Estimated Supply of SeafarersAccording to 2015 Manpower Report, the global supply of seafarer is estimated at around 1,647,500 total seafarers, of which 774,000 are officers and 873,500 are ratings.
Summary of estimated global supply of seafarers 2005-2015
Both qualified Officers and Ratings available for internationally trading merchant fleet has increased in numbers over the past years. From 2005 to 2010, the number of officers was reported to have increased by 34% and from 2010 to 2015 was estimated to have increased by 24%. While the number of ratings from 2010 to 2015 was estimated to have increased by 17% and the total number of seafarers grow by 20% from 2010.
The Report also shows that China has overtaken Philippines as the largest source of seafarers. See the report [##anchor## HERE ##anchor##]
Estimated Demand for seafarersThe 2015 report estimated the world merchant fleet for a total of 68,723 ships. The largest type was general cargo ships comprising of 31%, followed by bulk carriers with 16% and offshore supply vessels with 10%.
The global demand for seafarers in 2015 is estimated at 1,545,000 seafarers, with the industry requiring approximately 790,500 officers and 754,500 ratings.
Estimated global demand for seafarers 2005-2015
Data shows how the demand for officers increased since 2005. From 2010 to 2015 the estimated demand for officers has increased by around 24.1%, while the demand for ratings has only increased by around 1.0%.
Supply versus DemandAccording to the current supply and demand, there is a shortage of 16,500 officers and a oversupply of 119,000 ratings.
The global supply of officers is steadily on a trend but is believed to be outpaced by increasing demand. 2015 Report also shows shortage of officers in specific categories including Engineer officers at management level and officers for chemical, LNG and LPG carriers.
Over the past years, data shows good increase in recruitment, training level and retaining of qualified officers. But report indicates to have a shortage of 150,000 officers by 2025 if will not be improve.
ConclusionThe forecast growth in the merchant fleet and its anticipated demand for seafarers will continue to grow over the next ten years. To keep up with this, industry needs to have improvement in recruitment, in training seafarers, and reduce officer wastages (i.e. retaining qualified seafarers and increasing the number of years which they serve at sea).
ICS Secretary General, Peter Hinchliffe commented:
Without continuing efforts to promote careers at sea and improve levels of recruitment and retention, the report suggests it cannot be guaranteed that there will be an abundant supply of seafarers in the future.source: 2015 Manpower Report by BIMCO/ICS