Future supply and demand for seafarers

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Do you want to be a seafarer? That’s great because the market demand is huge. We look at statistics about seafarers around the world, depending on rank, experience and many other factors.

The increase in the number of seafarers.

In 2005 and 2010, the number of seafarers increased, and this trend seems to keep up. Between 2005 and 2010, the increase was 34%, currently 24%.
The largest number of seamen was recorded in the following countries:

  • China,
  • Philippines,
  • Indonesia,
  • Russian Federation,
  • Ukraine.

The BIMCO report provides the following statistics on the number of seafarers in the world:

  • 1,187,000 seafarers in 2005
  • 1,371,000 seafarers in 2010
  • 1 647 500 seafarers in 2015

Fleet development

The global commercial fleet in 2015 has 68,723 vessels, of which 31% were cargo vessels, 16% bulk carriers and 10% offshore supply vessels. At the same time, modern technologies are developing. Despite the fact that there is a lot of money and resources spend on developing autonomous/unmanned ships, seafarers do not have to worry about their employment. As for now remotely operated ships or ships with limited crews seems to be a distant future.

Need for seafarers

The global demand for seafarers in 2005 was: 1 062 000, while in 2010 already 1 384 000. In turn, in 2015 this number increased to 1 545 000. It can be seen, therefore, that the demand for seafarers between 2005 and 2010 increased by over 33%, and then by 27.5% in 2010.

It’s worth to look at the comparison of the number of seamen in comparison with the demand:

  • Number of officers: 774,000, demand: 790 500
  • Number of seamen: 873 500, Demand: 754 500
  • Total: number of seamen: 1 647 500, demand: 1 545 000

Forecasts for the future

In the future, the maritime market will certainly continue to develop together with modern technologies related to the maritime industry. The demand for seafarers is expected to increase, according to the statistics presented, the deficit will continue to persist:

  • 2015 – number: 774,000, demand: 790 500
  • 2020 – the number: 789 500, demand: 881 500
  • 2025 – number: 805,000, demand: 952,500

Satisfaction of seafarers with life at sea

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Do seafarers complain about their work? It seems that these people are quite satisfied with their lives, despite many dangers they face each day while working at sea. We checked seafarers work satisfaction by looking at the Manpower Report statistics.

500 mariners from 40 countries around the world took part in this survey.

Happy and satisfied

The majority of seafarers responded positively to the question of work satisfaction at sea. The most satisfied with their activities is more than 10% of respondents. Over 30% said they were satisfied and 40% that they were happy. It’s pretty good statistics, especially considering how demanding seafarer’s job is. Unhappy seafarers account for 9%, and very unhappy 4% of all respondents. The survey involved seafarers working on ships around the world, of different rank and nationality.


  • Satisfied – more than 30% (international respondents)
  • Happy – more than 40%
  • Very happy – more than 10%
  • Unhappy – 9%
  • Very unhappy – 4%

Convenient employment conditions

The majority of seafarers in their work, above all appreciate on time payment and the opportunity to develop a career. Among the reasons why they remain loyal to current employers, they also exchange such advantages as, for example, good training, benefits for the family or access to the Internet.


Important reasons to stay with current employer:

  1. Timely wage payments
  2. Promotion and career opportunities
  3. Happy ships
  4. Good training
  5. Good shore staff
  6. Good food
  7. Good internet access
  8. Family benefits
  9. Regular shore level
  10. Seniority pay

But there are also disadvantages …

Who works at sea knows that it is not an easy job. Seafarers struggle not only with the sea, but also with numerous and complicated personal documentation. What do they complain about in their work most often? There are often comments about the competence or training of crew members, and too much paperwork.


What are your biggest complaints about life at sea?

“Competency of fellow crew members is inadequate”
“Hard to socialise when off duty”
“Too much paperwork and other administrative tasks”
“Inadequate internet and lack of communication arrangements with family and friends”
“relationships with company personnel ashore need improvement”

Make life better

A seafarer’s life is full of different colors. It is not only a great passion and attachment to the function, but also many duties. When difficulties arise, they are also a great reason to find a solution. Sailors indicate that it would be useful to improve the comfort of working at sea less paperwork and administrative work, but also improving relations between the crew on the shore and on the ship. The answer to these needs is, for example, the SeaDocs Manager application, which allows seafarers to have all their documents at hand – on the phone. Automatic reminders and other useful functions mean that you can save a lot of time and, above all, on land – to make life more comfortable.


What would make your life better at sea?

“Less paperwork and administrative jobs so I can concentrate on important issues” Master, Montenegrin
“Good relationship between shore staff and the ship” Chief engineer, Peruvian
“More access to industry articles, books, etc. to improve knowledge and study at sea” Master, Indian
“Quality of food the ship chandlers provide” Second engineer, Bulgarian
“The ISM system is interfering with my work, draining all the time and providing lots of work” Second officer, Turkish
“Internet access to communicate with my family” Engine Rating, Filipino
“A professional and well-trained crew” Master, Greek
“A cold beer!” Chief engineer, Belgian

How many years at sea?

A seafarer’s job is loyalty and attachment. A huge number of people spend a large part of their professional careers while working on the vessel. As many as 50% of seafarers declared remaining in the maritime service for 5 to 10 years.


Number of years seafarers expect to remain at sea

  • Less than 5 years – 15%
  • 5-10 years – nearly 50%
  • 11-20 years – about 27%
  • 21-30 years about 7%

Proud of being a seafarer

The profession of a seafarer is chosen consciously, accepted with all favors and disadvantages. People who choose to work at sea are well aware of the sacrifices of family and social life. At the same time, it is a work that is a great passion, and the sea is constantly calling back. Probably for this reason, most seafarers are satisfied with the work they do – they are proud of their dream work.


“It’s been great!” Third Engineer, Canadian
“I am very proud to be a marine engineer” Second Engineer, Indian
“I am very happy with my career choice” Second Officer, Australian
“It is my dream job. I can work as a seaman.” Second Officer, Estonian

Source: BIMCO, Manpower Report

Seaman’s job application tips

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Graduate education is the basis for taking up employment on a ship. There are many ways to find your dream job with the right earnings and development opportunities. However, before a seaman can join vessel and start a career, he must create application that will allow him to get to the employer and make a very good first impression.

Elements of a good CV

When applying for any job on the ship, you must create your own CV. This is how you make first impression on recruiter without meeting or talking to someone. It is worth to remember that CV is not only to provide information, but also to present it in an attractive form to stand out among many others. A professional CV should not have more than 2 pages, it should contain the following informations:

  • first name and last name,
  • address,
  • Phone number,
  • e-mail adress.
  • write something about yourself (experience, special duties, special trainings/knowledge not confirmed with certificate)

Your CV should attract attention of the recruiter. It is worth to write in it briefly about your professional goals and current employment situation. This part of your CV should not take more than 2-3 sentences.

Education and qualifications

At this point, the stages education should be mentioned (eg a secondary school with a maritime profile, a maritime academy). It is also a place where information about qualifications, certificates and professional qualifications is placed. At each point should be the names of individual courses / university / subjects and date.

It is important to include in your CV:

Certificate of Competence (name of grade & STCW regulation),

Sea Service (including: rank, vessel name, type & IMO number, gross tonnage, engine kilowatts & manufacturer, date of embarkation and disembarkation, company),

Other courses / skills.

From the very beginning of your career, it is good to organize your documentation. Today, modern mobile applications help seafarers. SeaDocs Manager has the ability to enter all certificates, diplomas and other documents. In this way, you can have everything at hand and build documentation related to your professional career. SeaDocs Manager for Android


We start writing the employment history from the last place of work. We place in each case: job title, employer, ship’s name and type, dates. It is also worth writing briefly about what experience and qualifications have been gained by working on individual positions.


In this part of the CV you can show your individual interests and hobbies. If you like reading mention your favorite author or book. If you like sport mention brand of equipment you like best. This specific information’s will stay in recruiter memory.

Just look at those examples:

Example 1

My hobbies are reading books, riding on bike riding on bicycle.

Example 2

At my free time during winter I like reading biographies, in summer I run a lot in my pumas, at spring and autumn I ride on my bike Scott year 2005.

Little bit of extra information does not extend your CV but add to it something unique and personal.


A good impression on employers makes references and letters of recommendation from companies where you worked before. It is worth having, for example, two such companies and put relevant information in your CV.

Internet is full of ready to use CV templates, some of them are free and for some you have to pay. Sometimes it is worth to invest 10$ to get a good job and have outstanding CV.

Seaman and technology: how to organize Seaman’s Book?

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Książeczka żeglarska to podstawowy dokument każdego marynarza. Za jej pomocą można potwierdzić tożsamość, jest potrzebna do przekroczenia granicy. Marynarze odwiedzają porty na całym świecie, dlatego posiadanie takiego dokumentu jest niezbędne. Jak zorganizować sobie dokumentację tego rodzaju? Najlepiej, wykorzystując nowoczesne aplikacje mobilne.

grafiki w tekście – te, które były robione pod kanwy + podlinkowanie do strony i sklepu Google Play.

Dokumenty pod ręką

SeaDocs Manager to innowacyjna aplikacja, która ułatwia życie marynarzom na całym świecie. Jedną z jej zalet jest możliwość skonfigurowania własnej książeczki żeglarskiej. W ten sposób możesz mieć wszystko pod ręką – w swoim smartfonie.

Uzupełnienie książeczki żeglarskiej w aplikacji

Wystarczy wejść w swój profil i wybrać zakładkę: Seaman’s Book. Następnie mamy przycisk z plusikiem, który przenosi nas do formularza, w którym już konkretnie wpisujemy swoją historię na morzu. Możesz tutaj uzupełnić następujące informacje:

  • Issue date,
  • Expiry date,
  • Native Seaman’s Book,
  • Number,
  • Link with diploma/certificate.

Następnie wystarczy kliknąć SAVE i gotowe!

Pogląd informacji

Wygodne rozwiązania, jakie kryje w sobie SeaDocs Manager to sposób na zaoszczędzenie sporej ilości czasu. Nie trzeba co chwilę zaglądać w dokumentację i pamiętać o datach wygaśnięcia dokumentów. Wszystko znajduje się w aplikacji, a przecież wiadomo, że w dzisiejszych czasach telefon mamy zawsze przy sobie. Notyfikacje różnią się od siebie kolorystycznie – tutaj również można wprowadzić indywidualne ustawienia, w zależności od tego, w jakim czasie przed wygaśnięciem dokumentów, chcemy otrzymać powiadomienia.

Wysyłanie dokumentów do Urzędu Morskiego

Technologie rozwijają się we współczesnym świecie niezwykle szybko. W przypadku pracy marynarza niezwykle ważne jest to, by zminimalizować czas, jaki przeznacza się na zarządzanie dokumentacją i wypełnianie formalności, zwłaszcza w czasie, gdy przebywa się na lądzie. Wtedy chcemy poświęcić czas rodzinie, odpocząć i zająć się tym, co sprawia nam przyjemność. Wkrótce w aplikacji SeaDocs Manager zostaną zaimplementowane rozwiązania, dzięki którym będzie można automatycznie wysyłać dokumentację do Urzędów Morskich. To znacznie ułatwi marynarzom zarządzanie dokumentami morskimi, więc bądźcie na bieżąco!

Holidays with a seafarer – how to plan?

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Planning a vacation with a seafarer is not easy. Although it seems that the rules of work on the ship are strictly defined, time shifts may occur. It turns out then that the planned holiday a year in advance will not work. How to deal with it? And how does everyday life with a seafarer look like from the organizational side? We are introducing several facts.

FACT 1: Always away from home

When deciding to work on a ship, both the sailor and his family must agree to certain conditions and lifestyle. Typically, a sailor spends over half a year away from home. Added to this are training, formalities and other duties that must be completed when seafarer is at home.

FACT 2: Short and long contracts

Currently, seafarers most often conclude contracts on a 1:1 basis. If working one month at sea, then the month spend at home. A month or two at sea means a shorter time of separation, but there are many more such breakups per year. Seafarers they are more likely to choose 4-6 weeks contracts. Some time ago the seafarer spent at least seven or nine months at sea, and the stay in the house lasted only a month or two. Today, contracts are much more convenient, so much more depends on what conditions suit them best.

FACT 3: The right employer

Shipowners often have additional conditions and facilities to offer. The seaman receives the right amount of free time in case of important life events, such as the birth of a child. When applying for employment, it is worth checking the individual rules and flexibility of the employer so that you can organize your family life.

FACT 4: Change of deadlines

There are many variables and unknowns in the seafarer’s work. Time at sea may be longer, even if due to late crew change or sea conditions. Therefore, it is difficult to plan anything unambiguously. Many seafarers even complain about the problem of setting the date of the wedding, because they are not sure if they will be able to arrive on time. It is worth taking into account such circumstances, also when planning a vacation. A large spare time will help you organize joint trips and family events much better.

FACT 5: Last minute trips

It may turn out that planned holidays will not take place. If the seafarer is planning his vacation, he should check the possibility of recovering the funds at the time of resignation from the reservation, as well as other available options that will allow a more flexible adjustment of the holiday to changing circumstances. What bother us during planning dream vacation can also be a great advantage. You can’t forget about last minute trips! This is a great option for seafarers and their families. In addition, spontaneous trips can be much more exciting. A lot depends here on the attitude.

FACT 6: A sailor at home, but not quite

Once the seafarer arrives at home, it is a great event, and at the same time the grey reality comes in. It must be realized that working on a ship is one thing and formalities are the other. While at home, the sailor has to organize his documentation, remember about the numerous expiry dates of certificates, diplomas and vaccines. That’s a lot of documents that you have to deal with. Fortunately, there are ways – just use modern tools and mobile applications, such as SeaDocs Manager.

FACT 7: Holidays with a sailor? Of course!

Basic matter is a perfect organization. Finding the right vacation with the option to cancel your trip, as well as last minute trips are a good start to spend your dream vacation together and not feel great frustration when something goes wrong. And in addition, in order for the seaman not to have to think about work on vacation, it is worth using modern tools and mobile applications that they make life easier on land.

7 cech wyróżniających marynarzy

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Jakimi cechami wyróżnia się wzorowy marynarz? Praca na statku to wymagający zawód, który często bywa też niebezpieczny. Rozłąka z rodziną, walka z żywiołem i mnóstwo procedur oraz trudnych decyzji do podjęcia – to tylko niektóre z sytuacji, z którymi marynarz musi się zmierzyć. Taka osoba powinna charakteryzować się konkretnymi cechami. Read More