Shortage of Ship Officer Crew Receding

Shipping will require an additional 42,500 officers by the end of 2019 to cope with the expected growth in the main cargo carrying fleet, equivalent to 7% growth over the five year period. But the persistent shortage of officer crew is receding, according to the latest Manning report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.

Current officer supply is in the order of 615,000 and there is a nominal shortfall of approximately 15,000 officers, which is expected to remain the case until 2019. In the main the shortfall is made up by officers working longer shift patterns.

“There is still a shortage of officers but the gap between demand and supply has narrowed as the recent growth in fleet size is coming to an end”, comments Malcolm Jupe, Lead Analyst at Drewry.

Ship Officer Crew
Image for representation purpose only

Although ratings remuneration packages tend to follow the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) standard terms, officer earnings are more market driven; North West Europe is however the principle exception to the rule. In the current market, most ship owners cannot afford significant increases in wage rises and any increases which have been seen between 2014 and 2015 have been modest in nature.


It is also the case that ships are getting bigger and larger ships provide more shipping capacity for the same number of vessels. This is also helping to ease some of the pressure on manning.

“Manning is normally the single largest cost head in ship operations. Keeping these costs under control remains very important to all ship owners, especially when trading conditions are weak, as is the case in some of the key shipping freight markets – such as dry bulk carriers”, concludes Jupe.


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  1. Sir/Madam ,
    I would like to know rank/rating wise shortage in this year , specially in Indian shipping.
    Is it possible to get such data ?

    Best regards ,
    Anjan Ray

  2. I like to work shipping company like bulk and break bulk pls share me if any job openings

  3. My both ear was operated for csom in 1999. Gone through medical parameters but within decibels loss. Still there is any hope for merchant navy. Presently I m navy officer watch keeping certification year will be released.

  4. Shortage of Seafarers!!! Sounds ridiculous from an Indian Deck Cadet point of view. There are N number of Deck and Engine Cadets roaming in the streets of Mumbai for job!!! If companies are not investing in them today, then what stated above would be the outcome.

    Though not relevant to this topic, I believe its worth to mention. I would like to see only seafarers in company administration such as crew manager, documents reviewer etc. My resume was thrown at my face by the receptionist for frequently visiting the company for vacancy. I will be happy to get hit by an experienced fitter or Bosun in that admin posting rather than a cheap shit who holds a degree without even knowing what we exactly do onboard!!!

  5. I do not know from where do we get the data that there are vacancies. People holding COCs are roaming for jobs, paying agents to get a job on some shitty ship and waiting for months to get an opportunity.
    And do not get me started on the condition of deck cadets, TME and trainee seaman. Where are these jobs?

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