Namely, a group of 85 investors representing more than $2trn in assets, wrote to UN secretary-general António Guterres, in order to enable critical crew changes on sea transportation and protect global supply.

Led by Fidelity International along with vital marine organisations such as the International Labor Organisation and the International Transport Workers’ Federation, the letter states:

"It is clear for some time now that a significant humanitarian crisis is underway at sea, with strict national movement restrictions impacting the ability of existing crews aboard commercial vessels to disembark and replacement crews to take their place. As investors, it is clear that this is no longer solely a shipping industry problem nor a crisis that the shipping industry can resolve on their own. Shipping is responsible for 90% of global trade and holds the key not just to a global economic recovery from the devastation of COVID-19, but to maintaining our current way of life."

What is more, the investor open letter requests for the following measures to be taken into consideration:

  • Continuing to call for the official designation of seafarers as “key workers” and the establishment of systematic processes to enable safe crew changes such as safe corridors and testing regimes.
  • Raising awareness, through a targeted publicity campaign, of the scale and risks that this crisis is already creating forseafarers and sustainable supply chains.
  • Sharing the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) 12-step protocol with relevant entities to facilitate universal implementation.
  • Ensuring seafarers should not spend more than the legal maximum of 11 months on board and limiting any unavoidable crew contract extension.
  • Urging charterers, especially those that charter vessels on a frequent basis, to be flexible with route deviation requests from shipping companies to facilitate crew change and to consider financial support for the costs of crew repatriation.

We are encouraged by the resolution recently adopted by the UN Assembly urging Member States to designate seafarers and marine personnel as key workers, and that a handful of countries have begun to do so. Yet many more are needed to follow through if we are to find a global solution to this crisis.

...as investors added.

Concluding, investors focused on the COVID-19 vaccines matter, highlighting that the UN must ensure that key workers including seafarers are included in the priority groups by their respective governments.

Explore the letter herebelow