Seafarer Workforce Report - The global supply and demand for seafarers in 2021

Number of Pages:
Book Height:
295 mm
Book Width:
210 mm
0.8 kg
Published Date:
July 2021
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The Seafarer Workforce Report (previously known as the Manpower Report) is the industry standard resource for those seeking the market intelligence needed to develop crewing and training strategies fit for the future.

Prepared by BIMCO and ICS, this comprehensive report details the global seafarer workforce supply and demand situation. With contributions from national maritime administrations, shipping companies, maritime education and training institutions and industry experts, this report is considered to be an essential tool for those tasked with developing crewing and training strategies.

The 2021 edition contains:

• Detailed estimates of the current supply and demand for seafarers for the world fleet, including country-specific figures.
• Details of the demographic composition of the supply of seafarers.
• Forward projections for the likely supply and demand situations over the next five years.
• Identification of various maritime training, recruitment and retention trends and their potential consequences.

The Seafarer Workforce Report 2021 provides a comprehensive overview of the supply and demand balance for STCW certified seafarers qualified to work on board the world merchant fleet. Seafarers are central to the safe and efficient operation of the global maritime transportation system, and the COVID-19 pandemic has
brought the essential role of the global seafarer workforce to the forefront of the world’s attention. Charting the course of developments within the global seafarer workforce has never been more important.

Prepared jointly by BIMCO and ICS every five years, the report publishes estimates 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;
  • The composition of the seafarer workforce that operate the world merchant fleet, including demographic information on nationality, rank/role, age profiles and gender; and
  • The anticipated future growth of the world merchant fleet over the next five years and the potential implications for the global supply and demand of the seafarer workforce.

1. Introduction

2. Methodology

3. Current Supply of the Global Seafarer Workforce

4. Current Demand for the Global Seafarer Workforce

5. Future Supply and Demand for Seafarers


Appendix A – Estimated Global Supply of Seafarers in 2021

Appendix B – Estimated Average Operational Crewing Levels by Ship Type and Tonnage

Appendix C – Maritime Education and Training (MET) Institutions Questionnaire

Appendix D – Methodology and Data Limitations

Appendix E – List of Respondents


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 1900 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.

Number of Pages:
Binding Format:
Book Height:
295 mm
Book Width:
210 mm
0.8 kg

BIMCO and International Chamber of Shipping

Published Date:
July 2021
Publication Date:
July 2021