WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs

, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp 81–92 | Cite as

Virtually being there: Human aspects of shore-based ship assistance

  • Karl Bruno
  • Margareta Lützhöft


Shore-based ship assistance is a topic that increasingly is attracting attention from the maritime community. Subjects such as shore-based pilotage and VTS are often discussed and there is technological and political pressure towards more extensive forms of such assistance. Perhaps less often mentioned, but not less important, is the human side of these subjects. The present paper examines two of the central concerns for the people who actually work within today’s VTS centers, namely communication and trust. The study consisted of a literature review, study visits, observations and interviews.

Communication and trust are found to be closely related, and one main finding is that adapting one’s means of communication to the context can be a very powerful (and necessary) tool for the creation of trust. Another important result is that the ability of the shore-based operator to see the situation from the viewpoint of the crew is crucial for the creation and maintenance of trust.

Key words

VTS Pilotage Navigational Assistance Communication SMCP Trust 


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Copyright information

© World Maritime University 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Bruno
    • 1
  • Margareta Lützhöft
    • 1
  1. 1.Maritime Human Factors, Department of Shipping and Marine TechnologyChalmers University of TechnologyGöteborgSweden

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