ITF News Update

Ship abandonment cases leapt 11% last year

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has released its figures for the numbers of vessels abandoned in 2023 which show a worrying 11% increase from the previous year. Seafarers are deemed to have been abandoned if the shipowner fails to cover the cost of a seafarer’s repatriation; or has left them without the necessary maintenance and support; or has otherwise unilaterally severed ties with them, including their failure to pay the seafarers’ contractual wages for a period of at least two months.


ITF appeals to international community on behalf of Seafarers

The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has reached out to humanitarian organisations and others to look into the well being of Seafarers and related workers including Sri Lankans as tensions on the vital shipping lane in the Red Sea and adjoining waterways has heightened to frightening levels, a senior most official said yesterday.


EU Ports Urged To Team Up To Fight ‘Very Creative’ Drug Smugglers

Drug smugglers in the EU have become so “very creative” that the bloc’s seaports should join forces to combat their ever-changing tactics, Belgian Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden told AFP.


Red Sea crisis: What it takes to reroute the world’s biggest cargo ships on a 4,000 mile detour

You can see exactly where the drone attack hit. Just look for the grisly black scorch marks staining the ship’s white paint. On 17 January, the MV Genco Picardy, a US-owned bulk carrier, became the latest victim of Houthi rebel assaults on commercial ships sailing through the Red Sea. One of the world’s busiest shipping lanes is now, surely, the most dangerous.


US and UK Seafarers to Earn Double Pay for Red Sea Transits

Seafarers working on vessels connected to the United Kingdom and the United States sailing through the Red Sea are set to receive double pay due to increased threats from Houthi rebels. According to trade union Nautilus International, the UK warlike operations area committee (WOAC) has extended its existing recommendations, previously limited to Israeli-linked vessels, to include those with ties to the UK and the US.


Indonesia Struggles to Implement Illegal-Fishing Rules

Seven years after ratifying the Port State Measures Agreement (PSMA), Indonesia has just four compliant fishing ports. It is facing challenges implementing the agreement at these ports, as well as in raising the number of compliant ports, according to the government.


Report: Salaries Are Rising as Seafarer Job Market Gets More Competitive

Crewing provider Danica reports that recruitment of seafarers is getting harder than ever, based on the results of a new survey of shipowners.  70 percent of crewing managers and other shipmanagement professionals reported that their work has become more difficult within the past two years – even when compared with the COVID era.


Nautilus reclaims £1.3 million in unpaid wages for yacht crew

This follows a record year in 2022, during which the impact of sanctions related to the Ukraine War on Russian=owned superyachts inflated the figure to more than £2.75 million.


Rising to the Challenges of CO2 Shipping

Somewhat paradoxically, CO2 will be required to help decarbonize the shipping industry, and that CO2 must often be shipped around the world. From ship design to containment systems, we must view these vessels as part of the wider supply chain says Sean McLaughlin, Strategy Consultant at design and engineering consultancy Houlder.


ICS Report Highlights Improvements in Flag State Performance

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), which represents over 80% of the world’s merchant fleet, has released its 2023/2024 Flag State Performance Table report showing a continued positive performance by the majority of Flag States responsible for the safety and environmental performance of the world’s merchant ships.


Seafarers treated like ‘modern-day slaves’ as abandonments rise

Hundreds lose out on more than $12m in wages as Panama-flagged vessels top abandonment list. Ship abandonments increased by 11% last year, with some shipowners treating seafarers like modern-day slaves, the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) says.


Empire Navigation Expects “Developments” for Crew Held on Seized Tanker

Greek shipping company Empire Navigation released a statement saying it expects to see further developments regarding the release of the 18 Filipino seafarers being detained by Iran aboard the company’s tanker St. Nikolas. This came as the company welcomed home the youngest member of the crew, a 19-year-old cadet who was the only Greek working aboard the vessel when it was seized by Iranian forces on January 11.


Danica: Recruiting seafarers is increasingly challenging

Recruitment of seafarers is getting harder according to a survey of crew managers conducted by Danica Crewing Specialists. According to Danica, nearly half of those responding reported they are finding it more difficult to recruit crew of the calibre they need for their ships, while more than 70% of crew managers said their job has become more difficult within the past two years.


Two US-Flag Maersk Ships Safe After Houthi Missile Attack

Maersk suspends US-flag operations in the Red Sea after a Houthi attack targeting a Maersk Line, Limited ship carrying U.S. government cargo. Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk (Maersk) confirmed an incident involving two of its US-flagged vessels, the Maersk Detroit and Maersk Chesapeake, near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait on Wednesday.


Malta’s shipping registry keeps growing in size, but not in weight

Number of vessels hits new record, but gross tonnage is decreasing. The number of vessels on the Malta Ship Registry kept growing last year, which marked the 50th anniversary of its founding, figures tabled in Parliament show. But while the registry ended the year with a record 9,542 vessels, the gross tonnage of Malta-flagged vessels continued a downward trend, falling from 84.1 million to 81.7 million tonnes.


ICS ranking: best and worst performing flag states

The international organisation said it wanted to encourage ship owners to put pressure on flag states to make improvements. The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) has released its annual ‘flag state performance table’ for the shipping industry, highlighting the best and worst for safety and environmental protection.


The Future Of Navigation Is The Future Of Shipping

It is no exaggeration to say that shipping underpins the global supply chain. 90% of everything travels via ship. But it is also a sector that is grappling with the need to decarbonise, digitalise, and innovate as it looks to the future.