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Supply Chain Gutted By Lack Of Ukrainian, Russian Seafarers

Supply chain issues will be compounded by lack of Ukrainian and Russian seafarers, says the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), who represent 80 per cent of the world’s merchant fleet.

The ICS says that, of the 1.89 million seafarers operating over 74,000 vessels, 10.5 per cent are Russian, and 4 per cent are Ukrainian. Shipping is currently responsible for the movement of nearly 90 per cent of global trade.

“To maintain trade levels, these seafarers must be able to join and disembark ships (crew change) freely across the world,” the ICS report.

“However, flights have been cancelled to and from the region, making this increasingly difficult. Fears over crew safety and increasing insurance premiums to send ships to Ukraine or Russia have also discouraged shipowners from sending vessels to these countries. Industry has reported that some crews have abandoned their ships in Ukraine due to security worries.”

Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of Shipping said:

“The conflict in Ukraine is having a significant impact upon the safety and security of seafarers and shipping in the area. As with COVID, seafarers are being exposed to issues not of their making. Multiple ships have been hit by munitions, seafarers have been killed and injured and seafarers of all nationalities are trapped on ships berthed in ports.

“It is of the utmost urgency that their evacuation from these areas of threat should be ensured by those States with the power to do so. The impact upon innocent seafarers and their families cannot be underestimated.

“ICS fully supports the establishment of a maritime corridor to allow the safe evacuation of ships that are currently unable to leave territorial waters in the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. They must be allowed to depart the area of conflict and avoid further humanitarian incident.”

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