Shipping companies should be aware that it is not only salary levels that determine which employer a seafarer selects – fringe benefits are playing an important role in attracting and keeping senior staff, a crew survey has revealed.
Access to the internet (both free or paid) tops the list of must-haves for today’s seafarers, while other attractive benefits are medical insurance, pensions and paid certification.
The Seafarers’ Employment Condition Survey 2019 was conducted by Danica, a Hamburg-based crewing specialist which provides largely Eastern European officers to the global shipping industry.
Almost 10,000 seafarers took part in the survey, conducted between May and September this year. The majority of respondents were senior officers and more than 50% had 24 months or more experience in their current rank.
The survey also demonstrated that crew vote with their feet – if they find a better offer they are more than willing to move companies. However, despite this workplace fluidity, the survey showed that the majority of seafarers were happy to recommend their most recent company as an employer.
Announcing the findings during this week’s Crew Connect Global event in Manila, Danica Managing Director, Henrik Jensen, said: “It is our experience that access to the internet is a very important parameter when seafarers are selecting an employer.
“Our survey shows that 80% of the seafarers who do not have internet access today would move jobs in order to get it. This is a huge warning to those shipping companies who do not offer crew internet access onboard their vessels,” he said.
Explaining his reasons for conducting the survey, which was open to Danica’s database of more than 37,000 crew members in Eastern Europe, he said: “In Danica we wanted to better understand the actual conditions Russian and Ukrainian seafarers are employed under, as well as how they act in the employment market. We were keen to hear from all seafarers, not just those placed in their positions by Danica – so our results are representative of the whole of the Eastern European crew market.”
The responses provide interesting reading. The survey found that:
• Close to 50% of the crew members responding have free access to the internet
• 19% of the seafarers (mainly senior officers) get the costs for the renewal of their national licenses paid
• 15% have medical insurance as a part of their remuneration package
• Most seafarers (55%) have worked for two or more companies over the past three years
• However, 45% have had only one employer in the past three years
• 73% of them would recommend a friend to join the company they last worked for
• 74% would change jobs for a higher salary
• Joining a younger vessel and having a shorter contract period are equally important (47% - 45%)
• 32% would change jobs to get access to the internet
• Medical insurance and pension are also important parameters.
Mr Jensen said: “The high percentage of seafarers willing to recommend their employer is a much higher number compared to engagement statistics for office workers in Germany, for example. In general the seafarers are happy with their employer, which highlights the fact that there are other factors at the heart of their reasons for changing employer so frequently.
Reinforcing the benefits of employing a crewing agency to source and place seafarers, the survey showed that 55% of Danica’s database of seafarers has not encountered serious workplace concerns. However, poor treatment does still happen and, among the wider number of respondents (many of whom have not been placed by Danica) the survey found:
• 15% experienced they were not paid on time
• 14% faced violation of rest hours rules
• 12% felt they had stress
• 11% were not relieved on time
• 9% faced shortage of food or drinking water
• 5% had to pay a commission to get employment
• 5% worked under unsafe conditions
Mr Jensen commented: “This is unacceptable and it is not surprising that some seafarers are job jumpers.”
Training, both at sea and on shore, is largely welcomed by seafarers. The survey showed that:
• 52% of the seafarers received training provided by their company when they were at home
• 55% of seafarers have attended a company seminar
• 59% of the seafarers who received training found it very or extremely useful
Mr Jensen observed: “This onshore training and seminar provision means that about 25% of these seafarers have met directly with their company staff during their home period. This is a positive move and one we would encourage to boost retention, industry standards and crew morale.”
For further information or to discuss the survey findings please contact Henrik Jensen, tel: +49 40 2109 190 32 email: firstname.lastname@example.org or meet with Henrik during Crew Connect Global in Manila this week.
Ship operators are placing greater recognition on the role crew members play as the key to reaching higher efficiency goals, according to crew specialist Danica, which is expanding to meet the growing demand for quality crew services.
As part of its expansion plans, the company will shortly open a new office in Riga, Latvia, and more are set to follow. Danica Managing Director Henrik Jensen said: “Shipping companies are beginning to realise that they have 8-10 seafarers on board for every one office employee and that the performance of these crew members is key to reaching the goal of higher efficiency, cost efficiency, safe operations, and delivering a better bottom line for the company.
“Shipping company CEOs are changing their perspective, away from seeing seafarers solely as a commodity and instead regarding them as important assets which need to be kept and developed. It’s time now for shipping company management teams to ‘walk the talk’ when it comes to crew matters,” he said.
Highlighting the fact that today’s shipping companies need to meet stringent technical, environmental and commercial requirements while returning a profit, Mr Jensen said this is leading more and more ship operators to outsource their crewing requirements. “Shipping companies are seeking a reliable partner for the manning of their vessels with experience and suitable resources, who understands their strategies and is able to implement them.
“The increasing operational requirements of modern vessels demand more specialised crew,” he said. “In order to attract high calibre individuals, today’s ship owners are looking for crew service providers who can deliver more than a just a cv. They want the total package including proper screening, support and training.”
Mr Jensen attributes Danica’s recent expansion to its focus on delivering services which meet the exacting needs of its owners and also to its careful screening of seafarers to ensure they fully meet the requirements of the roles they will fulfil onboard vessels.
“By using a smaller, boutique crew manager like Danica, shipping companies get access to experts in HR marine management, recruitment power and benefit from economies of scale,” he explained. “We are able to deliver an individually designed crew solution which exactly match the client’s needs – thus supporting them in reaching their business goals. We find our clients prefer this rather than having to fit in with the existing systems of larger firms.”
The smart ships of tomorrow will need smart crews too, he said. “Smart shipping is an evolution and not something that will happen overnight, although it is moving at a fast pace.
“New technologies and new vessel modus operandi will require seafarers to have an additional set of competencies,” he explained. “This will narrow the number of candidates who are able to fulfil the requirements – which makes proper screening and training even more important. This is exactly where Danica is strong. We are in a very good position to assist shipping companies with the manning of their smart ships.”
As well as meeting the high standards required by owners, Danica also ensures it appeals to the seafarers it employs. The company offers a vast number of training courses to enable seafarers to develop their skills and progress up the career ladder. “It is important that among seafarers we are a known as a preferred employer,” explained Mr Jensen. “This we achieve by offering jobs with ‘blue-chip’ ship owners as well being a fair employer and assisting crew members in their career through support such as structured promotion training programs.”
Danica has also seen an increase in the use of its crew management services, having recently taken on four new vessels to complement the more than 30 already under its management.
Crew management specialist Danica Crewing Services is pleased to announce it has taken on the crew management of a further two bulk carrier vessels: the Four Emerald and the Four Diamond.
The 33,392 dwt Four Emerald, built 2012, and the 34,059 dwt Four Diamond, built 2011, both sail under the Maltese flag.
Crew management of the vessels will be conducted in partnership with Sea World Management, a boutique style ship manager based in Monaco, which will deliver the technical management while Danica will be responsible for the crew management.
These two vessels bring Danica’s total number of vessels under crew management to 27. In total (including manning agency services) Danica now deploys more than 1,400 crew on more than 150 vessels through its five manning offices in Ukraine, Russia and Lithuania.
Henrik Jensen, Danica Managing Director, said: “We are excited about these two new vessels and the trust shown in Danica. We are looking forward to combining Danica’s hands-on approach with the competent and professional services of Sea World Management. Together we have designed a competitive crew service package which more than meets the owners’ individual needs.
“We have a number of new vessels in the pipeline which we believe is testimony to the value owners and ship operators place on the professionalism of our eastern European officers.”
Mr Jensen added: “We wish the Master, officers and crew of the Four Emerald and Four Diamond safe sailings and good winds.”
Crew management specialist Danica Crewing Services is pleased to announce it has taken on the crew management of a further newbuilding Ultramax Port Kyushu for Lisbon-headquartered Portline Bulk International.
The 62,550 dwt Port Kyushu, on her maiden voyage from Japan to Canada, was delivered by Oshima Shipbuilding Company, Japan, on 16th of May. The Liberian-flagged bulk carrier brings Danica’s fleet of crew managed vessels to 25.
Delivery of the Port Kyushu follows the entering into management of the Port Imabari which was delivered in January.
Henrik Jensen, Danica Managing Director, said: “With the addition of the Port Kyushu into our crew managed service, our fleet of managed vessels continues to grow in line with our strategy. We provide hands-on crew management and deliver a personalised service designed for each of our clients’ individual needs. We would like to thank the owners for the trust they have shown in us and we appreciate the excellent cooperation shown by teams in both companies which helped ensure this vessel sailed smoothly into our crew management service.”
Mr Jensen added: “We wish the Master, officers and crew of the Port Kyushu safe sailings and good winds.”
Crew management specialist Danica is pleased to announce it has been entrusted with the crew management of the newbuilding ultramax Port Imabari for Lisbon headquartered Portline Bulk International.
Delivered in January, the 63,500 DWT Port Imabari, equipped with four 30.5 tonnes (SWL) grab cranes, was built at Japan’s Imabari Shipyard. The Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier brings Danica’s fleet of crew managed vessels to 23.
Henrik Jensen, Danica Managing Director, said: “We thank the owners for the trust they have shown in us and we appreciate the good cooperation shown by teams in both companies which helped ensure this vessel sailed smoothly into our crew management service.”
The vessel made her maiden voyage from Japan to Vancouver, Canada and crew members sent a photograph to Danica of a snowman they made on deck during the inaugural trip. Mr Jensen added: “We wish the Master, officers and crew of the Port Imabari safe sailings and good winds.”
Today Danica in Odessa, Ukraine is celebrating our five-year anniversary under the Danica flag, but the roots of the office actually go back to 2009.
The business concept of Danica back then was – and still is today - to provide high quality crewing services to demanding shipping companies by connecting shipping companies with highly competent seafarers who all have passed a rigid screening.
The concept has proven to be right: In the past five years Danica has deployed 10,935 seafarers on 499 vessels with 44 owners. 29,216 seafarers have registered their application with Danica. 9,210 seafarers were in our office for screening and 3,919 passed as they fulfilled our strict requirements.
The team in the office in Odessa today counts 33 members and in addition to the traditional manning agency services we offer a range of value added services including payroll, training, planning, crew logistic, consulting and accounting.
In 2015 Danica expanded with an office in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and in 2016 we established offices Vladivostok and Nakhodka in Russia and in Klaipeda, Lithuania.
In 2017 Danica Training Services was established to ensure homogeneous high-quality training of seafarers across the locations where we have offices.
Danica Hospitality People – our newest branch - has started operating this week to cover an increasing demand of service personnel for cruise vessels and ferries.
We take this opportunity to send a warm thank you for the support we have received from our clients, seafarers and partners. We are looking forward to continue working with you for the benefits of all of us.
The Danica Team
We are pleased to share the news that a full crew from Danica took over
the chemical tanker MV Nore on behalf of her new owners CANSHIP UGLAND.
The vessel is 3,569, dtw and flying the Malta flag. MV NORE started its first
voyage from Turkey with 11 members of Danica crew along with owners
representative and currently heading to Halifax in Canada.
We wish both the crew and the ship fair wind and good luck!
You have already applied with Danica? Then please update your application/CV
by clicking here and see the vacancies we have for you.
New Year and Christmas with Danica has become our good tradition! The New Year holiday is a magic time for all of us and especially for kids. This year Danica has brought some magic and joy to the families of our crew. It was a great privilege and pleasure to arrange the New Year celebration and Christmas festivities where all the children received lovely sweet gifts. Everybody enjoyed Christmas magic spirit and holiday event organized by our Owners and Management, our Partners (Sirius Ship Management, FRS, Forest Wave Navigation, Eagle Ship Management) and friendly Danica Team! Till next year, Dear Santa!
We are pleased to announce the launching of Danica Training Services - a new high-quality maritime training service across Eastern Europe.
Founder and CEO of Danica Group Henrik Jensen says:
“We have founded Danica Training Services as a respond to shipping companies’ demand for high-quality training of their seafarers.
Danica Training Services offers high-quality training courses at major seafarer hubs in Eastern Europe (Odessa in Ukraine, Saint Petersburg in Russia and Klaipeda in Lithuania). Our training courses are of course open for all seafarers – not only to seafarers recruited through Danica.
Our courses are designed to empower seamen to successfully fulfill their duties onboard ship, thus ensuring the safe, efficient and cost-effective operations of the ship owner’s assets.
To be a successful officer today equally important to hard technical knowledge and skills are soft competencies such as leadership, behavior and safety culture management. Danica offers value adding courses which give the participants a platform of modern man-management tools including self-assessment.
To fulfill the need for leadership training we have developed a set of courses in modern onboard leadership where the participants through action learning, self-assessment tests and other leadership training scenarios will explore leadership roles as a coach, communicator and team member.
Course syllabi for all our courses are homogenous across all our training center locations, which will ensure that participants obtain the same competencies regardless of which center they attend.
We also offer client specific courses, such as extensive pre-employment/pre-joining courses based on your existing material or we can develop courses meeting your specific needs.”
Please visit www.danica-training.com for more information
Danica Crewing Services continued to grow through 2016 and we now connect more than 1100 highly competent seafarers with first class shipping companies around the Globe.
The success confirms the strength in our concept: Robust screening of all seafarers new to us and always act in the interest of our clients and at the same time be fair to the seafarers. Both ship owners and seafarers value of services.
In addition to our manning agency services our back-office and value added services are also highly appreciated by our clients and through 2016 more owners started using our payroll, training and competence management services as well as our crew logistic services.
Our back-office services give our clients savings and at the same time their in-house crewing team can concentrate on the overall matters like crew planning and HR-management.
Danica Crewing Services Baltic’s office in Klaipeda was established in April 2016.
The office coordinates the recruitment of seafarers from the Baltic countries and are specialized in tankers (gas, oil, product, chemicals), roro vessels, passenger vessels, offshore and wind park construction support vessels.
The business has constantly been growing and Danica in Klaipeda have moved to a larger office at:
Liepu Str. 54 K3
Telephone number and email are unchanged:
Tel: +370 6555 6919
Danica Crewing Services in Ukraine was one of the first manning agencies in Ukraine who was certified for MLC compliance back in 2013.In July 2016 Danica was audited by Bureau Veritas and the MLC compliance certificate was renewed.
However, Danica is not only certified for MLC compliance. Danica Crewing Services offices are also following Bureau Veritas extensive ISO-9000 based standard for approval of manning agencies and audited and certified according by Bureau Veritas.