- About us
- IBJ Awards
- Free Sample
- Contact us
Vaccination delays causing crew shortages
(Posted on 01/07/21)
Costs are rising in the crewing sector and crew shortages are beginning to be seen as Covid-19 travel restrictions and vaccination delays impact the availability of trained seafarers, warns Danica Crewing Services.
Noting recent changes in the availability of crew members, Henrik Jensen, Danica Managing Director, said that the Eastern European crewing market is under extreme pressure as companies turn to places like Ukraine and Russia to replace officers and seafarers unable to travel from places like India and the Philippines
And as we head into the summer holiday period, regarded as a ‘low season’ in terms of crew availability due to family commitments, crew numbers are being adversely impacted by the availability of Covid-19 vaccines and the time needed to allow immunity to develop. Some seafarers are also waiting until they have had their second vaccination before returning to sea.
Mr Jensen explained: “The unfortunate situation in India and the travel restrictions in the Philippines have caused many shipping companies to turn to Eastern Europe for crews. This has put the seafarer employment market in Eastern Europe under an unpreceded pressure with a high surplus of vacancies.
“Not unexpectedly – and as in freight markets – when there is a shortage the cost goes up and we now see shipping companies offering salaries 10-20% higher than the average market levels or providing a high joining bonus.
He continued: “On top of this we have a new dimension created by the desire for vaccination. Many seafarers want to be vaccinated before returning to sea, which is understandable and great news!
“In places like Russia vaccines are generally available. However, in other countries, such as Ukraine, the demand for vaccine outstrips supply resulting in a longer waiting time. We are finding that seafarers, especially those who do not sign up immediately as their leave begins, are waiting 4-6 weeks to be vaccinated.
Once they get their first injection they have to wait a further 8-10 weeks for the second one, and then an additional 2-3 weeks for their immunity to be fully effective.
“This means many seafarers are now out of the loop for 16-20 weeks, which is about double their usual leave period and is compounding the global shortage of seafarers,” he advised.
Mr Jensen commented: “This is why it is so important for seafarers to be designated as essential workers and given their vaccinations as soon as possible, and preferably the one-shot version.”
Launched this week, the new Seafarer Workforce Report from BIMCO and the International Chamber of Shipping... Read more
DNV, the world’s leading classification society and risk management expert, is embarking on an... Read more
International Maritime Industries (IMI), the largest maritime yard in the Middle East and North Africa... Read more
Distractions are recognised as one of the biggest causes of human error resulting in incidents, accidents... Read more
The Bahamas Maritime Authority (BMA) has announced that it has recognised the Seafarer Mental Health... Read more
Leading Classification Society ClassNK granted its first Innovation Endorsement “Provider Certification... Read more
World shipping can learn a lot from Jamaica when it comes to equality in the maritime workplace because... Read more
Classification society DNV has issued a verification statement allowing global survival technology specialist... Read more
METIS Cyberspace Technology is contributing to an EU-backed project that will test clean energy solutions... Read more
The technology group Wärtsilä continues to lead the ongoing transformation of the energy and... Read more