Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business

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DLSU Business Notes and Briefings





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The present business landscape expects sustainability from the most diverse organizations. However, sustainability issues in maritime transportation have taken a lower priority among its stakeholders. The different maritime stakeholders have started to become aware of their sustainability responsibility as interest in sustainable shipping has grown among retailers and their shipping vessels, leading to cost-efficiency in their operations and compliance with regulations and conventions set forth by the IMO (Lister, 2015). It must be noted that the maritime transportation sector is central to the worldwide economy as it is responsible for transporting products of all kinds and accounts for approximately ninety percent of world trade (Richter, 2016). With all these changes, this research wants to determine the barriers confronting the maritime transportation sector in their aspiration to become sustainable. In addition, the research wants to identify those enablers that will clear the way towards a Sustainable Maritime Transportation. The Essential Dimensions of Sustainable Maritime Transportation System (Jeon, 2007, cited in Chatzinikolaou & Ventikos, n.d., p.6) framework will be used in assessing what comprise a sustainable maritime company. A deliberate assessment of the framework and applying it to the maritime transportation sector revealed the barriers confronting the maritime stakeholders in pursuing sustainable initiatives.

The first of these is the barrier in environment sustainability which pertains to the existence of poor seafaring schools and training providers which hinder their competitiveness in pursuing environmental sustainability for their respective organization. The second is the barrier in Socio-Cultural Sustainability which suggests that Filipino seafarers continue to suffer social maltreatment when they are not given an equal opportunity to be selected as a crew member of a particular manning agency specifically in those instances when manning agencies select seafarers without standard procedures. The third is the barrier in economic sustainability where Filipino seafarers are having a very difficult time processing the paperwork required by the various international port states because of the long processing times of the certificates issued by the government.

The following recommendations are intended to guide management and other shipping stakeholders in addressing issues that have proven to be necessary avenues for the development and fostering of a sustainable shipping sector. An enabler of environmental sustainability is to ensure that the maritime education institutions and training centers it accredited were able to pass CHED's stringent guidelines and comply with the latest 2010 STCW Convention Code for Maritime Education. Maritime education and training centers could also include sustainability topics and subjects in the curriculum of their students. Hence, by the time they start working, they are already inclined to pursue sustainability initiatives. The next recommendation will be an enabler of socio-cultural sustainability in which the government, through MARINA and with the support of various maritime sectors, ensure that the recommendations of the 2006 Maritime Labor Convention are implemented in all maritime sectors. This gives seafarers the confidence to carry out their duties on board, knowing that they have a right to safe work that respects decent living and working conditions. The last recommendation will be an enabler of economic sustainability which suggests that streamlining MARINA's processes and seafarer requirements will enable seafarers to meet all the requirements necessary to pursue a seafaring career or be included in their manning agency’s line-up. This should not just be a call to the maritime transportation sector, it should be a call to all maritime stakeholders. These are the challenges we are grappling with today, and they require not just band aid solutions, but they require serious cooperation from all stakeholders. After all, we are talking about the modern heroes of our country.


maritime, maritime transportation, maritime transportation sector, sustainability, sustainable development

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