Cookies help us deliver the best experience on our website. By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies Dismiss

COVID measures prove costly for crewing sector

Repatriated seafarers. Repatriated seafarers.

Ship operators are doing all they can to ensure the safety of seafarers around the globe and the trade of vital food and supplies – but these important measures are proving costly as well as tricky warns crew specialist Henrik Jensen of Danica Crewing Services.

The company recently placed a crew of 19 of Ukrainian and Filipino nationality on to a vessel and the necessary pandemic-related procedures cost some $10,000 USD, which the shipowner had to cover.

The charges included COVID-19 PCR tests of all crew members, as well as additional local transport, hotel accommodation and food allowances as the test was not available in the seafarers’ home town so they had to travel to another city to get the test done and wait there for the result before they could travel, gaining additional ‘fit-for-travel’ medical certificates too, as required by the authorities in the joining port.

Mr Jensen commented: “It is essential that everyone strictly follows the IMO protocols as the shipping industry strives to return to normal business and we are grateful that many countries are now recognising the essential role of seafarers and enabling them to travel to and from ships. However, still many countries are not allowing crew changes and the rules under which crew changes are allowed varies from country to country making crew changes very complex.

“The price tag for the necessary COVID-19 precautions comes at a difficult time for the shipping industry in general but we are fortunate that the owners which Danica works with are all providing the necessary funds to get overdue crew off the vessels.”

Having put in place new preventative measures and safe procedures, Danica, which specialises in the supply of crew from Eastern Europe, has managed to resume operations from many of its offices.

Mr Jensen said: “Crew changes are still presenting our biggest challenge, but we are doing all we can to facilitate the transfer of crew to and from vessels. Although we are able to do crew changes in many ports now we also have a number of vessels in places where crew changes are not allowed at all, or rules are so strict that it makes crew changes impracticable, and consequently the number of overdue crew members on these vessels is growing and the situation is becoming urgent.”

As Eastern Europeans are relative free to travel, Danica has seen a significant increase in requests for crew from owners who are finding that travel restrictions in their regular crew supply countries are proving a barrier. At the same time Danica has experienced a doubling of applications from seafarers who are anxious to get back to sea as they have been home for a long time without an income and they are now experiencing financial distress. “We are trying to get these two ends to meet and we have extremely busy days in our recruitment departments,” Mr Jensen commented.

Agreeing with the recently-expressed view from the Greek Shipowners Association which predicts that the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to disrupt the manning of vessels well into to 2021, Mr Jensen warned: “The entire crew planning process is disrupted. Crew returning after a long period onboard want a longer vacation and will be reluctant to return to sea soon, which in turn impacts those onboard who are due to be relieved. It will take long time before we come back to a steady crewing scheduling.”

Related items

  • Wärtsilä Voyage delivers cloud-based simulators to Massachusetts Maritime Academy

    Wärtsilä Voyage will supply two of its advanced cloud-based simulation solutions to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) in the USA under a one-year agreement. This will allow cadets at the Academy to continue receiving safe and effective navigational training, despite restrictions imposed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Connectivity during COVID vital to seafarers’ mental health, says Hanseaticsoft

    To mark World Mental Health Day on 10th October, Hanseaticsoft is urging shipping companies to ensure seafarers have good connectivity at sea so that they are not left isolated from family and friends, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Danica and Norwegian Training Centre collaborate to provide online training

    Danica Crewing Specialists and the Norwegian Training Centre (NTC) are working together to offer a portfolio of high-quality online training courses to seafarers in Eastern Europe. 

  • V. Group releases Life After Lockdown paper

    Ship management company V.Group has released its second discussion paper in the ‘Life After Lockdown’ series, examining the acceleration of digital engagement.

    Each paper focusses on a specific area of maritime operations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and sets out key lessons learned. 

    The first paper discussed crew engagement post Coronavirus whilst the second is entitled “The acceleration of digital engagement.”

    Each paper aims to challenge long-established ways the shipping industry operates by posing questions and inviting the views of others in the industry.

    The second paper, a 20-page document, explores whether the pandemic could be a catalyst for change, challenging entrenched ways of working in the maritime sector. It looks at the industry’s use of small data, the impact of digitalisation on crew wellbeing as well as digitalisation’s role as a tool to drive environmental change.  

    Stephen Macfarlane, Information Systems director at V.Group, said: “There’s no doubt the pandemic has been a catalyst for change and as we look to the future, this paper explores the extent to which it has accelerated the move towards digitalisation and digital engagement.  There’s no doubt the industry has taken great strides in recent years, but the pandemic and resulting lockdown has certainly had an impact and it’s vital we learn from this.

    “We’ve all been forced to change the way we work and communicate with each other and the paper discusses whether the move towards a more digital workforce could be a long-term change.”

    To download a copy of the second paper “The acceleration of digital engagement” click here 

  • Shipping report: “COVID corner-cutting will lead to an environmental catastrophe”

    The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has issued a stark warning that if temporary short cuts adopted in the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic continue or become permanent, then there will be a rise in shipping accidents and environmental disasters.

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio


Register or Login to view even more of our content. Basic registration is free.

Register now

Digital Ship magazine provides the latest information about maritime satellite communications technology, software systems, navigation technology, computer networks, data management and TMSA. It is published ten times a year.


Digital Ship Ltd
Digital Ship - Digital Energy Journal
39-41 North Road
N7 9DP
United Kingdom

Copyright © 2020 Digital Ship Ltd. All rights reserved           Cookie Policy         Privacy Policy