The COVID-19 pandemic has put seafarers around the world in precarious situations. Travel restrictions mean some cannot leave their ships, be repatriated home, or even get urgent medical assistance. Other seafarers have seen their contracts unilaterally terminated or have been quarantined on board ships for more than 14 days, without getting paid.
A large number of seafarers, as well as their spouses and family members, have reached out to IMO to share their concerns about a variety of difficult situations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
IMO has established an internal team to help resolve individual cases, often working alongside other organizations like the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS).
We have read many articles, extolling the virtues of Seafarers who are considered the backbone of the shipping industry and how they are important to the industry etc etc.
However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, these Seafarers are facing significant challenges with extended service on board, unable to go ashore for a bit of fresh air after many months at sea, unable to be relieved of their duties and go home to be with their loved ones etc.
This is despite international maritime compliance regulations which require Seafarers to be changed on a regular basis from ships they work in to ensure safety, crew health, welfare, and the prevention of fatigue.
There have been calls from many quarters for appropriate action to be taken to address these issues faced by Seafarers.
The world is in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economy has been greatly hit due to this. You may agree that during such time, it’s important more than ever to find ways for saving costs and take all measures possible to safeguard your business.
As a small or midsize business, there is no doubt that you are familiar with the stress of operating on tight margins, and you know how valuable even a small percentage of cost-savings can be to your bottom line.
However, what many small businesses don’t realize, is that their supply chain – particularly when it comes to imports – can be a significant source of cost savings!
Executive Insights is a series by Shipping and Freight Resource that provides ongoing insights and thoughtful analysis enriching the knowledge of the readers with what is happening in the shipping, freight, maritime, logistics, and supply chain industry..
Executive Insights is also a chance to pick the brains of industry veterans, leaders, and enablers..
In this edition of Executive Insights, we caught up with Sri Himakuntala, President & Chief Executive Officer of Intellect Technologies about digitalising the shipping ecosystem..
The issue of what the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) may consider in assessing whether a demurrage or detention practice is unjust or unreasonable has seemingly been put to rest with FMC having the final word..
On the 28th of April 2020, the FMC issued its final rule on its interpretation of the Shipping Act prohibition against failing to establish, observe, and enforce just and reasonable regulations and practices relating to or connected with receiving, handling, storing, or delivering property with respect to demurrage and detention..
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect and disrupt industries, jobs, lives, and economies around the world, there also seems to be a good fightback from the various industries, governments, and organisations.
Shipping lines have been offering time-sensitive cost-saving options for COVID-19 along with some relief in demurrage and detention charges etc.. Governments have been given tax breaks and business rescue packages to those most affected.
Now it seems to be the turn of the two main canals that serve the shipping and freight industry – the Panama Canal and the Suez Canal.
These canals save shipowners costs in terms of the transit, in terms of fuel costs, and also assists in reducing the carbon footprint of the transiting ships but of course both these canals have toll charges for the transit of ships.