The ports authority recognises there is an issue with the workforce. | Gabriel Alomar

Ferry operators at the five state ports in the Balearics are complaining that a lack of personnel is affecting their operations and the movement of passengers and goods.

Trasmed brought this to light when pointing to problems it has with Baleària and respecting slots for arrivals at the port in Alcudia. The nautical industry is attributing this lack of balance to a personnel shortage.

The Balearic Ports Authority's 2020 sustainability report indicates that there has been a decrease in port personnel since 2008. The number declined from an average of 365 workers to 324 last year.

The negative impact of this lower number has been aggravated this year because of additional operators, such as GNV. More stopovers since June have put greater onus on the personnel that there are.

The report notes that 247 of the workers in 2020 were on permanent employment contracts, while the rest were temporary employees. From a sustainability point of view, the ports authority observes that a critical factor, other than the number of workers, is the average age of the workforce. Over half are aged 50 or more. The percentage reaches 90% for workers of 40 or more.

Retirement is not being covered, while recruitment has been paralysed, mainly because of the pandemic.

The merchant marine directorate (Spanish government) is therefore being asked to speed up recruitment drives in order to prevent operations at the islands' ports being hampered.