Taiwan’s three largest liner operators, Evergreen Marine Corporation, Yang Ming Marine Transport and Wan Hai Lines, along with compatriot dry bulk carrier operators China Steel Express Corporation, U-Ming Marine Transport and Kuang Ming Shipping, have signed an agreement with the Maritime and Port Bureau (MPB) to train and employ Taiwanese nationals to work as seafarers.

Inked on 24 May, the initiative, literally translated as “Seafarer Rising Star Cultivation Program”, aims to address an acute shortage of seafarers amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war. The scheme will give priority to candidates from families in remote villages.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Yang Ming chairman, Cheng Cheng-mount, alluded to the war for seafarers among shipping companies, repeating what he said at the Taipei Shipowners’ Association on 4 May.

Cheng noted that on average, monthly seafarer salaries are between US$2,709 and US$3,048, while captains can make at least US$10,160.

He said, “I hope that more young Taiwanese people will enter the shipping industry. Seafaring is a high-paying job with about three months of vacation time every year, and more and more women are joining. Today, the shipping industry, being more high-tech, is very different from what everyone imagined in the past.”

MPB director-general, Yeh Hsieh-lung observed that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused quarantine and vaccination challenges, but he stated that “large shipping companies are building new ships in anticipation of strong demand, which will inevitably increase the demand for crew members.”

Source : Container News