An important industry for the global trade, maritime industry plays a key role in the continuity of the supply chain, enabling almost all links from supplying raw materials to delivering end products to consumers. Seafarers keep at their works despite harsh conditions of the pandemic while we observe the need for trained human resources in the industry. Arkas provides continuity in the supply chain with its investments and through the university-industry collaboration model and its policies oriented towards equal opportunities, contributes to bringing new seafarers in the industry.
Today the maritime industry enables approximately 90% of the world trade and directs the majority of this gigantic commerce cloud within the supply chain. Today marine transportation is three times more cost-effective than railways and 21 times that than air transport. In Clarkson Research Services’ new research done a few months ago, it is reported that the value of the global commercial fleet has surpassed 1 trillion dollars due to the increase in secondhand prices in container vessels and dry cargo segments. The research also reports that the size of the cargo moved in marine transport in 2018 was 11 billion tons, and that the size of the trade realized using this method has increased 4.2 times in the last fifty years. These data are indicators of the importance of the maritime sector, and the requirement to consider qualified manpower in investments for the maritime industry. For this reason, collaboration and new formations in the areas of education and training are more important than ever.
Seafaring in the Pandemic
The pandemic has been a period of extra efforts for seafarers. Due to interruptions in international passenger flights and restrictions in many countries, most of the seafarers could not leave their ships despite they completed their contracts, and they had to continue working. It is reported that currently about 150,000 seafarers have since been working on ships like this. IMO took action and is pressuring governments for certain protocols to be put in place. Beside Turkey, the USA, EU and many more countries do not allow for ship crew exchange due to recommendations from health boards. Hundreds of thousands of seafarers are waiting for flights to start, but this might not be enough, as there can also be problems with visas. It is reported that we might see dire consequences if these personnel exchange is delayed further.
Arkas Supports Theoretical Training with Practice
Arkas Holding collaborates with universities since theoretical knowledge must be complemented with practical training. The Department of Marine Engineering in Dokuz Eylul University was opened with Arkas’ contributions. The Implementation Center in the same university, which utilizes a main ship engine and machinery equipment used to enhance students’ practical experience, was also established with contributions from Arkas. In the past years, students who successfully graduated from Arkas Holding’s orientation training are still on duty in Arkas Maritime Fleet in engineering positions. Arkas continues its collaborations with relevant university departments in internship and business opportunities.
Equal Opportunities in Seafaring
Arkas also supports provision of equal opportunities to women and men in seafaring. For this reason, Arkas signed the Good Will Protocol prepared by the Turkish Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, and currently provides internship opportunities to female students at maritime departments as per the provisions in Article 10 of the Constitution. Per the protocol, the rate of female students to be chosen from the interns of the company in the next year will be at least 10%.
The award granted to Arkas due to its contributions to female seafarers and the fact that the first female captain was raised in the Arkas Sea Trade Fleet are significant examples for the enterprise’s care for equal opportunities.
When it comes to human life, Arkas takes a proper professional approach to crisis management, which is reflected on its ship crew and captains. Arkas’ success in search and rescue missions in international waters is a result of the company’s “Human First” philosophy.
We do not forget our seafarers, the enablers of the supply chain continuity, and we congratulate the World Seafarers Day of 25 June.