Manpower Report (eBook)

Published Date

June 2020

Manpower Report (eBook)

(Excludes any applicable taxes)

Prepared by BIMCO and ICS, this is a comprehensive report on the global manpower situation in the shipping industry.

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The Manpower Report provides information on the status of maritime manpower to assist the industry with strategic direction, to anticipate developments and to take action as appropriate. It provides an estimate of:


  • The balance between the global supply of qualified and competent seafarers available for service on ships trading internationally and the industry’s demand for seafarers to operate the world merchant fleet


  • Details about the composition of the supply of seafarers that operate the world merchant fleet, including their nationalities, rank/role, age profiles and gender


  • The anticipated future growth of the world merchant fleet and its possible impacts on the global manpower situation.

1.  Introduction

2.  Methodology

3.  Current Supply and Demand for Seafarers

4.  Seafarer Recruitment, Training and Wastage

5.  Future Supply and Demand for Seafarers



A  Estimated Global Supply of Seafarers in 2015

B   Estimated Average Operational Manning Levels by Ship Type and Tonnage

C   Seafarer Survey

D  Maritime Education and Training (MET) Institution Survey

E   Manning Agent Survey and Maritime Union Survey

F   Methodology and Data Limitations

G  Lists of Respondents

The first Manpower Report was produced in 1990, undertaken in response to serious concerns expressed by shipping companies experiencing growing shortages of qualified and competent seafarers in many major seafarer supply countries.


In the late 1980s, there were also a number of significant new seafarer supply countries making it important for the industry to monitor its increasingly global manpower. The industry was interested in an overview and update of where seafarers were available and whether the supply of seafarers could be expected to meet the industry’s demand for seafarers in the years ahead. It has since been repeated at five-yearly intervals by BIMCO and ICS to provide the industry with an update on its maritime manpower.


The 1990 report established that there was a shortage of qualified officers, but a significant surplus of ratings. The methodology used has been broadly followed ever since, looking at the trends and building on the experiences of preparing the previous reports.


The reports continue to provide the industry with information on the status of its maritime manpower to assist with strategic direction, to help the industry anticipate developments and take action as appropriate. For example, the reports have been able to:


  • • Highlight imbalances between the global supply and demand for seafarers;
  • • Forecast the likely supply-demand situation for the years ahead;
  • • Draw attention to key trends and any imminent problems that should be addressed by the industry; and
  • • Reflect the vital contribution of seafarers to international shipping.


The intention is that all stakeholders concerned with the international shipping industry and seaborne trade may find useful information in this report on the global labour market for seafarers.


BIMCO is the world’s largest direct-membership organisation for shipowners, charterers, shipbrokers and agents. In total, around 60% of the world’s merchant fleet is a BIMCO member, measured by tonnage (weight of the unloaded ships).

The organisation has NGO status and is based in Copenhagen, Denmark, with offices in Athens, Singapore and Shanghai.

With around 1,900 member companies across 120 countries, from the largest shipowners in the world to small local port agents and law firms, BIMCO represents a wide range of maritime companies and organisations.

BIMCO’s goal is to secure a level playing field for the global shipping industry. BIMCO therefore works to promote and secure global standards and regulations for the maritime sector. The organisation’s century long effort into creating standard contracts and clauses is an expression of that aim.


The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) is the principal international trade association for the shipping industry, representing shipowners and operators in all sectors and trades.

ICS membership comprises national shipowners’ associations in Asia, Europe and the Americas whose member shipping companies operate over 80% of the world’s merchant tonnage.

Established in 1921, ICS is concerned with all technical, legal, employment affairs and policy issues that may affect international shipping.

ICS represents shipowners with the various intergovernmental regulatory bodies that impact on shipping, including the International Maritime Organization.

ICS also develops best practices and guidance, including a wide range of publications and free resources that are used by ship operators globally.

Title: Manpower Report (eBook)
Edition: Sixth
Product Code: MA1014EA
ISBN: 978-1-8380784-2-3
Published Date: June 2020

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