US crews suddenly attractive to V.Ships

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V.Ships is looking to the US crew supply market to resource officers into its LNG ships as the escalation in wages makes this area of recruitment an attractive and viable option.

With Croatian officers now earning up to $20,000 per month in wages, the traditionally high cost US officer is being encouraged to join V.Ships’ already expanding pool of 25,000 seafarers, said Bruce Lucas, Business Development Executive at V.Ships Shipmanagement.

However, one worrying result of the rise in wages is that there are signs that larger numbers of office staff are choosing to return to sea, he added.

Unlike some of its competitors, V.Ships is openly encouraging the inflow of new crew management as well as full technical management contracts despite concerns over crew shortages,

“We have a contract now from the Middle East to supply crews to eight new VLCCs so we are happy to do that also. It is just a matter of having the resources and finding the resources to accommodate the business,” he said.

“One thing is for sure: if we don’t do it someone else will so we are better off controlling the market to a certain extent rather than turning custom away. Ship owners will get it done one way or another and take away the existing resources that are already in place,” he added.

On a separate note, V.Ships also announced it has just opened an office in Buenos Aires to manage two Argentine flag ships that TransPetro are putting under the Argentine flag. These are the first Argentine flag ships under V.Ships’ management. The new office compliments bases already set up in Santos and Rio de Janeiro.