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Almost all ships are working to capacity: Germany’s shipping companies are still on the up despite the shortage of skilled workers

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Despite the corona pandemic and the Ukraine war, almost all of Germany’s shipping companies are still working to full capacity, but are worried about the next generation of skilled workers.

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The upturn has reached even the smallest shipowners, in 93 percent of German ocean-going shipping companies all ships are fully utilized, according to the 14th shipowner study available to the German Press Agency, for which PwC Germany called 106 from May 12th to June 13th interviewed decision-makers in German ocean-going shipping companies. The future is also characterized by confidence: three out of four shipowners are expecting growth.

“Unemployed container ships have become an absolute rarity,” said André Wortmann, head of the Maritime Competence Center at PwC Germany. The reasons are catch-up effects in the trade backlog caused by the pandemic and the structural changes in the industry since the 2009 financial crisis.

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74 percent of those surveyed expect growth in the next twelve months – after only 33 percent in the first Corona year 2020. However, only almost two-thirds of the shipping companies still assume that the global volume of cargo will increase in the next five years. Last year it was 75 percent.

Skills shortage is a major challenge

According to the survey, the larger and higher-revenue shipping companies are mostly concentrating on energy-efficient and environmentally friendly new ships. Smaller shipping companies are therefore more likely to plan with used ships.

Almost three quarters of all shipowners have hired new people in the past twelve months – 69 percent want to do the same in the coming year. Only 13 percent laid off workers. “The personnel adjustments going into 2021 meant that many shipping companies had hardly any personnel leeway when the demand for transport capacities suddenly exploded last year,” said Wortmann.

Now the shortage is becoming a challenge for the industry. The personnel situation is already the most serious problem for 55 percent of the shipowners.

According to the shipowners, the corona pandemic is now having a significantly lower impact on business. Only twelve percent are of the opinion that the majority of German container shipping companies can only continue after the Corona crisis with state help (2020: 41 percent). (dpa)

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Source: Tagesspiegel

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