Fatigue, Sleep and the 6 hr / 6 hr on/off watch schedule

Things will change quite quickly when vessels are automated and everyone goes on a 0/0 schedule.

Auto workers and steel workers once had the same complaints: too few workers on the line. Solution: automation—get rid of most of them. The auto worker and steel workers thought, “No robot can replace me. My job is too complex. My job is safe!”

30 years from now there will be a shift change of remote-container ship operators working in an office park in Vegas. Two people will operate the entire ship, working 8-hour shifts. 30-minute commute from home. Before the old watch goes home to take the kids to soccer practice and make dinner, someone will say, “Man, these shifts are killing me.”

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I really don’t understand who ever came up with the 6 and 6 watch schedule. Did it for 4 years and hated it, working 12 on/off now and definitely notice a difference in terms of my mental mindset and overall energy levels.


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