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Seafarers stranded onboard vessels beyond contract expiry up 24% in May

Photo: Marcus Hand seafarers.jpg
The June Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator shows a 24.1% increase in the number of seafarers onboard vessels beyond their contract expiry.

The indicator based on data from 10 leading ship managers showed that 7.4% of crew onboard were past their contract expiry in May, compared to 5.8% in the previous month, a relative increase of 24.1%. However, the number of seafarers onboard vessels for over 11 months has decreased from 0.8% to 0.4%, corresponding to a 50% relative decrease.

Managers participating in the survey highlighted increasing infection rates especially India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Philippines making crew changes difficult, stricter crew change controls in key hubs, travel restrictions, and limited access to vaccines for seafarers.

“Unfortunately, the increase in seafarers onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contract is not unexpected. The negative development is driven by the rise in Covid-19 cases in important seafaring nations, such as India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Philippines, and subsequently increased restrictions in major seafaring hubs, said Kasper Søgaard, Head of Research at Global Maritime Forum.

The indicator is based on information from Anglo- Eastern, Bernhard Schulte, Columbia Shipmanagement, Fleet Management, OSM, Synergy Marine, Thome, V.Group, Wallem, and Wilhelmsen Ship Management, which collectively have about 90,000 seafarers currently onboard.