For more than a year, the major seafarer unions, shipping lines, and organizations including the International Maritime Organization have been warning of the problems being caused in the shipping industry by COVID-19 related travel restrictions and the failure to recognize seafarers as essential workers. Renewed travel restrictions resulting from the new variations of the coronavirus, combined with delays in obtaining vaccinations for seafarers, are likely to further add to the problems as carriers work to manage growing demand and increased shipments as the global economies recover.

According to crewing agency Danica Crewing Services, costs are rising in the crewing sector and crew shortages are beginning to be seen as COVID-19 travel restrictions and vaccination delays are increasingly impacting the availability of trained seafarers. Danica warns that continued restrictions and vaccination delays are causing crew shortages and rising wages that are likely to get worse during the coming months.

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