The June Crew Change Indicator continues to point to an encouraging global stabilization of the crew change situation. While challenges persist, these are not reflected as an increase in seafarers remaining onboard beyond contract expiry.
The latest Indicator shows that the number of seafarers on board vessels beyond the expiry of their contract has decreased slightly to 4.3% from 4.5% in the last month, while the number of seafarers on board vessels for over 11 months has remained stable at 0.3%.
These numbers remain very close to what has been reported since December 2021, confirming a stabilization of the situation.
The Neptune Indicator also reports a 2.8 percentage point increase in seafarer vaccines, from 83.6% in May to 86.2% in June, as seafarer vaccinations keep increasing at a good and steady pace.
Ship managers continue to report mixed developments regarding the global crew change situation. Positive developments were reported with an observed decline in the number of infected seafarers onboard vessels while crew change restrictions and quarantine requirements have been eased in several places, such as in some Chinese cities.
Nonetheless, strict restrictions persist in Japan and despite the easing of Chinese restrictions, there remain many difficulties in conducting crew changes. In addition, a shortage of Ukrainian and Russian seafarers was reported due to the ongoing conflict, sanctions, and restrictions.
Seafarer vaccination growth remains strong as high levels of inoculation are being recorded. While there persist some difficulties in vaccinating seafarers while onboard, ship managers are looking into providing vaccines to seafarers once in their home country.
Complications related to the vaccination of Russian and Ukrainian seafarers persist, as progress is slow. Additionally, there are still concerns about the risk of infection on board and access to booster doses.
“The June Neptune Indicator reinforces the stabilization trend of the first half of 2022 and still records positive progress on vaccines. Global challenges and country restrictions continue to complicate some crew changes, but the overall picture points towards a return to a more normal situation,” says Kasper Søgaard, Managing Director, Head of Institutional Strategy and Development, Global Maritime Forum.
The Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator builds on aggregated data from leading ship managers: Anglo-Eastern, Bernhard Schulte, Columbia Shipmanagement, Fleet Management (FLEET), OSM, Synergy Marine, Thome, V.Group, Wallem Ship Management, and Wilhelmsen Ship Management which collectively have about 100,000 seafarers currently onboard.
The Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator is published once a month and builds on aggregated data provided by the ship managers to the Global Maritime Forum.
The data is used to calculate a weighted average of the percentage of seafarers who have been onboard vessels beyond the expiry of their contract of employment, a weighted average of the percentage of seafarers who have been onboard vessels for over 11 months, and a weighted average of the percentage of seafarers who have been vaccinated.
As top ship managers are making significant efforts – and are often better placed – in facilitating crew changes, the Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator cannot be used directly to calculate the full numbers of seafarers impacted by the crew change crisis.
Likewise, the calculated percentage of seafarers who have been vaccinated is likely to overestimate the actual proportion of vaccinated seafarers.