Mr. Harald Solberg, chief executive officer of the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association (NSA), says the Norwegian shipowners will continue to hire seafarers from the Philippines.
Mr. Solberg expressed his optimism in an interview with the Philippines TV Channel ANC which is also available on Youtube.
But don’t expect a boost in hiring anytime soon, he added. According to The Norwegian Shipowners Association, the trade war, and slowing global economy are capping growth in the industry. However he believes that the sector has bottomed out in 2018 and is on its way to recovery. Technology could also shake up hiring requirements for seafarers.
Norway has the fifth-largest shipping fleet in the world measured by market value, including some of the most advanced vessels in the world. Filipino seafarers play an important role in Norwegian shipping.
“Their work ethic and flexibility have been important factors for our industry for several decades,” Mr. Solberg said.
Mr. Harald Solberg, announced two big trends in the maritime industry: green shipping and digitalisation at a press conference at Norwegian Training Centre, Manila.
Mr. Solberg addressed his concern regarding the trade war between the United States and China may have an impact on the shipping industry if it lingers for five years.
“The trade dispute is influencing the growth in the world economy, where the shipping industry is heavily related,” he said in a press briefing on Tuesday.
“We are prepared that the slowdown of the world economy will lead to a slowdown in the amount for shipping services. If this trade war goes on and even tightening of the tariffs in the next five years, I will be very worried”
Mr. Solberg is, however, confident that recruitment of seafarers in the Philippines will be pretty stable going forward.
“NSA-owned and operated vessels recruit 20,000 Filipino seafarers every year.”
Another important topic were also discussed, as The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has decided that shipping industry has to cut its climate gas emissions by a minimum of 50 percent by 2050.
Norwegian shipowners are spearheading the development of gas-powered ships and fuel cells as an alternative energy source on board, and continuous efforts are being made to further improve engines, hulls, and propellers with a view to increasing energy efficiency and thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
“The Norwegian fleet is one of the most modern in the world. Vessels have become more sophisticated and are now equipped with sensors and data generators, producing and transmitting information from anywhere, in real time,” Mr. Solberg said.