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Accessing the global seafaring labour market

Principles and application of the SIRC seafarers database in the cruise sector


As a global labour market exists for international shipping, a challenging issue facing this industry is to get access to reliable, accurate and timely information of seafarers’ demand and supply. Related to the deregulation environment and great variety in the availability and quality of relevant information, an enquiry into the global seafaring labour market is more complex than a national labour force survey. To cope with the challenge, a novel approach has been developed by the Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC) at Cardiff University. Viewing capital (ship), labour (seafarers) and services (cargo or passengers) as interconnected and interwoven to each other, it collects and analyses crew lists from main ports world-wide, resulting in the creation of the first global seafarers database. The purpose of this paper is explain its methodological principles, and to illustrate its application potential. Taking the cruise sector as an example, research findings and methodological implications are highlighted.

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The Author would like to express his thanks to Mick Bloor,Michelle Thomas, Belcher Phillip and Mingua Zhao for their comments or support.

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Wu, B. Accessing the global seafaring labour market. WMU J Marit Affairs 2, 17–32 (2003).

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  • Labour Market
  • Ship Size
  • Fleet Manager
  • National Labour Market
  • Marine Section