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Exploring the range of retention issues for seafarers in global shipping: opportunities for further research

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-18, 07:49 authored by Caesar, LD, Stephen CahoonStephen Cahoon, Jiangang FeiJiangang Fei
Discussions surrounding the global shortage of seafarers (especially ship officers) continue to evolve and have attracted the attention of a growing number of researchers and industry practitioners in recent times. There is a general consensus within the literature that ship-to-shore mobility among seafarers (including officers and unlicensed mariners) is increasing. Prolonging the number of years that seafarers spend at sea and their subsequent retention is therefore an important issue that requires further attention. This conceptual paper (which is the product of a systematic literature review on seafarers) argues that to effectively retain ship officers and cadets at sea, the range of factors negatively influencing their retention must be identified and sufficiently managed by shipping industry employers. The result from the synthesis of the reviewed literature shows that the range of retention issues that shipping industry employers need to focus on relates mostly to the following: satisfaction with job and employer, opportunities for career progression and good working conditions. The paper also examines the cluster of human resource practices and theories among industry employers and how they eventually predict the mobility of seafarers to landside jobs. Recommendations are given on how shipping industry employers may be able to alleviate the current labour crisis within the shipping industry through prudent retention strategies


Publication title

WMU Journal of Maritime Affairs








Australian Maritime College



Place of publication


Rights statement

Copyright 2015 World Maritime University

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

International sea freight transport (excl. live animals, food products and liquefied gas)

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