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Shipping job distribution in the US

We've always seen the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area, which we'll call the north east from hereon in, as a commercial shipping hub.

As you may be aware, here at Spinnaker our colleagues in our HR Consulting division have unique access to salary data from major shipping companies worldwide thanks to their role as Secretariat of The Maritime HR Forum. With over 80 members, the Forum collates and analyses global shipping salary data and staffing structures, distributing salary advice amongst the membership, ensuring best practice across the industry.

From this data we've learnt that, comparatively speaking, shipmanagement roles such as superintendents, fleet managers and the like, are rare in the north east. Only 2% of the salary data provided by employers in the North East is for shipmanagement roles. Not surprisingly, chartering jobs are the largest group at 49% of employees, and 32% of shipping staff are in operations. Compare this with Texas, which has a relatively equal mix of shipmanagement (28%), chartering (23%) and operations (27%) staff.

Charterers in the North East generally earn higher base salaries than charterers in Texas. On average, below director level, base salaries are 18% higher in the North East for median or mid-market earners. The percentage difference becomes greater, as high as 36%, the more senior the charterer.

Bringing bonuses into the picture closes the gap a little. Total compensation was 14% higher in the North East for mid-market earners and 27% higher for their senior colleagues. Bonuses were more commonly paid in Texas than in the North East in 2013 and generally at higher levels. This surprised us a little, given that the tanker market, which makes up most shipping staff in Houston, paid fewer bonuses to chartering staff in 2013 than in other sectors. Overall, therefore, 2013 was a year of bonus restraint in the North East compared not only with Texas, but with the global market.

If you're interested in joining the Maritime HR Forum, please contact Amanda James at [email protected]

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