Genco Shipping changed crew on 70% of its ships despite COVID-19 restrictions

U.S. headquartered drybulk shipowner Genco Shipping & Trading Limited said that it has managed to carry out crew rotations on approximately 70% of its fleet in recent months despite various travel and port restrictions imposed due to COVID-19.

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This has resulted in the completion of crew changes involving over 800 seafarers since the onset of the pandemic.

“We continue to work diligently to repatriate more of the dedicated mariners on board our vessels who have worked beyond the term of their original contracts,” John C. Wobensmith, Chief Executive Officer, said.

The company added it was doing polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of its crew members as well as implementing a 14-day quarantine period prior to boarding a vessel.

“Genco is enacting crew changes where permitted by regulations of the ports and of the country of origin of the mariners, in addition to strict protocols that safeguard our crews against COVID-19 exposure,” Genco said.

Crew changes have been almost impossible over the past five months, impacting over 600,000 seafarers globally who have either worked beyond their contracts or were unable to sign onto ships.

During the recent months Genco worked on renewing its feet by selling older Handysize vessels, the 2009-built Baltic Wind and 2010-built Baltic Breeze, and agreeing to sell the 2010-built Genco Bay.

The company recorded a net loss for the second quarter of 2020 of $18.2 million, against a net loss of $34.5 million for the same period in 2019 against a challenging macroeconomic backdrop of the second quarter.