Landlubbers and Seadogs

The Case of Labour Mobility in the Danish Maritime Sector in a Time of Accelerating Globalisation

By Henrik Sornn-Friese, Carsten Orts Hansen

Landlubbers and Seadogs provides an authoritative account of how increasing globalization in ocean shipping and the broader maritime sector challenges the entwined shipping communities of traditional maritime nations (TMNs), such as the EU Member States or the US. Especially challenging in this process is the continuous globalization of the maritime labor force, and, more particularly, of the seafarers' profession, the localization of which has fundamentally shifted to the new maritime nations (NMNs) in primarily former East-bloc countries and Southeast Asia. Through a longitudinal empirical analysis of developments in labor mobility within the maritime sector in Denmark, the book shows that the shipping companies have historically been significant providers of competence to the national maritime skills base, but also that their current global sourcing choices threaten to dissolve this skills base. These findings, which support and extend earlier findings from several other TMNs, have important implications regarding productivity, growth, and competitiveness for policy makers and companies in the maritime domain. The analysis is also of relevance in regard to the popular concern of understanding and promoting maritime clusters, in the Danish context generally articulated with the notion of "The Blue Denmark." While the book confirms that it makes much sense to conceptualize the dynamics of the maritime sector in cluster terms, its analysis also demonstrates that, from a labor mobility perspective, "The Blue Denmark" is narrower and less inclusive than the definition applied by the authorities and generally adopted by maritime companies and institutions in Denmark. The results and their implications have a broader appeal beyond the maritime sector. The shipping industry is the most global of all industries and its trials thus provide a good indicator of what is to come in other industries and are, therefore, relevant in a general perspective.

292 pages

Publication Date: 9/11/2012
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9788763002462