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The Human Element in Container Shipping


Edited By Burkhard Lemper, Thomas Pawlik and Susanne Neumann

The shipping industry is run by people and for people. Thus, the main element in shipping is the «human element» – the mariners at all levels. Since the human element aboard vessels – being in and coping with a very special environment – is the crucial point of every transport chain, it is important to take a closer look at maritime human resource management issues which are scarcely tackled in scientific literature. This book deals with topics such as the criminalization of seafarers, piracy as part of shipping companies’ risk management, corporate social responsibility and human error in shipping.


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2 Corporate Social Responsibility and Employer Branding: Susanne Neumann, Prof. Dr. Thomas Pawlik


39 1 Introduction In recent times, companies in maritime industry had difficulties in filling vacant onboard positions: a talent shortage is being felt. Even though BIMCO and the International Shipping Federation (ISF) have reported in their comprehensive study ‘Manpower 2010 Update’ that there is currently “not a serious shortage problem for officers in aggregate” and an “approximate balance between demand and supply for ratings with a modest overall shortage of officers (about 2%)” 1 , in specialized sectors such as tankers and offshore support vessels, shipping companies are experiencing serious recruitment problems.2 Especially, the supply of particular grades of seafarers like senior officers in some labour markets still causes problems. This exactly is what the International Maritime Organization (IMO) confirmed: In some areas of the world such as New Zealand, Australia and Fiji, the maritime sector is facing a serious shortage of highly qualified officers especially with the categories masters and chief engineers.3 Furthermore, IMO’s ‘Go to Sea!’ campaign launched in 2008 in cooperation with various stakeholders from the maritime industry showed that “fewer young people were attracted to the seafaring profession, while young seafarers prefer to move to land-based jobs”4 – and this trend continues.5 And even in the above mentioned report in which a surplus demand for 13,000 officers worldwide is being labelled as a balanced market situation, BIMCO and 1 BIMCO and ISF (2010): Study on the worldwide demand for and supply of seafarers, “Manpower 2010 Update”, p. 3. 2 Manila Bulletin, 16 December 2010, “BIMCO-ISF...

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