SAL CEO Rod Nairn gave the 2020 annual address of the Australian Maritime and Transport Arbitration Commission (AMTAC), a specialist commission of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration.
He spoke on the topic, “Charting the Unknown – how COVID-19 has impacted international shipping”.
“The standout casualty of this pandemic has been the humble seafarer,” Rod Nairn told delegates.
“Ships crews have been isolated and virtually imprisoned on their ships since before the pandemic when media coverage of COVID-19 infections wrongly tarred cargo vessels with the same brush as cruise ships.
“Inconsistent and irreconcilable… restrictions both here and overseas have meant that ships’ crews have been denied shore leave and forced to remain on board well past their employment contracts and have in many cases been refused access to medical and dental services. COVID-19 has imposed a series of adverse impacts on shipping and world trade ranging from relatively minor to extra-ordinarily serious,” he said.