Shipping firms be prepared to pay between 10 and 20 per cent more for crew
European crewing agent Danica is feeling the heat. The demand surge for vaccinated seafarers surfaced in Eastern Europe for their abundant vaccine supply.
Uneven vaccine availabilities
Indian seafarers are victims of shipping firms’ shift in hiring preference. The latter’s caution in having vaccinated crew resulted in a severe lopsided employment distribution amongst major seafarer suppliers. Indian seafarers being sidelined for jobs is not expected to resolve in the near future, leaving the Bangladeshis and Indonesians being the preferred nationalities. It appears that both countries’ supply are about to run dry.
Henrik Jensen, Danica Crewing Services’ Managing Director, said Eastern Europe’s crewing market is under extreme pressure. Companies look to Ukraine and Russia to replace officers and seafarers unable to travel from places like India and the Philippines. He said, “The unfortunate situation in India and the travel restrictions in the Philippines caused many shipping companies to turn to Eastern Europe for crew.
“This puts Eastern Europe’s seafarer employment market under immense pressure with a high surplus of vacancies. Not unexpectedly – and as in freight markets – when there is a shortage the cost goes up. We now see shipping companies offering salaries 10 – 20 per cent higher than the average market levels or providing a high joining bonus.”
Intense labour shortage in Europe
Jensen added “Vaccines are available in Russia. However, in countries like Ukraine, the demand for vaccine outstrips supply, and it results in longer waiting times. We have observed that seafarers, especially those who do not sign up immediately as their leave begins, are waiting 4 – 6 weeks to be vaccinated.”
He explained individuals who received their first jab would wait between 8 and 10 weeks for the second. The vaccination will be fully effective after 2 – 3 weeks. Jensen concluded, “This means many seafarers are now out of the loop for 16 – 20 weeks, which is about double their usual leave period and is worsening the global shortage of seafarers.”
Marine Online’s crewing arm offers an extensive listing of available seafarers looking to return onboard. Since it is not a mandate to hire vaccinated seafarers, shipping firms can get around rising costs by avoiding the self-imposed ban on Indian seafarers.
Crewing Online News Team
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