ICS and Bimco say officer shortage to worsen

A review of the labour supply situation in shipping forecasts that the officer shortage is set to continue over the next decade.

The regular five year overview of supply and demand for seafarers by the International Chamber of Shipping and Bimco – regarded as the industry’s most reliable guide to the labour supply situation – paints a worrying picture for shipowners.

In 2015 Bimco and the ICS estimate that overall there is a plentiful supply of seafarers, with 1.64 million in the market against a demand for 1.45m.

But the oversupply is accounted for by a surplus of ratings amounting to 119,000 crew. For officers there is a 16,500 shortfall.

By 2020 Bimco and ICS predict the officer shortfall will reach 92,000, and by 2025, 147,500.

The report stressed the need for “concerted efforts and measures to address key manpower issues.”

“It is crucial to promote careers at sea, enhance maritime education and training worldwide, address the retention of seafarers, and continue to monitor the global supply of seafarers on a regular basis,” it said.


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