Euronav: Crew change crunch is shipping’s ‘largest ever humanitarian and logistical crisis’

Belgian tanker giant Euronav announced its interim results today, and spent plenty of time discussing the crew change crunch.

In a release, the company described the ongoing seafarer impasse as “the largest ever humanitarian and logistical crisis facing the maritime sector”.

Euronav said the disruption is now affecting the lives and livelihoods of nearly 40% of the world’s estimated 2m crew; including those seafarers that are unemployed and unable to join their ships.

“This issue needs affirmative and positive action at border points in order to ease the backlog of stranded seafarers around the world. Euronav calls upon all governments around the world to recognize all seafarers as ‘key workers’ with immediate effect, and allow them safe and secure access to their destinations,” the company stated.

Hugo De Stoop, Euronav’s CEO, said: “Covid-19 continues to create huge restrictions on the mobility and movement of seafarers. Crew changes are critical for all shipping sectors and movement of goods.”

Euronav mader a stunning $485m net profit in the first half, a significant improvement over the $19m loss recorded in the same period last year.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.


  1. Where is Port State Control? MLC? Why ships are not being detained for keeping crew 14 months!

  2. yakobus
    One must be careful in using terms as EVER or NEVER.
    In world war 2, some seafarers stood onboard for 6 years. Facing much more stress and danger then now. It was not by choice.

  3. Rest hours itself is a complete farce. Now aggravated by extended periods on board ships personal are not only getting desperate but don’t be shocked if they have to resort to extreme measures. Even those who are unable to rejoin after spending more than six months at home are expressing their desperation. All relevant authorities should take instantaneous measures to relieve the anxieties of seafarers affected.

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