Ukrainian crew supply nearly in balance

Danica Crewing Specialists reports that the availability of Ukrainian seafarers has increased to the point that there is now a better balance between the number of vacancies on offer and the candidates available to fill these positions.

This situation is a far cry from the previous three quarters of the year where crew supply was significantly impacted by the war in Ukraine and the resulting travel restrictions on Ukrainian men aged between 16 and 60.

One of the reasons for the increase in Ukrainian seafarer availability is a change in domestic circumstances for many crew.

When the Russian invasion took place there were significant numbers of Ukrainian seafarers onboard ships. While they initially stayed onboard for longer periods, when they did off-sign many joined family members resettling in Europe. Initially this increased the shortfall as seafarers extended their leave periods to spend time with their families who had fled Ukraine.

However, they are now facing much higher living costs in their new countries of residence than in Ukraine, on top of the costs of re-establishing life for their families, many of whom fled with little more than a suitcase.

Ukrainian seafarers are therefore shortening their home leave period in order to boost their annual earnings and this effectively gives more available sea-days, thereby increasing the number of qualified Ukrainian crew available to ship operators. In addition, following a change in Ukrainian national rules, seafarers aged 16 to 60 who want to leave the country are now able to do so as long as they obtain the correct permissions.

Henrik Jensen, CEO of Danica Crewing Specialists, observed: “It’s good to have qualified and competent Ukrainian seafarers coming back onto the crewing rosters. With funds now stretched to meet rising costs, many seafarers are seeking immediate ship placements and we advise shipowners to make speedy job offers because crew are in the fortunate position of having plenty of employment options in this fast-moving market.”

Jensen also advised that there has been a raise in offered wages during the first half of 2022 and he expects these elevated levels to continue.

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.
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