The shipping industry is facing its own version of ‘long COVID’ says INTERCARGO, following warnings received from members.
“Seafarers worldwide continue to face major issues with crew change, port entry and changing vaccination requirements,” says Dimitrios Fafalios, Chairman of INTERCARGO.
“New waves of infection continue to affect ports, and once again we are seeing local authorities creating their own interpretation of the rules.
“This is happening today at ports around the world, and governments and administrations seem not to have learned the lessons of the past two years, as they move to a post-COVID agenda.”
INTERCARGO is concerned that the crisis in Ukraine has distracted from the very real shockwaves that are still affecting the maritime sector as a result of the pandemic. In a number of ports globally seafarers are finding access to shore leave restricted, and in some cases are finding it difficult to access non-emergency medical assistance.
The Association urges consideration by national governments at the highest level for the issue to remain at the top of their agenda.
Dimitrios Fafalios says: “The situation is ongoing and requires pan industry commitment. Our efforts to highlight the plight of the seafarer must not stop, and the industry must never consider what is happening to seafarers today in any way normal.”
International shipping is vital for the global economy and prosperity as it transports approximately 90% of world trade. The dry bulk sector is the largest shipping sector in terms of number of ships and deadweight. Dry bulk carriers account for 43% of the world fleet (in tonnage) and carry an estimated 55% of the global transport work.
The International Association of Dry Cargo Shipowners (INTERCARGO) unites and promotes quality dry bulk shipping, bringing together more than 230 forward thinking companies from 30 countries. INTERCARGO convened for the first time in 1980 in London and has been participating with consultative status at the International Maritime Organization (IMO) since 1993. INTERCARGO provides the forum where dry bulk shipowners, managers and operators are informed about, discuss, and share concerns on key topics and regulatory challenges, especially in relation to safety, the environment, and operational excellence. The Association takes forward its members’ positions to IMO, as well as to other shipping and international industry fora, having free and fair competition as a principle.