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Seniority vs. Quantity: Spinnaker’s insight into where maritime professionals are from

In April 2024, the Maritime HR Association released the 7th annual market analysis report on Nationalities.

The purpose of this report is to look at the national split of the 2023 salary survey and indicate which nationalities are predominant in different job families and why.

Indian nationals are most represented

Having one of the longest coastlines in the world (more than 7.5 thousand kilometres) and thus located at the intersection of one of the busiest shipping routes in the world1, India offers 23% of all maritime jobs collected in the 2023 salary survey. This is 13% more than the second largest benchmark country, the USA (10% of all maritime jobs are created there), and 1% more than in 2022.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Indian nationals make up more than a quarter (29%) of all nationalities represented in the survey.

We can see a strong Indian presence in Technical & Marine, Safety & Quality, Commercial Operations and Crewing job families. It is Crewing where we notice the largest percentage of Indian nationals – 39%, with manning roles being slightly more common than training.

Although globally Indian maritime employees are at the forefront of the most senior positions accounting for 20% of all Managers and 17% of all Directors, if we look at the Indian sample separately, only 2% of all Indian employees are Directors and 8% are Managers.

Interestingly, in the majority of MHRA job families, a comparatively larger proportion of all Indian incumbents can be found in junior positions. With this rise in new maritime talent we have all reasons to expect a promotion potential in the next years.

Northern Europe leading the way

An entirely opposite picture can be seen for Danish and Norwegian nationals. Similar to 2022, their overall presence is not particularly prominent, barely reaching 2%; however, they fill 12% and 10% of Executive Leadership positions respectively. If we look at all Danish and Norwegian employees represented in the 2023 survey, 16% and 12% of them work at Director level, and 22% of both nationalities perform Managerial roles. This statistics hints at the continuous Scandinavian maritime leadership and its further rapid development.

The UK is very well positioned in the survey being in the top-3 benchmark countries and thus retaining its strong presence in global shipping. British nationals are in top-3 of nationalities collected in the survey accounting for 14% of all Managers, 16% of all Directors, and 14% of Executive Leadership professionals.

The overall Western European sample is not very large. Only in freight trading do we see Swiss and German nationals to be at the leading positions.

Same as in 2022, Eastern European presence can be noticed mainly in Crewing with 5% Ukrainian and 2% Polish nationals.

Overall, global maritime nationality split continues its 2022 trends, however we’ll keep an eye on its further dynamics in the face of the ongoing world challenges.

To read more on the topic please contact our benchmarking team at [email protected].

1 Sun, S. (2023) Topic: Maritime ports in India, Statista. Available at:

Article written by Daryna Rozum, Reward Consultant, Spinnaker

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