Once again seafarers are falling victim to the lack of focus and joined-up thinking from leaders of governments and the maritime industry, which has become apparent during the current on-going crew change crisis.
The vaccination lottery that is faced by the industry is beginning to hit the dry bulk sector hardest, says INTERCARGO, the organisation representing the world’s quality dry bulk shipowners.
“We are seeing a number of port states suggesting that all crew on board a vessel must be vaccinated as a pre-condition of entering their ports, and indeed insisting on a particular brand of vaccine. This is of course a very serious problem for the industry as a whole when we consider the high proportion of seafarers that come from developing countries with no access to any vaccine at all,” says Dimitris Fafalios, Chairman of INTERCARGO. “The dry bulk sector is, however, bearing the brunt of this uncertainty due to the nature of its business. Bulk carriers on tramp trading call at many more ports than other shipping sectors and are at the mercy of the nationalized vaccination policy, applying at the port of call.”