Global shipping soon to collapse. Because of madness, not coronavirus.

Its’ functioning is a derivate of seamen endurance, physical and mental strength.
The story of the last week:

Global maritime transport industry’s joint Open Letter to U.N. agencies
The International Chamber of Shipping and International Transport Workers’ Federation have sent a joint letter to the heads of United Nations agencies stressing the importance of seafarers in the circulation of global trade and the integrity of supply chains. The ITF and ICS said that 100,000 seafarers must change over every month to comply with rules and regulations.
“We therefore wish to emphasise the vital need for the world’s professional merchant seafarers to be granted appropriate exemptions from any national travel restrictions, when joining or leaving their ships, to keep the world’s maritime supply chains functioning,” they said.
IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim released a video statement on the situation that he will be initiating meetings … to help find solutions. “Defeating the virus must be the first priority, but global trade, in a safe, secure and environmentally friendly manner must be able to continue, too,” said Mr Lim (Even in this very grave, desperate situation, Lim can’t leave out “environmentally friendly” crap, it tells you everything about IMO, Lim and their true character).

Even if we fantasize on some quick international response to this desperate situation, it won’t help, at all. At least during March – April period. The reason is very simple – there are almost no transportation means left, to reach countries and ports, where seamen are to be changed. Not many international flights are left, in some countries no flights at all, so the logistics of reaching required country/port have become unsolvable problem. The trips have become a very risky undertaking – each flight and plane may instantly turn into quarantine trap, if anyone on board will be caught with high temperature or running nose.
Coronavirus pandemic is not deadly virus pandemic, it’s a much more deadly panic and paranoia pandemic. As for coronavirus itself, it just doesn’t seem to be all that deadly, it doesn’t justify the spiraling pandemic of putting everything, from people to countries and industries, into quarantine or total lockdown. Facts are against paranoia, but madness and insanity already infected all the world, and there’s nothing we can do about it, it’s a natural disaster beyond sense and human control.
We have examples of China, Korea and Japan, which tell us, that it takes about a month or two, to cancel nationwide lockdowns and quarantines, when the countries approach a deadline, a point of no return – either they stop “virus containment”, or they plunge into chaos, with riots, hunger, blanket outages, spinning out of control crime, etc., etc. Look at China now, only yesterday Chinese Tourism authorities notified Thailand, that Chinese tourists are ready and willing to flood Thailand, as soon as Thailand recovers from epidemic of “defeating virus”.
The biggest problem lies with our degenerate rulers, and with even more degenerate media and “experts”. With those, who have audacity enough to compare coronavirus outbreak with WWII. They are indeed, a real threat and really deadly virus, judging from what they do.
So I strongly believe, that in about a month, two at most, nations, one by one, will return to senses and cancel “fighting virus” campaigns, but how long will it take to restore normal air, land and sea communications, already severely disrupted or destroyed?
Global shipping is, without exaggeration, on the verge of collapse. Its’ functioning is a derivate of seamen endurance, physical and mental strength. How long will it take to break down, without relief or shore leaves? How long can an average seaman remain at sea and carry out his duties?
But crew change is not the only problem threatening shipping, there are other, man-made problems. Namely, problems created by UN/IMO/BIMCO/ICS/ITF and other international bodies. I’ll write about those problems later.
I don’t know, can’t think out any universal solution to crew change problem. Maybe to charter ships to change crews at sea, maybe to cooperate with haven countries like Cuba, countries which don’t give a damn about virus or IMO or IMO secretary-general Kitack Lim himself, and his environmentally friendly manners. Some things I know, though – everyone is for himself now; paranoia is in full swing and won’t tone down for at least 2-3 weeks more; bans and restrictions of crews/ships travels and visits (and their cancellations) are implemented on national level, international bodies have no say any more.
Voytenko Mikhail
Mar 22 2020

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My name is Mikhail Voytenko, I’m Russian, professional merchant marine navigator, by education and former experience. I own and run Maritime Bulletin website for more than 10 years. I've been involved in solving a number of piracy hijack cases, including the hijack of ro-ro FAINA, loaded with tanks. It was me who made public, and unravel, freighter ARCTIC SEA mystery. I've been also closely involved in a number of maritime disaster, one of them being MSC FLAMINIA major fire.