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Unvaccinated Seafarers Could See Global Supply Chain Crisis Deepen

24th March 2021
Half of the world’s sailors are from countries where rollout of vaccines is slow, according to the International Chamber of Shipping. Above the deck-mounted cranes of a deep-sea bulker berthed at an Irish port. Half of the world’s sailors are from countries where rollout of vaccines is slow, according to the International Chamber of Shipping. Above the deck-mounted cranes of a deep-sea bulker berthed at an Irish port. Credit: Jehan Ashmore

Unvaccinated seafarers are threatening to tip the global supply chain into deeper crisis as countries introduce vaccine requirements at their borders, The Financial Times reports quoting international shipping industry sources.

Of the world’s 1.7 million seafarers, 900,000 are from developing nations, where vaccines might not be available for all until 2024, according to trade association, the International Chamber of Shipping, a trade association.

Guy Platten, secretary-general of ICS, said it had received reports that three ports in China had prevented sailors from disembarking because they had not received a specific COVID-19 vaccine, foreshadowing a potential repeat of last year’s welfare crisis for seafarers and the challenges to rebooting international travel.

“If our workers can’t pass through international borders, this will undoubtedly cause delays and disruptions in the supply chain,” he said. “We’re really scared seafarers will become collateral damage again,” he told the newspaper.

More on this story from LloydsLoadingList. 

Published in Ports & Shipping
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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