Improving the experience of seafarers visiting the Port of Barcelona

January 20, 2020
Barcelona PWC dock experience 2
Barcelona Port Welfare Committee 'dock experience'

Barcelona Port Welfare Committee (PWC) has found a way to bring together seafarers and port representatives in order to improve the experience of crews calling in the port.

With the support of the Port Authority, Barcelona PWC organises a ‘dock experience’ – a meeting between seafarers and port representatives on the dock of a terminal. The meetings, which usually last around an hour, establish a dialogue between seafarers and the port, giving crews the chance to voice their expectations from the port in terms of operations as well as their personal needs.

To initiate the meeting, the PWC contacts the port terminal to find a suitable date and calls the different agents within the port who need to be involved, including the Port Authority, ship agents, MoU inspectors, stevedores, pilots, port police, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), associations of ship masters and chief engineers, and Stella Maris. The terminal then approaches a ship in port to explain the aim of the meeting and encourage them to send a representative.

Dr. Ricardo Rodriguez-Martos Dauer is the Director of Stella Maris Barcelona, a key member of Barcelona PWC. He explains: ‘There are captains who are afraid that something will be said that commits them or the owner, but little by little they are made to understand that it is a conversation that only aims to improve the ship-port relationship.’

Barcelona Port Welfare Committee 'dock experience'

So far, the PWC has organised three ‘dock experiences’ and claims the terminals involved have shown interest in focusing more attention on the needs of crews. ‘These experiences help the crew to be more taken into account in the port as people,’ says Dr. Rodriguez-Martos Dauer.

Dr. Rodriguez-Martos Dauer is the Spanish-speaking ambassador for ISWAN’s International Port Welfare Partnership (IPWP) programme, which is managed by the UK Merchant Navy Welfare Board. The programme encourages and supports the establishment of welfare boards worldwide in accordance with the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. Regional or local seafarers’ welfare boards, also known as port welfare committees (PWCs), bring together representatives from the local maritime community to support and improve seafarers’ welfare services and facilities.

Do you run a similar initiative at your port? If you do and would be interested in featuring on our website, please get in touch with us at

Barcelona Port Welfare Committee 'dock experience' participants
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