Shortage of Officers in the world

Which company was this??

If you don’t want to tell, maybe you can at least divulge the nationality of the people that run such an operation as late as 15 years ago (2005)?

Jesus. That’s insane.

The Philippines are full of similar crewing agents. Its a little better than 15 years ago but not much.

1 Like

Unfortunately that is true. A lot of unserious “agent” in the Philippines recruiting workers for all kinds of foreign jobs.(Maides especially)

There are also reputable crewing agent, used by serious shipping companies that train and retrain their crews for long term employment.

Many of the larger Shipowners/operators and Ship Management companies have their own crewing agencies, recruiting and training facilities in Manila.

There are also a Norwegian Maritime Training Centre in Manila:

NTC is sponsored by the Norwegian Shipowners Association (NSA) They are also sponsoring cadets at reputable Maritime Schools and Academies to ensure that only properly trained seafarers are recruited to serve on Norwegian owned and operated ships.

PS> Filipino Officers and crews are widely used, even on Norwegian owned and operated ships plying on the Norwegian coast, European short sea shipping and on offshore vessels worldwide.

I probably shouldn’t say which company publicly, but I just tried to search for them on google and it seems like they don’t exist anymore. With these kind of companies it’s probably a case of whack-a-mole, you could take them down but they pop-up in another form with a different name.

In these kind of cases probably it would be extremely difficult to get crew to complain about their conditions as they know they will likely lose their wages and family loose jobs if they complain.

This company was just a manning agency based in Manila, the shipowner was Japanese I think, but they weren’t involved in the manning at all.

Unserious companies exists in Shipping, as in many other branches of business. They exist in droves in the Philippines, but also in many other countries. No surprise there.

Large Japanese shipping companies are NOT known for using unserious crewing agents (or any other services) so THAT is a surprise. (Japanese Fishing industry exempted)

That ANY serious shipping company doesn’t pay attention to who is manning their ships is unbelievable. If you had milions of $$ invested in a vessel, you would like to know who is responsible for operating it, would you not??

Not to mention the loss of reputation if there is an accident, or incident, that attract attention of the media and it comes out that the vessel was manned by unqualified persons to save money.
(OK, that accusation will be made in some media and by some persons, regardless)

Here is a solution to the shortfall officers. The US and other first world countries band together and restrict all ships flying a flag of convenience (Panama, Liberia, Marshal Islands) from entering their ports. That way companies are forced to hire all these unemployed first world mariners.

That sounds like a very “smart” idea. Take the job away from thousands of fellow Mariners and hand them to some more “deserving”, though not necessarily more qualified, Mariners from rich countries.

I don’t know how many qualified Officers there are in the US and “1st World” countries that is available and willing to serve on VLCCs and VLOCs making long sea voyages between remote ports with no possibility of shore leave. Now also without possibility of getting relieved at the end of their contract:

What I do know is that the three FOC registers you mentioned have a lot of ships of that type.

PS> The Berge Hang Shan flies British flag.

only as your staff are a long way from your customer so your staff can be the worst on the planet so its as cheap as you can management.

The other bonus for ships owners is there are basically very few rules that govern employment conditions on the water, MLC has started to address this but basically terms and conditions at sea are about 50 years behind the land.

How many employees were held hostage in their office with no pay for the last few months?

The United States was the country that invented the flag of convenience. Who With any power in this country do you think would want to end this practice?

A lot of the ships registered under the FOCs mentioned are owned by US companies, hedge funds, banks and other financial institutions, investment and pension funds.
A lot of the rest are owned by foreign companies that you find on NYSE.

Don’t cut off the branch you are sitting on, or kill the goose that lay the.golden egg.

There are no golden eggs but too many geese lead to fouled water and piles of crap wherever they go.

Not agreeing with the idea but this doesn’t make sense from the working mariner’s point of view. Have a job available that pays a good income but lose 0.01% return on the 401k? Easy decision.

And the thousands of fellow seafarers that loos 100% of their income?

“Foreigner’s jobs Matters also”.

Only in their own country and particularly not when their jobs are a threat to our jobs in our country.

Not gonna happen.

Ships operate around the world, with officers and crews from many countries, not only from the flag state. In fact there are VERY few seafarers from the largest FOC countries.
Most ships doesn’t ever come to their “home country” or “home port”.
How many Marshall Island ships do you think has ever been there.
Panama is a bit different because of the Panama Canal. (Which is now Panamanian)

Nobody is coming to the US to take the jobs on ships and boats in domestic trade away.

Perhaps the often attacked Jones Act is a player in that not happening to a degree. More reason to defend it.

Perhaps the Jones Act is also a reason that it is difficult for US Mariners to get a job on ships under other flags. (That and the refusal to fully implement IMO rules and ratify UNCLOS)

Except US owned Rigs/Drillships under US controlled FOC registers and working in US waters.

Cabotage Laws exists in many countries. They may demand local crews in domestic trade, but does not get involved in anything else.

We are talking about FoC ships that are, as you stated, often American owned.

I say we slap a tariff on every FoC ship that enters an American port. Make it hurt to own or use a FoC ship. Use all collected tariffs to rebuild the American merchant marine and support American mariners which is what our useless MARAD is supposed to do anyway.

1 Like