Lead Analyst at Drewry, Malcolm Jupe opines that in spite of there being a shortage of ship officers, the gap is fast closing down given the growth in fleet size and the larger size of the present ships, that provide more shipping capacity for the same number of vessels, thus easing the pressures on manning.
At present there are about 615,000 officers at work. With an estimated growth rate of 7% in cargo careers over the next five years, an approximate shortfall of 15,000 officers is expected by the year 2019. According to the latest Manning report published by Global shipping consultancy Drewy, is to be expected and is not alarming.
According to Malcolm Jupe of Drewy, manning proves to be the largest cost head in ship operations. Ship officer earnings are more market driven and given the current weak trading conditions, shipowners, have been giving only modest pay raise, in conformity to the International Transport Workers’ Federation.