Honouring maritime’s resilience against adversity yet overlooking seafarers’ efforts amounts to hot air
In the face of COVID-19
None of us are strangers to COVID-19’s devastation. From the crew change crisis to delayed shipments’ resulting in massive inflation, cargo owners are now struggling with their business cash flows from the carriers’ surcharges. Objections were met with a wide array of rationales to justify surcharges which only angered cargo owners more.
The pandemic has also left many countries put in place measures to contain outbreaks or negotiate further infiltrations. These strategies may work on one aspect, but overlooking the people behind sustaining our survivals, and defending the policies catalysed several activists’ outcries.
The Federal Maritime Commission’s (FMC) intervention will certainly take time to address the current predicament. However, economies are still combating supply shortages, leaving some cargo owners no options but to pass the costs to consumers scrambling for essentials.
How maritime fared (with seafarers’ help)
The shipping industry accounts for more than 85 per cent of world trade. While parts of the world were on lockdown, the industry had to devise means to continue circulating goods around the world, to sustain other essential sectors – like pharmaceuticals, industrial, and food – remained active.
Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty 2020 report revealed the shipping industry showed great resilience in the face of COVID-19, via maintaining strong trade volumes expected to surpass 2019’s. The industry recorded losses that were far below expectations in the face of a crisis that assumed new proportions each day. In fact, the report indicates that despite COVID-19’s economic devastation, total losses remained at a record low.
Maritime indeed demonstrated immense strength to stand undefeated. Unfortunately, the industry at large remained indifferent to the seafarers’ contributions in making trade sustainable. Putting their lives at risk, they were committed to bring us our essentials. Countless activists lobbied for their welfare and benefits, including priority to vaccinations. The by-product was regrettably inaction from many stakeholders. Certainly, the industry can do better than pointing out how well they have performed, with the assistance of seafarers’ commitment onboard.
Crewing Online News Team
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