Demand for shipping by sea is growing, but the industry faces a shortage of seafarers.

Despite some 1,800,000 people running the global merchant fleet today, the industry is facing a labour shortage. Emanuele GRIMALDI, chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), said.

The problems in recruiting seafarers and keeping them in the industry today have added to the pressure of the pandemic and the conflict in Ukraine. It was the excessive COVID-19 restrictions, which had trapped hundreds of thousands of fleet workers on ships, that had forced many to give up the sea, he said. The lack of access to 15% of the workforce, made up of Ukrainians and Russians, has exacerbated the situation in recent months.

Thus, according to a recent report by BIMCO and ICS, the global merchant fleet will face a shortage of around 25,000 officers over the next few years.

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