General Cargo Ships Are Falling Behind in Ensuring Crew Wellbeing

Seafarers in international trade often find newer, fancier ships offer better quality of life and career growth. Idwal survey data confirms general cargo ships lag in crew connectivity and overall quality compared to other vessel classes. Lack of internet access on 13% of ships is concerning for crew welfare. General cargo ships also struggle with maintenance, crew health, and workload management.
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Seafarers with experience in international trade are aware of the trend that newer, more modern ships tend to offer better living conditions and career opportunities. A recent survey by vessel inspection agency Idwal confirms this belief, also revealing that general cargo ships generally fall behind other vessel classes in terms of quality of life for crew members.

The survey found that general cargo vessels have poor crew connectivity compared to other types of ships, impacting crew welfare significantly. Older vessels also tend to have inadequate internet access due to outdated equipment or lack of satcom capability. Additionally, 13 percent of all ships lack internet access entirely, which is concerning for crew welfare issues.

In addition to connectivity issues, general cargo ships also score lower on various other metrics such as PSC inspections, maintenance of ship appearance, crew health standards, management practices, recreational facilities, accommodations, training opportunities, and workload management. This can lead to fatigue and dissatisfaction among crew members, with the lowest inspection score recorded during the period being for a general cargo vessel flagged in Mongolia.

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