Demand for officers will continue to outpace supply, say BIMCO and ICS

Recruitment and training of seafarers will probably not satisfy future demand for officers, leading to a worsening officer shortage, according to the BIMCO and International Chamber of Shipping Manpower Report 2015.

The report contains nine scenarios for future supply and demand of seafarers; the basic model forecasts demand for officers exceeding supply and the shortage of officers growing from 16,500 in 2015 to 147,500 by 2025.

Global demand for seafarers in 2015 was estimated at 1,545,000, according to the report, comprising 790,500 officers and 754,500 ratings. Global supply was estimated at 774,000 officers and 873,500 ratings, leading to a shortage of 16,500 officers and surplus of 119,000 ratings.

Demand for officers has risen by 24.1% since 2010, while demand for ratings has risen by 1%, the report found.

There have been improvements in levels of recruitment, training and retention of seafarers, but an ongoing shortage of seafarers is still most likely in the future.

The industry should not expect an abundance of seafarers unless there are “concerted efforts and measures to address key manpower issues”.

Among the suggestions for improving the crewing situation were promotion of careers at sea, improving seafarer retention rates and enhancing maritime education and training globally.

InterManager welcomed the report, using its publication as an opportunity to call for increased recruitment.

“There is no avoiding the fact that the global fleet is increasing and more manpower is needed,” InterManager secretary general Kuba Szymanski said.

“However, we are demanding more from current seafarers, rather than recruiting even more cadets into the market. And these cadets need training berths on our ships if they are to fulfil their true potential.”

China contributed the most seafarers to the global supply, followed by the Philippines and Indonesia.




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