ITF Seafarers

Providing Global Support and Rapid Solutions with ITF Seafarers

Helping International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Seafarers protect and improve sea workers’ lives around the world through one trusted, streamlined, digital platform. Rapidly increasing the ITF’s efficiency, allowing them to resolve issues faster and with less input.

61% retention rate

Over 1 million ITF members

Across 107 countries


Project Aims

Sonin and ITF Seafarers partnered create an app with seamless user experience tailored to the needs of Seafarers and seafaring unions worldwide.

Since 1876, ITF have been helping and supporting Seafarers. Today, they are the representatives of over 1 million Seafarers worldwide, which is why it was vital for Sonin’s collaboration with ITF to deliver value at speed for their stakeholders. Understanding the user groups, their pain points and focusing on high-impact opportunities first.

The wellbeing of active Seafarers was at the centre of this app. The goal was to rebuild the existing app from the ground up to increase the robustness, usability and functionality, creating one trusted source of information. 

Ensuring the safety, security and rights of Seafarers. 

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Key Features

  • Helpline

Wherever they are in the world, Seafarers can report a problem. The app guides them to a place for help (i.e. their union) and to request information ITF need to help, allowing them to upload appropriate documents and specify any required information in a guided form. 

  • Health & Wellbeing

Providing users with information support about relevant issues they may face while at sea or in certain countries. 

  • Find an Inspector or Union

Users can search for an inspector or union and send a message directly from the app. When the issue is being managed by a union or inspector, the app will show the status of a report. 

  • Find a Vessel

Seafarers can search for a vessel to check if it is covered by an ITF approved agreement. The results will give information, including if the ship is active, certified and when it was last inspected. Providing affiliated trade unions for the protection of Seafarers onboard.  

  • Know Your Rights

In this section, the app highlights the most important information that seafarers should have access to and know what they are entitled to.

The Story

The Challenge

Seafarers rely on the ITF for a myriad of information, for example; about a ship or reporting issues. However, ITF Seafarers recognised that their existing app was not supporting Seafarers the way they or the unions required. 

Since 1896, the ITF has been helping Seafarers. Today, they represent Seafarers’ interests worldwide. They act in the best interests of Seafarers to improve working conditions, ensure adequate regulation of the shipping industry and protect the interests and rights of the workers. 

ITF approached Sonin to deliver a product that will be the go-to, trusted source of information for all Seafarers and provide them with a better, in-app user experience.  

The Approach

Understanding ITFs objectives for this app was vital for protecting the rights of Seafarers.

We worked with ITF through discovery to understand ITFs goals and their main priorities for the app. With Seafarers and their wellbeing at the centre of this app, we conducted user research with both Seafarers and inspectors. From this, we were able to ascertain their wants and needs.  

Together, we established that one crucial issue was that there were a multitude of contact methods that seafarers could use. This proved difficult for inspectors and unions to track, often duplicating or delaying their effort to resolve issues.  

ITF wanted to create a platform that would be one source of trusted information, raise issues, track resolutions and to be able to maintain contact with Seafarers while actively at sea.

The Result

A bespoke digital platform providing one singular, trusted platform for Seafarers. 

Through collaborative efforts with ITF’s internal developers, we successfully developed an app dedicated to safeguarding the rights and security of Seafarers, ensuring enhanced working conditions with round-the-clock access to helplines, inspectors, and over 200 unions. 

By joining forces, Sonin created ITF a product that, delivers a seamless app tailored to seafarers’ needs. The app integrates crucial information that resonates directly with its users, ensuring a successful outcome. 

Providing Global Support

Since its launch, the ITF Seafarers app has helped ten of thousands of users in 107 different countries, with over 5,000 users per month. Each day, at least 300 vessels are searched for and over 230 contacts details viewed. 

With the help of the app, Seafarers can quickly and easily report issues, contact unions and inspectors and be supported 24/7 while out at sea.  

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