How to handle crew crisis?

The crew change crisis is far from over. On the one hand, we have the pandemic and the vaccination restrictions for crew members. Whether crew members are vaccinated or not, the fact that some vaccines are not recognized in all countries, shortened vaccine validity, the number of days required for quarantine, and delays leave seafarers unable to make the journey home, consequently creating mental health problems. What is more, with the hot market currently in all sectors i.e. dry, wet and containers, it is quite a challenge for the shipowners and ship-managers to deviate either laden or ballast in a crew change friendly port that will facilitate these procedures. However, the crew change crisis and the implications that arise with this imbalance such as the mental health of the seafarers as well as the lower productivity on board the vessels due to longer periods on board are one of the topics that need to be addressed globally under a united group of actions.

And on the other hand, we have the war in Ukraine. Ukrainian and Russian seafarers account for 15% of the global shipping workforce. To maintain this unfettered trade, seafarers must be able to join and disembark ships (crew change) freely across the world. A number of crew members have already abandoned their ships due to security worries and others to reunite with their families or fight for their country. Finally, crew manning managers are facing quite a challenge when it comes to combine crew members from these two countries. Daily updates from events happening at their hometowns combined with the daily exhaustion from on board operations and weather conditions can easily cause tensions and frictions between crew members that can jeopardize the safe running of the vessel.