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THE 2010 BIMCO/ISF Manpower Study on the worldwide demand for and supply of seafarers, is under way. I was delighted to be asked again to sit on the Steering Committee, so wearing that hat I am asking for your help.

As our Chair, Douglas Lang from Anglo Eastern, said: “The Manpower Update is probably the most important study in the shipping industry.”  

For that reason we need your help!

The 2005 study assumed moderate fleet growth. Despite this, the officer shortage was forecast to become more severe reaching 27,000 by 2015. Of course, since then, shipping has risen to hitherto unknown heights and fallen off a cliff. 

And, where are we now? In the worst recession the modern world has ever known, with a newbuildings orderbook of frightening proportions. Admittedly an extreme example, but with 91% by tonnage of the world capesize fleet due for delivery in the next three years and many shipowners facing cash crises, what are the prospects for investment in recruitment and training?

How can you help? Well, there are three questionnaires and you can help either by putting pressure on your national maritime administration to complete theirs or, more likely, by completing a company questionnaire or industry leaders questionnaire.

Company questionnaires collect your data on the current supply/demand balance, wastage rates and other issues enabling supply projections. The industry experts questionnaires survey leading opinions based on the degree to which you agree with a number of statements about supply and demand.

If you or your company would be willing to complete a questionnaire, please email Phil Parry (on behalf of BIMCO/ISF)

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