Solution to seafarer shortages lies in diversification of crew composition

Seafarer shortages, particularly among well qualified senior officers, are becoming apparent in some sectors.

One of the causes of this recent situation is a switch by owners away from using Russian seafarers, who make up 5% of the global maritime workforce, for practical reasons such as difficulties in transits and obtaining visas or ethical reasons.

This has resulted in an upsurge in demand for Ukrainian seafarers as owners seek alternative crew sources, which is creating shortages among some ranks of qualified officers.

Fortunately there are many Ukrainian seafarers in the labour market. When the war broke out the majority were at sea and did not return to Ukraine. Some have settled in other countries, either temporarily or permanently, which means they remain available to the shipping industry.

Another reason for senior officer shortages is that we are seeing more seafarers choosing not to progress up the ranks, either because they do not seek this level of advancement or because they transfer to a shore-based role instead.

We are also still ‘paying the price’ of the exodus of seafarers during the pandemic when crew changes became impossible for a while and those on shore had to seek alternative employment to pay their bills. Some seafarers found they preferred life ashore and did not return to the industry while others switched to a more ‘part-time’ approach, returning to sea occasionally to boost their income.

As the crew shortage and the hunt for the best talent to crew vessels sharpens, the solution for ship operators is to further diversify your crew profile.
The shipping industry is very international and most in the industry understand that competencies and behaviour do not relate to a certain passport but to the individual holding the passport.

To respond to this current situation we are seeing forward-thinking shipping companies’ recruitment and sourcing policies changing to encompass a more international approach. Now is the time to focus on securing the best talent for each vacancy and not be limited to sourcing from a few countries only.

In Danica we are well-prepared and ready to assist shipping companies with recruitment from multiple countries. Our signature and base for our success, which we have operated for the past 10 years, is our very strict screening of every seafarer new to us. This approach ensures candidates fulfil the requirements necessary to be successful in their role onboard.

We have expanded rapidly over recent years and our network of offices now extends from Eastern Europe to include all major seafaring hubs including India and the Philippines. We can provide a wide variety of competent and qualified officers and ratings to meet each individual owners’ specific needs and we are well known for our ability to quickly produce suitable candidates – from individuals up to whole crews.

We maintain a personal service despite the extensive spread of our manning offices. All our clients benefit from having one contact person within Danica who will coordinate your requirements internally across our entire network.

Our multinational network of offices, strict screening procedures and one-contact point service puts Danica in a unique position to assist shipping companies to diversify their crewing portfolio and reach out to other nationalities in a very controlled and risk free way. To find out more get in touch with us today.

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