Shipowner Condemns Charterers’ Callous Attitude Towards Crew

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  • Charterers are criticized heavily for being indifferent toward the crews’ plight during this Covid 19 situation.
  • Safe Bulkers Chief Polys Hajioannou accuses the charterers even major shipping users for being hypocritical.
  • Hajioannou is one of the first major shipowners to publicly call out charterers for being part of the problem rather than the solution.
  • Hajioannou states owners are not having the support of charterers when it comes to social responsibility into the wellbeing of seafarers.
  • Charterers are accused of turning a blind eye to the suffering of crew as the shipping industry continues to wrestle with the puzzle of enacting long overdue crew changes.

A recent news published in Lylod’s List written by Nigel Lowry has brought to light the biggest problems shipowners face from Charterers.

The Charterers have been blamed for turning insensitive towards the plight of crews onboard.

Safe Bulkers Chief Polys Hajioannou

Safe Bulkers chief executive Polys Hajioannou is one of the first major shipowners to publicly call out charterers for being part of the problem rather than the solution.

This comes out when seafarers continue to be trapped on board their ships amid the coronavirus pandemic.

He said companies faced “a lot of hassle and a lot of problems” from charterers when wanting to make even small deviations from scheduled routes when precious opportunities to effect crew changes arose.

He states that, 

  • Owners are not having the support of charterers when it comes to social responsibility into the wellbeing of seafarers.
  • Owners have to face all the cost ourselves, which is the least of it.
  • There is a lack of co-operation from many charterers, including major ones, when there is a need to make a small deviation from the intended route to disembark our crew and put on board a fresh crew.
  • Major charterers often portray themselves as being socially responsible and caring for the wellbeing of crews and others in the transportation chain.
  • This is the biggest problem of the shipping industry for the next six to 12 months.  We need the co-operation of all the parties, the cargo owners, the charterers, everyone.

“These principles that they state in their brochures and in their code of ethics — they don’t pass [them] on to their chartering departments who are resisting whenever an owner is asking to make a small deviation for crew changes. I think there is a lot of hypocrisy in the market,” he said.

Shipping Industry raise concerns

“Charterers have a very real role in helping to facilitate this,” said International Chamber of Shipping general secretary Guy Platten. “Some charterers are starting to step up to the plate, but we need everyone to understand that there is only going to be a solution by the industry working together.”

Recently, senior management in the Greece-based Tsakos Group, a major tanker owner, raised concerns to Lloyd’s List about the stance of charterers in the tanker market, too.

“Charterers have not shown sensitivity,” said one executive. “There has been no flexibility.”

Last week speakers in a Capital Link webinar devoted to the industry’s crewing challenge agreed that charterers among other stakeholders should pull their weight.

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Source: Lloyds List

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