Shortage of ship officer crew is receding, says Drewry. According to their analysis, the expected growth in the main cargo carrying fleet will require an additional 42,500 officers by the end of 2019.

The latest Manning report of the global shipping consultancy shows that the current officer supply is in the order of 615,000 meaning approximately 15,000 officers nominal shortfall.

Malcolm Jupe, Lead Analyst at Drewry, explains:

“There is still a shortage of officers but the gap between demand and supply has narrowed as the recent growth in fleet size is coming to an end.”

Officers working longer shift patterns account for the main of the shortfall.

Despite the fact that the ratings remuneration packages usually follow the standard terms of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), the earnings of an officer tend to be driven by the market, the rule's principle exception is North West Europe.

Drewry: Shipping to require additional 42,500 officers by the end of 2019

Due to the current market situation most ship owners can hardly afford to increase wages significantly.

As a conclusion Malcolm Jupe says:

“Manning is normally the single largest cost head in ship operations. Keeping these costs under control remains very important to all ship owners, especially when trading conditions are weak, as is the case in some of the key shipping freight markets – such as dry bulk carriers.”

Source: Drewry