Drury: the shortage of seafarers will continue to expand and the cost of Manning will increase
Even excluding the inhibitory effect of covid-19, the current shortage of seafarers in the global merchant fleet is expected to expand. According to the latest research report of "Manning annual review and forecast" released by global maritime consulting agency de Luri, it is shown that the declining attraction of maritime career and the increasing Manning ratio of wharf staff will increase the manning cost of seafarers in the future.
Drewry estimates that the current global shortage of seafarers is about 2% of total demand, but this is masked by the temporary idling of ships due to the current covid-19 pandemic. However, once the merchant fleet has fully resumed market activity, this shortage will reappear, which means tighter supply conditions compared to when the market is expected to be generally balanced in 2019.
Looking forward to the future, despite the slowdown in fleet growth, the demand for seafarers is expected to accelerate as a result of the expected revision of employment practices, extended holidays and reduced duty hours, which will have an impact on the terminal Manning ratio. At the same time, the net supply of seafarers has been slowing down in recent years and is not expected to keep pace with the growth in demand, which has led to an increase in the overall shortage relative to the demand for merchant ships.
"As competition from onshore roles intensifies, coupled with lifestyle and related mental health challenges, the profession is no longer as attractive as it used to be," said Rhett Harris, senior analyst for seafarers' staffing at drew. The outbreak of covid-19 has further damaged the reputation of the profession because of the high-profile news stories about stranded seafarers and forced extension of service. "
The cost index of Manning seafarers and the world consumer price index
Due to weak expected earnings, shipowners will face pressure to cut costs, and it is expected that the growing shortage of seafarers will bring upward pressure on Seafarers' salaries. Drewry estimates that the overall cost of Manning seafarers will be flat in 2020, but will pick up in the next few years (see chart).
Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will be highlighted by Harris, which adds to the competitiveness of offshore work, especially after occupation of the new type of coronavirus (Harris). In addition to wages, balancing the length of time on board and the proportion of full ship departures is expected to be a major consideration for both employees and employers throughout the tenure of the job. "
There is still a demand for skills and experience in specialist positions, and overall the supply is more tight than in the seafarer Manning market. The demand for seafarers from traditional low-cost suppliers may also increase, which will further aggravate inflationary pressure on Seafarers' Manning costs.
"In the past few years, the industry has maintained a good rate and the employment market has generally been stable. However, ship operators need to be alert to the availability trend of seafarers and the declining attractiveness of marine occupations. Seafarers cannot be recruited and trained in a short period of time to gain the experience they need, "Harris concluded.
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