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Nationalities in maritime

04 June 2019


Fifty percent of C-suite leaders at the industry’s leading shipping employers are British (19%), Danish (18%) or American (11%), according to the latest analysis carried out by the HR Consulting team at Spinnaker.

The data, for 25,000 staff in 94 countries, is drawn from the 12th annual salary survey carried out by Spinnaker in its role as secretariat of the Maritime HR Association. The membership, some 90 or so shipping employers, is drawn from all over the globe although does not include any mainland Chinese shipowners or charterers.

“Eight per cent are Indian, but seventeen per cent of senior managers - one level below – are Indian,” says HR Consultant Sarah Hutley. “This may hint at changes at the top as the current leadership generation retires, although there is nationality-to-discipline bias meaning this is more likely in fleet management roles than chartering roles for example.”

Illustrating this point, the best represented nationality in fleet management and operations roles is Indian, accounting for thirty per cent of fleet management staff and thirty four per cent of operations staff, but sixteen per cent of all staff. Indian nationals are well represented at all levels in fleet management but more than half of them are in junior and entry level roles in operations.  The senior operations positions are dominated by British and Danish nationals.

In sharp contrast, Filipino nationals, also a (the) major source of seafarers of course, only comprise two per cent of fleet management staff, reinforcing the long-held stereotype of the Filipino seafarer often retiring from the industry rather than having a second shipping career ashore.

The exception is crewing roles, where Filipinos and Indians combined make up half of crewing staff, although even here Indians outnumber Filipinos 30/20.

The proportion of Chinese nationals remains low but is increasing - 5% of superintendents compared to 3% last year.  Along with Germans, American and Dutch fleet management staff, they show a preference for marine, safety and quality roles, suggesting deck officer backgrounds. Indian, Greek, British and Danish nationals on the other hand are more likely to specialise in roles with a technical or engineering focus.



Nationalities within maritime

Superintendent nationalities