COVID-19 leads to increased crewing costs

Specifically, crew change will result to higher crewing costs as Henrik Jensen, managing director of Danica Crewing Specialists informed, as he analyzed recent crew costs and reports that each crew change is costing an extra $2,000 USD – doubling the price since last year – and is advising ship operators to set aside additional funds in next year’s budgets.

He explained that the analysis does not include vessel deviation and delay costs for redirecting vessels to ports where crew changes are allowed and lost charter revenue. However, vessel deviations caused only for the purpose of crew changes are rare today as more ports are open for crew changes.

We have examined the additional costs caused by Covid-19 restrictions and the requirements in relation to crew changes and we found that on average it now costs almost 2,000 USD per crew movement. So for one person joining and one returning home the cost is approximately $4,000, which is double on pre-pandemic prices.

Mr Jensen added that these overall additional costs are a recent development. “For the first half of the year in general our costs stayed within budgets because the higher charges per crew change were balanced out by the reduced frequency of crew changes. For example, a bulk carrier with a mix of Eastern European and Filipino crew has about  40 crew changes per year and that will be 80K extra costs, although as crew changes still cannot take place in a timely manner the number of actual crew changes will be less.

He added that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, crew change planning and executing can take two to three times as long as before.

Concluding, he advised shipping companies to add in contingency funds.

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