our numbers as well as our scope of reach, the Union is at the forefront of positive change in our community and is becoming stronger day by day as it continues to oversee the safety, profitability and wellbeing of its members.
There is always strength in numbers.
The products and services herein described in this press release are not endorsed by The Maritime Executive.