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Flexing wealth muscles to retain crew

Large cargo carriers are now competing on bonus keep their best talents

It is official! Crew salaries have skyrocketed to the point competition gets intense as shipowners and carriers fight for seafarers through generous payouts. The burning question is: who is the richest?

Cash-flush from high spot rates
Last year’s port congestions no doubt caused rates to hike significantly, with the shipowners and operators reaping the profits. However in their defence, there were clear demonstrations of crew welfare. Beijing’s Caixin Global reported employees of Chinese state-owned COSCO Shipping were paid a jaw-dropping year-end bonus that was 30 times their monthly salary. Taiwanese company Evergreen Marine reportedly gifted a bonus that was as high as 40 times of workers’ monthly salary!

It would be a tall order for this gesture to continue but the industry can certainly look towards stubbornly high rates courtesy of the Omicron. Disruptions in China were beyond description during lockdowns – leaving employers to make do with whatever manpower they have. Pair that with seafarers’ seriously contemplating leaving their jobs for something more grounded makes crew manning more difficult than anyone thought.

Analysts from CLSA Ltd (formerly known as Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia), a capital markets and investment group pointed out China’s zero-COVID policy is greatly contributing to the persistent supply chain pressures, despite its good intentions. Sharing similar sentiments was Peter Sand, Xeneta’s Chief Analyst. “Average shipping rates in 2022 will be higher than ever before, thanks to companies’ strong pricing power and ability to negotiate long-term rates,” Sand said in his weekly update.

When the talent pool actively shrinks, remuneration packages may be the best draw for crew retention. However, substantial attention to crew welfare is also heavily advocated for seafarers. Monetary compensation should never be the only tool to show appreciation to the team with unquestioned dedication.

Crewing Online News Team
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