According to the Seafarer Workforce Report, published by BIMCO and ICS, there are 1.89 million seafarers currently operating over 74,000 vessels in the global merchant fleet. Of this total workforce, 198,123 (10.5%) of seafarers are Russian and 76,442 (4%) are from the Ukraine. Combined they represent 14.5% of the global workforce.
To avoid supply chain disruption, seafarers must be able to undertake crew change freely across the world. With flights cancelled in the region, this will become increasingly difficult. The ability to pay seafarers also needs to be maintained via international banking systems.
Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping said:
“The safety of our seafarers is our absolute priority. We call on all parties to ensure that seafarers do not become the collateral damage in any actions that governments or others may take.
“Seafarers have been at the forefront of keeping trade flowing though the pandemic and we hope that all parties will continue to facilitate free passage of goods and these key workers at this time.”