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The Lloyd’s List Podcast: Is the crewing crisis getting worse?

Listen to the latest edition of Lloyd’s List’s weekly podcast — your free weekly briefing on the stories shaping shipping

Despite significant efforts by international organisations, unions, companies and some governments to sort the crewing crisis, we are now starting to see the situation getting worse as governments bring in more travel bans in response to the new strains of coronavirus. On the podcast this week to discuss the implications is Graham Westgarth, chairman of V.Group, who warns that the crewing crisis yet to emerge will be when seafarers decide not to return to work

 

THERE is a humanitarian crisis at sea. That’s not news, but it bears repeating.  

A year into the coronavirus pandemic and we are still reminding everyone that hundreds of thousands of seafarers from across the globe have been left stranded working on board ships beyond the expiry of their initial contracts.

It beggars belief that this situation remains unresolved.

Despite significant efforts by international organisations, unions, companies and some governments to sort this, we are now starting to see the situation getting worse as governments bring in more travel bans in response to new strains of coronavirus.

The recent launch of the Neptune Declaration — a now 500-strong coalition of companies across the supply chain — aiming to facilitate crew change has been universally welcomed as a positive move in the right direction, but there is a growing realisation now that there will not be any singular fix to the issue. 

The industry and seafarers globally are facing up to the unpalatable fact that, for now at least, this is the reality of maintaining a global supply chain. 

So this week we have invited back to the podcast Graham Westgarth, chairman of V.Group, to talk through the current situation as he sees it. As a key figure behind the Neptune Declaration and chairman of one of the largest shipmanagement agencies, he is painfully aware of the restrictions, and while he is positive that the Neptune Declaration is starting to have some impact, he is also realistic about the how quickly things will change and warns that the crewing crisis yet to emerge will hit when seafarers decide not to return to work. 

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