Charterers are now discriminating against ships which have long-serving crew onboard rather than risk their cargo being delayed by crew change deviations, warns one crewmanager today.
Roger Storey, managing director of CF Sharp Crew Management, Singapore, reported he has been advised of charterers who are stating in their contracts that vessels should not have any seafarers who have been serving onboard continuously for more than 12 months. If such crewmembers are present the charterers do not select that vessel for hire.
The charterers just don’t seem to care about anything but their cargo
“Why? Because of the risk that the vessel gets detained and their cargo gets stuck,” he explained in conversation with Splash.
Storey, whose company has successfully repatriated more than 12,000 crew members during the pandemic, said: “Shipowners are in the firing line and crew are pawns in this game. The charterers just don’t seem to care about anything but their cargo at present.”
Splash reported earlier this month how charterers are increasingly requesting for a ‘no crew change’ clause to be inserted into charter parties, demanding owners pick up the cost related to deviation and time lost.
Charterers have been urged repeatedly to play their part in ensuring crew get home.
Speaking with Splash TV last month, Francesco Gargiulo, the CEO of the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC), said there has been little appetite on the charterers’ part to share in the problems that the industry is facing regarding crew changes.
Shipping organisation BIMCO has developed a deviation clause, which seeks to share some of the financial burden of getting crew repatriated during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The sad news is there’s been very little uptake of that clause because there is little appetite on the charterers’ part to share in the problems that the industry is facing,” said IMEC’s Gargiulo in a recent episode of the Maritime CEO Seafarer Leader Series.
CF Sharp’s Storey lamented today: “It is a sad that crew change is the new pass the parcel game with governments who rely on seafarers for the importation of cargo needed by their populace, and now by cargo charterers who rely on seafarers to transport their cargoes.”