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Lack of Ukrainian and Russian seafarers could cause chaos at sea

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작성자 최고관리자 댓글 0건 조회 172회 작성일 22-03-23 18:11


Lack of Ukrainian and Russian seafarers could cause chaos at sea

by The Editorial Team

March 16, 2022


After months of being trapped at sea due to the pandemic, the current war in Ukraine is holding hundreds of thousands of seafarers hostage from the global merchant fleet. This can have a major impact on maritime transport, says the Royal Belgian Shipowners Association.

Together, Russia and Ukraine account for nearly 15% of the worlds 1.89 million seafarers. According to the latest Seafarers Workforce Report from 2021, both countries are also among the top five countries with the highest number of seafarers:

  • Russia has 198,123 seafarers;

  • Ukraine has 76,442.

A significant majority of them are officers and many of these work on gas or oil tankers and on container ships.

What is more, ICS is not at ease with the situation, as it warned that the labour shortage in global shipping will only worsen after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.


Wilfred Lemmens, Managing Director of the Royal Belgian Shipowners Association, was very forthcoming about the consequences, saying that:

It will be a major challenge to find sufficient seafarers worldwide if the war continues. That could cause a huge disruption to the entire global maritime transport

Another factor to consider is that according to the President of the Ukrainian trade union for maritime transport workers, Oleg Grygoriuk, who was quoted in the Financial Times last week, around 55 to 60% of the 80,000 Ukrainian seafarers are currently at sea. About a fifth of them want to go ashore as soon as possible to defend their country.

Meanwhile, the isolation of Russia makes it increasingly difficult to pay the wages of the Russian seafarers, because of the severe restrictions to the countrys access to Swift, the main international payment system. At the same time, it is becoming harder to get them to where they are needed, due to the closure of many air connections to and from Russia.




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