Seafarer Survey Confirms predicted Shortage in Manning / Seafarers Supply


MORE evidence of the acute challenge faced by the global shipping qualified officers is apparent in a new report from Deloitte. [Lloyds List]

The survey — Challenge to the industry: securing skilled crews in today’s marketplace the business risk to shipping companies of the need to attract and re
follows the recently published BIMCO ISF Manpower Update 2010, which indicated a likely shortfall of 5% in officers by 2015 and the need for action to ensure junior officers are retained in sufficient numbers to fill senior officer positions in the future.

Deloitte’s survey was based on a survey of 23 companies in all parts of the world operating some 1,125 vessels. It confirmed some widely known facts such as the huge reliance on the Philippines and India for seafarers, with about 45% of officers and 90% of ratings on the ships covered; that officers comprise 35%-40% of crew numbers; and that tanker officers’ carriers.

Many shipping companies focus recruiting efforts in the Far East and Balkan markets, but they “are not a panacea for fulfilling recruitment goals as the training and competency of officers from various parts of the world is not consistent”.It concludes that to promote growth in the supply of skilled seafarers “companies and governments will need to make the profession more attractive. Bias towards national crews, hostile tax environments, complex social security schemes, outdates training programmes, flag state restrictions on crew composition, protectionism and the inability of seafarers to communicate in English are major impediments to successful attraction of better crews.

The report from Deloitte’s shipping and ports group in Athens, highlighted as an example the fact that the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine specifies that five Greeks seafarers plus one cadet be employed onboard Greek flagged vessels of 45,000 constrain shipping companies’ ability to staff their vessels effectively”.

The report concludes that “actions need to be taken on numerous fronts to encourage the recruitment and retention of young people to the shipping profession and tip the supply of seafarers in a positive direction. Governments are required to implement innovative incentives and tax rationalisation programmes and companies should face rising co packages”.