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Displaying items by tag: Vaccines

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), along with industry and social partners, are encouraging ships in ports around the world to sound their horns at 12 noon local time on 25th June, in honour of the International Maritime Organisations’ ‘Day of the Seafarer’.

The event is to remind the world of the urgent need to vaccinate all seafarers.

Last year’s campaign brought the crew change crisis to the world’s attention. Almost a year on, the number of crew impacted by the governments’ border restrictions has halved to 200,000. However, deadly second waves in India and other countries are seeing a return to travel bans for seafarers.

Access to vaccines is also a pressing issue; over half of the international seafarer workforce is from developing nations that have limited vaccine supplies.

Guy Platten, Secretary General of the International Chamber of shipping said: “We know just how important last year’s Heroes at Sea Shoutout was in raising the attention about the crew change crisis. Unfortunately, with the new variants and the dreadful outbreaks in India, seafarers are once again being forgotten.

The Ever Given incident (in March) showed just how important shipping and our seafarers are to global supply chains. Therefore, we are once again calling for ships at port across the globe to sound their horns at 12 noon local time on 25th of June to mark the Day of the Seafarer and ensure that seafarers voices are heard.”

ICS, along with industry and social partners are calling on ships to sound their horns when in port at 12 noon local time on the 25th June, as long as it is safe to do so, to draw attention to the plight of seafarers, and ensure that they are prioritised for the vaccine. If this unique population is left unvaccinated, it risks further enflaming the ‘crew change crisis’.

Some countries, including the United States, and the Netherlands, have begun seafarer inoculation programmes utilising their ports as vaccine hubs. Vitally they are vaccinating both native and non-native seafarers that enter their ports.

But many countries are shutting off their borders to travelers due to fears of emerging variants and the threat they will pose to domestic vaccination efforts. ICS urges ships to take part in the #ShoutOutForSeafarers campaign on 25th June to remind the world of the essential need to allow crew changes in their country and prioritise seafarers of all nations for vaccinations in their ports.

ICS is also encouraging crews to share their experiences on the day via social media using the #ShoutOutForSeafarers and #FairFuture4Seafarers hashtags.

To aid in the global seafarer vaccination effort, ICS has published a Vaccination Roadmap to help establish seafarer vaccination hubs, similar to those currently in operation.

Published in Ports & Shipping

Ferry & Car Ferry News The ferry industry on the Irish Sea, is just like any other sector of the shipping industry, in that it is made up of a myriad of ship operators, owners, managers, charterers all contributing to providing a network of routes carried out by a variety of ships designed for different albeit similar purposes.

All this ferry activity involves conventional ferry tonnage, 'ro-pax', where the vessel's primary design is to carry more freight capacity rather than passengers. This is in some cases though, is in complete variance to the fast ferry craft where they carry many more passengers and charging a premium.

In reporting the ferry scene, we examine the constantly changing trends of this sector, as rival ferry operators are competing in an intensive environment, battling out for market share following the fallout of the economic crisis. All this has consequences some immediately felt, while at times, the effects can be drawn out over time, leading to the expense of others, through reduced competition or takeover or even face complete removal from the marketplace, as witnessed in recent years.

Arising from these challenging times, there are of course winners and losers, as exemplified in the trend to run high-speed ferry craft only during the peak-season summer months and on shorter distance routes. In addition, where fastcraft had once dominated the ferry scene, during the heady days from the mid-90's onwards, they have been replaced by recent newcomers in the form of the 'fast ferry' and with increased levels of luxury, yet seeming to form as a cost-effective alternative.

Irish Sea Ferry Routes

Irrespective of the type of vessel deployed on Irish Sea routes (between 2-9 hours), it is the ferry companies that keep the wheels of industry moving as freight vehicles literally (roll-on and roll-off) ships coupled with motoring tourists and the humble 'foot' passenger transported 363 days a year.

As such the exclusive freight-only operators provide important trading routes between Ireland and the UK, where the freight haulage customer is 'king' to generating year-round revenue to the ferry operator. However, custom built tonnage entering service in recent years has exceeded the level of capacity of the Irish Sea in certain quarters of the freight market.

A prime example of the necessity for trade in which we consumers often expect daily, though arguably question how it reached our shores, is the delivery of just in time perishable products to fill our supermarket shelves.

A visual manifestation of this is the arrival every morning and evening into our main ports, where a combination of ferries, ro-pax vessels and fast-craft all descend at the same time. In essence this a marine version to our road-based rush hour traffic going in and out along the commuter belts.

Across the Celtic Sea, the ferry scene coverage is also about those overnight direct ferry routes from Ireland connecting the north-western French ports in Brittany and Normandy.

Due to the seasonality of these routes to Europe, the ferry scene may be in the majority running between February to November, however by no means does this lessen operator competition.

Noting there have been plans over the years to run a direct Irish –Iberian ferry service, which would open up existing and develop new freight markets. Should a direct service open, it would bring new opportunities also for holidaymakers, where Spain is the most visited country in the EU visited by Irish holidaymakers ... heading for the sun!