Seafarer wage rates are set to accelerate in the
face of worsening officer supply / demand imbalance following the sustained war
between Russia and Ukraine. Both these countries contribute nearly 30 per cent
of the officers manned by the global merchant navy
fleet growth will lead to the highest shortfall of officers to crew the world’s merchant fleet in over a decade by 2027, with
important implications for both hiring and future manning cost inflation,
according to the latest Manning Annual Review and Forecast report published by
global shipping consultancy Drewry.
The current officer supply shortfall is estimated
to equate to around 5% of the global pool, which is broadly manageable in
practical terms for vessel operators. But there is heightened risk with regard
to the Russia / Ukraine conflict potentially further limiting the supply of a
large number of officers.
ahead to 2027 the supply / demand gap is expected to widen to a deficit equating to over 8 per cent of the global officer pool.
This is despite a slight anticipated uptick in the rate of growth in supply as
training rates increase now that Covid restrictions are much less significant.
While ratings supply has also been slowing, this poses less concern to
employers as it remains broadly elastic to increases in demand as the global
Retaining quality officers with experience on
sophisticated vessel types is likely to be the first pressure point in a
tightening supply pool,” said a spokesman of Drewry’
“Employers need to ensure that a career at sea
is an attractive career option for ambitious and
Worldwide consumer price inflation is forecast to
be over 7% in 2022 before falling back to around 3 per cent for the forecast
period to 2027. In the face of this seafarer wage rates are expected to
increase by around 2.5% each year, in average terms, from around 1.5 per cent
in 2022. There will however, be increased volatility by rank, nationality and
vessel type outside of these averages.
“Accelerating manning costs are being driven by
inflationary macroeconomic pressures and rising officer shortfall,” added
Harris. “Together with higher insurance and supply chain costs, these pressures
will further fuel higher vessel operating costs over the medium term.”