Performing a Detailed Assessment


The Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority


Maritime Business Strategy – Strategic Planning and Operational Optimization

Risk Management and Process Improvement – Risk Assessments, Loss Prevention and Management Systems

The Steamship Authority (SSA) is the primary ferry system providing service to the islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket from Cape Cod. In March and early April 2018, an unprecedented series of mechanical and operational problems occurred on the ferries, resulting in many unexpected trip cancellations.  The events led to an erosion of public confidence and raised questions about the SSA’s vessel maintenance practices, fleet rotations, public communications and other aspects of its operations.

As a result, the SSA engaged a consulting team led by MCP’s Managing Partner to better understand any systemic problems and organizational circumstances that allowed or encouraged the problems the SSA experienced in the spring of 2018, and develop practical and effective recommendations that would reduce the chances of any such problems in the future.

Services Performed:

As the prime consultant, the Managing Partner of Maritime Consulting Partners, LLC led a team of MCP personnel, marine engineers from Glosten and the principles of Rigor Analytics, in an extensive review of the Steamship Authority’s operations.

The SSA is a wide-spread and diverse ferry system and the review required a large team of subject matter experts to analyze vessel operations, fleet maintenance, management structure, information technology systems and public communications.  The team coordinated its efforts and integrated collected data through general observations, interviews, document reviews and root cause analyses in order to accurately produce a series of recommendations.  These recommendations were grouped as either tactical in nature or strategic.

The Results:

Following analysis, the consulting team consisting of members of maritime, engineering and public communications professionals developed a collection of ten prioritized recommendations for the SSA’s Board of Governors and executive management to consider for implementation.  These recommendations were aimed at achieving long-term results in positive cultural changes in the organization through the implementation of management systems and the utilization of technology to improve both internal and external communications.  Additionally, a comprehensive list of short-term, tactical recommendations was provided that could be implemented immediately to provide instantaneous results in the most critical areas.

MCP and Glosten continues to support and guide the SSA through the implementation of the primary strategic initiatives by providing project management guidance and monitoring progress for the Board of Governors.