The COVID-19 pandemic is having a massive impact on the maritime industry. Many vessels are facing crew shortages as sailors, and other crew members stay away from work for fear of contracting the virus. The former is causing widespread delays and cancellations of voyages, as well as increased costs for crews still working. Maritime transport companies and vessel owners must take steps to protect their employees and minimize the disruptions caused by the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken the world by storm in the past few years. With cases reported in over 190 countries and territories, the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared it a global health emergency.
The virus has already claimed thousands of lives and infected many more. As the pandemic spreads, businesses and governments worldwide are taking steps to contain it.
This includes sea companies and vessels. In light of COVID-19, many cruise operators have suspended their operations, while others have imposed stricter hygiene measures onboard their vessels.
Governments are also imposing travel bans in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus. But as the crisis deepens, more sea companies and governments are likely to take drastic action to prevent COVID-19 from spreading further.
This could include suspending all sea operations or quarantining entire fleets of vessels. Such drastic measures could devastate sea businesses and entrepreneurs who rely on these operations for their livelihoods. The crew change crisis will only worsen as COVID-19 continues to spread. Sea companies and entrepreneurs need to act now to mitigate its effects.
And this crisis might be the biggest yet since WW2; according to ICS Shipping, the "continuing inability of ship operators to conduct crew changes has been the single greatest operational challenge confronting the global shipping industry since the Second World War."
Although it is difficult to be totally accurate, about half a million seafarers have been affected.
According to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), crew changes are essential because "they ensure compliance with international maritime regulations to protect the crew's safety, health and welfare."
In addition to complying with the requirements of maritime law, it is also essential to have the human factor. In which we have to see maritime workers as people who can also suffer from fatigue and stress related to work or COVID-19. Unlike "regular jobs," maritime jobs deal with high power and physical use and with schedules ranging from 10 to 12 to 15 hours a day.
Seafarers have been essential during the pandemic, as the world relies on them to transport more than 80% of trades in the industry by volume, including food and medical equipment and goods.
For Agemarin, it is crucial to have all those mentioned above; the importance of being able to transport essential materials in our vessels but also to take into account the crew change crisis and act to keep our team happy and working to meet the estimated times most professionally and efficiently possible.