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Recalibrating Crewing Supply

As the tragic events in Ukraine unfold, shipping is faced with extreme crewing difficulties. With 14.5% of the global seafaring population affected by the conflict, travel bans and restrictions, it is a time of real concern. What are the answers for companies needed to recalibrate their crewing?


The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) warned of supply chain disruption if the free movement of Ukrainian and Russian seafarers was impeded. Unfortunately, that is what we are now seeing. There are reports of seafarers being denied entry visas to a number of countries, and sanctions are impacting crewing options.

As to the scale of the problem, the Seafarer Workforce Report, published in 2021 by BIMCO and ICS, reports that 1.89 million seafarers are currently operating over 74,000 vessels in the global merchant fleet. Of this total workforce, 198,123 (10.5%) seafarers are Russian, of which 71,652 are officers and 126,471 are ratings. Ukraine accounts for 76,442 (4%) seafarers of which 47,058 are officers and 29,383 are ratings. Combined, they represent 14.5% of the global workforce.

The report already highlighted a shortfall of 26,240 STCW certified officers, so with the Ukrainian conflict further adding to the problems, we have gone from seafarer demand outpacing supply, to a point where the gap is set to become a chasm.

Unfortunately, many ship owners, operators and managers are now forced to reorientate and find urgent replacements for those Ukrainian and Russian seafarers unable to deploy. The industry is having to dig deeper for talent to ensure the right people and skills are brought together. Solutions are required which allow for upskilling and orientation of seafarers from a widened range of crewing pools, without lowering of standards or safety.

Ocean Technologies Group (OTG) already provides to clients globally, and we are uniquely placed with Industry-standard solutions that ease the recruitment and deployment of new seafarers. Our solutions empower teams with the tools to ensure that manning levels are maintained without compromising safety, competency or quality.

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Crew Management: The Maritime HR and crewing teams mobilising and supporting seafarers in these conditions are having to solve complex logistical and crew welfare challenges.

Powered by COMPAS, our Crew Management solutions remove administrative burdens from HR and crewing professionals. Through intelligent workflows and automation, our solutions simplify crew and travel planning, payroll, and the management of employment agreements, visas, and certification.

Learn how to free HR and crewing teams from administration at   https://oceantg.com/compas/

Ocean Learning Platform: In this competitive and volatile crewing market, training and crewing teams are under increased pressure to retain and upskill their existing talent.

OLP offers career and progression planning tools backed by an extensive library of resources from the most respected brands in maritime e-learning, enabling training and crewing teams to upskill and certificate their seafarers.

Learning can be carried onboard, online and at the point of need, reducing travel to training centres or company offices. OLP makes familiarisation and induction faster, with new joiners achieving their potential sooner.

Learn more about the tools for evaluating crew, identifying top performers and closing knowledge gaps in Ocean Learning Platform here: https://oceantg.com/assessment/

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