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Maritime transport (or ocean transport) and hydraulic effluvial transport, or more generally waterborne transport, is the
transport Transport (in British English), or transportation (in American English), is the intentional Motion, movement of humans, animals, and cargo, goods from one location to another. Mode of transport, Modes of transport include aviation, air, land ...
of people (
passengers A passenger (also abbreviated as pax) is a person who travels in a vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transports people or cargo. Vehicles include wagons, bicycles, motor vehicles (motorcycles, cars, trucks, buse ...
) or goods (
cargo Cargo consists of bulk goods conveyed by water, air, or land. In economics, freight is cargo that is transported at a freight rate for Commerce, commercial gain. ''Cargo'' was originally a shipload but now covers all types of freight, includ ...
) via waterways.
Freight transport Freight transport, also referred as ''Freight Forwarding'', is the physical process of transporting Commodity, commodities and merchandise goods and cargo. The term shipping originally referred to transport by sea but in American English, it h ...
by sea has been widely used throughout
recorded history Recorded history or written history describes the historical events that have been recorded in a written form or other documented communication which are subsequently evaluated by historians using the historical method. For broader World hist ...
. The advent of aviation has diminished the importance of sea travel for passengers, though it is still popular for short trips and pleasure cruises. Transport by water is cheaper than transport by air, despite fluctuating
exchange rate In finance, an exchange rate is the rate at which one currency will be exchanged for another currency. Currencies are most commonly national currencies, but may be sub-national as in the case of Hong Kong or supra-national as in the case of t ...
s and a fee placed on top of freighting charges for carrier companies known as the currency adjustment factor. Maritime transport accounts for roughly 80% of international trade, according to
UNCTAD The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) is an intergovernmental organization within the United Nations Secretariat that promotes the interests of Developing country, developing countries in International trade, world t ...
in 2020. Maritime transport can be realized over any distance by boat, ship, sailboat or
barge Barge nowadays generally refers to a flat-bottomed boat, flat-bottomed inland waterway vessel which does not have its own means of mechanical propulsion. The first modern barges were pulled by tugs, but nowadays most are pushed by Pusher (boat) ...
, over oceans and lakes, through
canals Canals or artificial waterways are waterways or river engineering, engineered channel (geography), channels built for drainage management (e.g. flood control and irrigation) or for conveyancing water transport watercraft, vehicles (e.g. ...
or along rivers. Shipping may be for
commerce Commerce is the large-scale organized system of activities, functions, procedures and institutions directly and indirectly related to the exchange (buying and selling) of goods and services among two or more parties within local, regional, nation ...
,
recreation Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The "need to do something for recreation" is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for happiness, enjoyment, amusement, ...
, or
military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, with its members identifiable by their distinct ...
purposes. While extensive inland shipping is less critical today, the major waterways of the world including many canals are still very important and are integral parts of worldwide economies. Particularly, especially any material can be moved by water; however, water transport becomes impractical when material delivery is
time-critical A window of opportunity (also called a margin of opportunity or critical window) is a period of time during which some action can be taken that will achieve a desired outcome. Once this period is over, or the "window is closed", the specified ...
such as various types of perishable
produce Produce is a generalized term for many farm-produced crops, including fruits and vegetables (grains, oats, etc. are also sometimes considered ''produce''). More specifically, the term ''produce'' often implies that the products are wikt:fresh, ...
. Still, water transport is highly cost effective with regular schedulable cargoes, such as trans-oceanic shipping of consumer products – and especially for heavy loads or
bulk cargo Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported packaging, unpackaged in large quantities. Description Bulk cargo refers to material in either liquid or granular, particulate form, as a mass of relatively small solids, such as petroleum/ ...
s, such as
coal Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock, formed as stratum, rock strata called coal seams. Coal is mostly carbon with variable amounts of other Chemical element, elements, chiefly hydrogen, sulfur, oxygen, and nitrogen ...
, coke,
ore Ore is natural Rock (geology), rock or sediment that contains one or more valuable minerals, typically containing metals, that can be mined, treated and sold at a profit.Encyclopædia Britannica. "Ore". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Ret ...
s, or
grain A grain is a small, hard, dry fruit (caryopsis) – with or without an attached husk, hull layer – harvested for human or animal consumption. A grain crop is a grain-producing plant. The two main types of commercial grain crops are cereals and l ...
s. Arguably, the
industrial revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe, and the United States, that occurred during the period from around 1760 to about 1820–1840. This transition included going fr ...
took place best where cheap water transport by canal,
navigations Canals or artificial waterways are waterways or river engineering, engineered channel (geography), channels built for drainage management (e.g. flood control and irrigation) or for conveyancing water transport watercraft, vehicles (e.g. ...
, or
shipping Freight transport, also referred as ''Freight Forwarding'', is the physical process of transporting Commodity, commodities and merchandise goods and cargo. The term shipping originally referred to transport by sea but in American English, it h ...
by all types of watercraft on natural waterways supported cost-effective bulk transport.
Containerization Containerization is a system of intermodal freight transport using intermodal containers (also called shipping containers and International Organization for Standardization, ISO containers). Containerization is also referred as "Container St ...
revolutionized maritime transport starting in the 1970s. "General cargo" includes goods packaged in boxes, cases, pallets, and barrels. When a cargo is carried in more than one mode, it is intermodal or co-modal.


Description

A nation's shipping fleet ( merchant navy, merchant marine, merchant fleet) consists of the ships operated by civilian crews to transport passengers or cargo from one place to another. Merchant shipping also includes water transport over the river and canal systems connecting inland destinations, large and small. For example, during the early modern era, cities in the
Hanseatic League The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=German language, Modern German, Deutsche Hanse) was a Middle Ages, medieval commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and market towns in Central Europe, Central and Norther ...
began taming
Northern Europe The northern region of Europe has several definitions. A restrictive definition may describe Northern Europe as being roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54th parallel north, 54°N, or may be based on other g ...
's rivers and harbors. Similarly, the
Saint Lawrence Seaway The St. Lawrence Seaway (french: la Voie Maritime du Saint-Laurent) is a system of lock (water transport), locks, canals, and channels in Canada and the United States that permits oceangoing vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Gre ...
connects the port cities on the
Great Lakes The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region of North America that connect to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River. There are five lakes ...
in Canada and the United States with the
Atlantic Ocean The Atlantic Ocean is the second-largest of the world's five oceans, with an area of about . It covers approximately 20% of Earth's surface and about 29% of its water surface area. It is known to separate the " Old World" of Africa ...
shipping routes, while the various Illinois canals connect the Great Lakes and
Canada Canada is a country in North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering over , making it the world ...
with
New Orleans New Orleans ( , ,New Orleans
Merriam-Webster.
; french: La Nouvelle-Orléans , es, Nuev ...
. Ores, coal, and grains can travel along the rivers of the
American Midwest The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the Midwest or the American Midwest, is one of four Census Bureau Region, census regions of the United States Census Bureau (also known as "Region 2"). It occupies the northern central part of ...
to
Pittsburgh Pittsburgh ( ) is a city in the Commonwealth (U.S. state), Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States, and the county seat of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, Allegheny County. It is the most populous city in both Allegheny County and Wester ...
or to
Birmingham Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of West Midlands (county), West Midlands in England. It is the second-largest city in the United Kingdom with a population of 1. ...
, Alabama. Professional mariners are known as merchant seamen, merchant sailors, and merchant mariners, or simply seamen, sailors, or mariners. The terms "seaman" or "sailor" may also refer to a member of a country's
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, riverine, littoral zone, littoral, or ocean-borne combat operations and ...
. According to the 2005
CIA World Factbook ''The World Factbook'', also known as the ''CIA World Factbook'', is a reference resource produced by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with almanac-style information about the countries of the world. The official print version is available ...
, the total number of merchant ships of at least 1,000 gross register tons in the world was 30,936. In 2010, it was 38,988, an increase of 26%. , a quarter of all merchant mariners were born in the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
. Statistics for individual countries are available at the list of merchant navy capacity by country.


Liners and tramps

A ship may also be categorized as to how it is operated. * A liner will have a regular run and operate to a schedule. The scheduled operation requires that such ships are better equipped to deal with causes of potential delay such as bad weather. They are generally higher powered than tramp ships with better seakeeping qualities, thus they are significantly more expensive to build. Liners are typically built for passenger and container operation though past common uses also included mail and general cargo. * A tramp (trader) has no fixed run but will go wherever a suitable cargo takes it. Thus a ship and crew may be chartered from the ship owner to fetch a cargo of grain from Canada to Latvia, the ship may then be required to carry a cargo of coal from Britain to Melanesia. Bulk carriers and some cruise ships are examples of ships built to operate in this manner.


Ships and watercraft

Ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways, carrying cargo or passengers, or in support of specialized missions, such as defense, research, and fishing. Ships are generally dist ...
s and other
watercraft Any vehicle used in or on water as well as underwater, including Boat, boats, Ship, ships, hovercraft and Submarine, submarines, is a watercraft, also known as a water vessel or waterborne vessel. A watercraft usually has a propulsive capabilit ...
are used for maritime transport. Types can be distinguished by
propulsion Propulsion is the generation of force by any combination of pushing or pulling to modify the translational motion of an object, which is typically a rigid body (or an articulated rigid body) but may also concern a fluid. The term is derived from ...
, size or cargo type.
Recreation Recreation is an activity of leisure, leisure being discretionary time. The "need to do something for recreation" is an essential element of human biology and psychology. Recreational activities are often done for happiness, enjoyment, amusement, ...
al or
education Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understanding, rationality, kindness, and honesty ...
al craft still use wind power, while some smaller craft use
internal combustion engine An internal combustion engine (ICE or IC engine) is a heat engine in which the combustion of a fuel occurs with an oxidizer (usually air) in a combustion chamber that is an integral part of the working fluid flow circuit. In an internal combust ...
s to drive one or more
propeller A propeller (colloquially often called a screw if on a ship or an airscrew if on an aircraft) is a device with a rotating hub and radiating blades that are set at a pitch to form a helical spiral which, when rotated, exerts linear thrust upon ...
s, or in the case of jet boats, an inboard water jet. In shallow-draft areas, such as the
Everglades The Everglades is a natural region of tropical climate, tropical wetlands in the southern portion of the U.S. state of Florida, comprising the southern half of a large drainage basin within the Neotropical realm. The system begins near Orland ...
, some craft, such as the
hovercraft A hovercraft, also known as an air-cushion vehicle or ACV, is an amphibious Craft (vehicle), craft capable of travelling over land, water, mud, ice, and other surfaces. Hovercraft use blowers to produce a large volume of air below the hull ...
, are propelled by large pusher-prop fans. Most modern merchant ships can be placed in one of a few categories, such as:


Typical in-transit times

A cargo ship sailing from a European port to a US one will typically take 10–12 days depending on water currents and other factors. In order to make
container ship A container ship (also called boxship or spelled containership) is a cargo ship that carries all of its load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. Container ships are a common means of commercial intermodal f ...
transport more economical in the face of declining demand for intercontinental shipping, ship operators sometimes reduce cruising speed, thereby increasing transit time, to reduce fuel consumption, a strategy referred to as " slow steaming".


History


Professional mariners

A ship's complement can be divided into four categories: # The deck department # The engine department # The steward's department # Other.


Deck department

Officer positions in the
deck department The deck department is an organisational team on board navy, naval and merchant ship, merchant ships. The department and its manning requirements, including the responsibilities of each rank are regulated within the STCW Convention, applicable on ...
include but not limited to the Master and his Chief,
Second The second (symbol: s) is the unit of Time in physics, time in the International System of Units (SI), historically defined as of a day – this factor derived from the division of the day first into 24 hours, then to 60 minutes and finally t ...
, and Third officers. The official classifications for unlicensed members of the deck department are
Able Seaman An able seaman (AB) is a Sailor, seaman and member of the deck department of a merchant ship with more than two years' experience at sea and considered "well acquainted with his duty". An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combi ...
and Ordinary Seaman. A common deck crew for a ship includes: * (1) Chief Officer/Chief Mate * (1) Second Officer/Second Mate * (1) Third Officer/Third Mate * (1)
Boatswain A boatswain ( , ), bo's'n, bos'n, or bosun, also known as a deck boss, or a qualified member of the deck department, is the most senior Naval rating, rate of the deck department and is responsible for the components of a ship's Hull (watercraft ...
* (2–6)
Able Seamen An able seaman (AB) is a Sailor, seaman and member of the deck department of a merchant ship with more than two years' experience at sea and considered "well acquainted with his duty". An AB may work as a watchstander, a day worker, or a combi ...
* (0–2) Ordinary Seamen A deck cadet is a person who is carrying out mandatory sea time to achieve their officer of the watch certificate. Their time on board is spent learning the operations and tasks of everyday life on a merchant vessel.


Engine department

A ship's engine department consists of the members of a ship's crew that operate and maintain the propulsion and other systems on board the vessel. Engine staff also deal with the "Hotel" facilities on board, notably the
sewage Sewage (or domestic sewage, domestic wastewater, municipal wastewater) is a type of wastewater Wastewater is water generated after the use of Fresh water, freshwater, raw water, drinking water or saline water in a variety of deliberate applic ...
, lighting,
air conditioning Air conditioning, often abbreviated as A/C or AC, is the process of removing heat In thermodynamics, heat is defined as the form of energy crossing the boundary of a thermodynamic system by virtue of a temperature difference across the bo ...
and water systems. They deal with bulk fuel transfers, and require training in
firefighting Firefighting is the act of extinguishing or preventing the spread of unwanted fires from threatening human lives and destroying property and the environment. A person who engages in firefighting is known as a firefighter. Firefighters typically ...
and
first aid First aid is the first and immediate assistance given to any person with either a minor or serious illness or injury, with care provided to preserve life, prevent the condition from worsening, or to promote recovery. It includes initial int ...
, as well as in dealing with the ship's boats and other nautical tasks- especially with cargo loading/discharging gear and safety systems, though the specific cargo discharge function remains the responsibility of deck officers and deck workers. On LPG and
LNG Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas (predominantly methane, CH4, with some mixture of ethane, C2H6) that has been cooled down to liquid form for ease and safety of non-pressurized storage or transport. It takes up about 1/600th the volu ...
tankers, however, a cargo engineer works with the deck department during cargo operations, as well as being a watchkeeping engineer. A common engine crew for a ship includes: * (1)
Chief engineer A chief engineer, commonly referred to as "ChEng" or "Chief", is the most senior engine officer of an engine department on a ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, waterways ...
* (1)
Second engineer A second engineer or first assistant engineer is a licensed member of the engineering department on a merchant vessel A merchant ship, merchant vessel, trading vessel, or merchantman is a watercraft that transports cargo or carries passeng ...
/ first assistant engineer * (1)
Third engineer A third engineer or second assistant engineer is a rank of engine officer who is part of the engine department on a ship. The third engineer is usually in charge of boilers, auxiliary engines, condensate and feed systems, record keeping of che ...
/ second assistant engineer * (1 or 2)
Fourth engineer A fourth engineer or third assistant engineer is a rank of engine officer who is part of the engine department on a merchant vessel A merchant ship, merchant vessel, trading vessel, or merchantman is a watercraft that transports cargo or ca ...
/ third assistant engineer * (0–2) Fifth engineer / junior engineer * (1–3) Oiler (unlicensed qualified rating) * (0–3) Greaser (unlicensed qualified rating) * (1–5) Entry-level rating (such as wiper (occupation), utilityman, etc.) Many American ships also carry a motorman. Other possible positions include
machinist A machinist is a tradesperson or trained professional who not only operates machine tools, but also has the knowledge of tooling and materials required to create set ups on machine tools such as milling machines, grinders, lathes, and drilling m ...
,
electrician An electrician is a tradesman, tradesperson specializing in electrical wiring of buildings, transmission lines, stationary machines, and related equipment. Electricians may be employed in the installation of new electrical components or the m ...
, refrigeration engineer, and tankerman. Engine cadets are engineer trainees who are completing sea time necessary before they can obtain a watchkeeping license.


Steward's department

A typical
steward's department Seafaring Seamanship is the Art (skill), art, knowledge and Competence (human resources), competence of operating a ship, boat or other craft on water. The'' Oxford Dictionary of English, Oxford Dictionary'' states that seamanship is "The skil ...
for a
cargo ship A cargo ship or freighter is a merchant ship that carries cargo, goods, and materials from one port to another. Thousands of cargo carriers ply the world's seas and oceans each year, handling the bulk of international trade. Cargo ships are usu ...
would be composed of a Chief Steward, a chief cook, and a
Steward's Assistant A steward's assistant (SA) is an unlicensed, Entry-level job, entry-level crewmember in the Steward's department of a merchant ship. This position can also be referred to as steward (the usual term on British ships), galley utilityman, messman, s ...
. All three positions are typically filled by unlicensed personnel. The chief steward directs, instructs, and assigns personnel performing such functions as preparing and serving meals; cleaning and maintaining officers' quarters and steward department areas; and receiving, issuing, and inventorying stores. On large passenger vessels, the Catering Department is headed by the Chief
Purser A purser is the person on a ship principally responsible for the handling of money on board. On modern merchant ships, the purser is the officer responsible for all administration (including the ship's cargo and passenger manifests) and supply. ...
and managed by Assistant Pursers. Although they enjoy the benefits of having officer rank, they generally progress through the ranks to become pursers. Under the pursers are the department heads – such as chief cook, head waiter, head barman etc. They are responsible for the administration of their own areas. The chief steward also plans menus and compiles supply, overtime, and cost control records. They may requisition or purchase stores and equipment. They may bake bread, rolls, cakes, pies, and pastries. A chief steward's duties may overlap with those of the
Steward's Assistant A steward's assistant (SA) is an unlicensed, Entry-level job, entry-level crewmember in the Steward's department of a merchant ship. This position can also be referred to as steward (the usual term on British ships), galley utilityman, messman, s ...
, the chief cook, and other Steward's Department crewmembers. In the
United States Merchant Marine United States Merchant Marines are United States civilian mariners and U.S. civilian and federally owned merchant vessels. Both the civilian mariners and the merchant vessels are managed by a combination of the government and private sectors, an ...
, a chief steward must have a
Merchant Mariner's Document {{unreferenced, date=June 2013 __NOTOC__ Under the Seafarers' Identity Documents Convention, 1958, countries with a Merchant Navy or Merchant Marine require identifying credentials for their mariners. The Merchant Mariner's Document (MMD) or Z-card ...
issued by the
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight Uniformed services ...
. Because of
international law International law (also known as public international law and the law of nations) is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between State (polity), states. It establishes normative guidelines and a common conceptua ...
, conventions, and agreements, all chief cooks who sail internationally are similarly documented by their respective countries.


Other departments

Staff officer positions on a ship, including Junior Assistant Purser, Senior Assistant Purser,
Purser A purser is the person on a ship principally responsible for the handling of money on board. On modern merchant ships, the purser is the officer responsible for all administration (including the ship's cargo and passenger manifests) and supply. ...
, Chief Purser,
Medical Doctor A physician (American English), medical practitioner (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English), medical doctor, or simply doctor, is a health professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, mai ...
, Professional
Nurse Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life (healthcare), quality of life. Nurses may be diffe ...
, Marine Physician Assistant, and
hospital corpsman A hospital corpsman (HM r corpsman is an Enlisted rank, enlisted medical specialist of the United States Navy, who may also serve in a United States Marine Corps, U.S. Marine Corps unit. The corresponding List of United States Coast Guard ...
, are considered administrative positions and are therefore regulated by Certificates of Registry issued by the
United States Coast Guard The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is the maritime security, search and rescue, and maritime law enforcement, law enforcement military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the country's eight Uniformed services ...
.
Pilots An aircraft pilot or aviator is a person who controls the flight of an aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to fly by gaining support from the air. It counters the force of gravity by using either static lift or by using th ...
are also merchant marine officers and are licensed by the Coast Guard. Formerly, there was also a radio department, headed by a chief radio officer and supported by a number of radio officers. Since the introduction of GMDSS (Satellite communications) and the subsequent exemptions from carrying radio officers if the vessel is so equipped, this department has fallen away, although many ships do still carry specialist radio officers, particularly passenger vessels. Many radio officers became 'electro-technical officers', and transferred into the engine department.


Life at sea

Mariners spend much of their life beyond the reach of land. They sometimes face dangerous conditions at sea or on lakes – the fishing port of
Gloucester, Massachusetts Gloucester () is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, Essex County, Massachusetts, in the United States. It sits on Cape Ann and is a part of North Shore (Massachusetts), Massachusetts's North Shore. The population was 29,729 at the 2020 U.S. Ce ...
has a seaside memorial listing over 10,000 fishermen who lost their lives to the sea, and the
Great Lakes The Great Lakes, also called the Great Lakes of North America, are a series of large interconnected freshwater lakes in the mid-east region of North America that connect to the Atlantic Ocean via the Saint Lawrence River. There are five lakes ...
have seen over 10,000 lost vessels since the 1800s, yet men and women still go to sea. For some, the attraction is a life unencumbered with the restraints of life ashore. Seagoing adventure and a chance to see the world also appeal to many seafarers. Whatever the calling, those who live and work at sea invariably confront social isolation. Findings by the Seafarer's International Research Center indicate a leading cause of mariners leaving the industry is "almost invariably because they want to be with their families." U.S. merchant ships typically do not allow family members to accompany seafarers on voyages. Industry experts increasingly recognize isolation, stress, and fatigue as occupational hazards. Advocacy groups such as International Labour Organization, a United Nations agency, and the Nautical Institute are seeking improved international standards for mariners.
Satellite phone A satellite telephone, satellite phone or satphone is a type of mobile phone that connects to other phones or the Public switched telephone network, telephone network by radio through orbiting satellites instead of terrestrial cell sites, as ce ...
s have improved communication and efficiency aboard sea-faring ships. This technology has contributed to crew welfare, although both equipment and fees are expensive. Ocean voyages are steeped in routine. Maritime tradition dictates that each day be divided into six four-hour periods. Three groups of watch keepers from the engine and deck departments work four hours on then have eight hours off watch keeping. However, there are many overtime jobs to be done daily. This cycle repeats endlessly, 24 hours a day while the ship is at sea. Members of the steward department typically are day workers who put in at least eight-hour shifts. Operations at sea, including repairs, safeguarding against
piracy Piracy is an act of robbery or criminal violence by ship or boat-borne attackers upon another ship or a coastal area, typically with the goal of stealing cargo and other valuable goods. Those who conduct acts of piracy are called pirates, v ...
, securing cargo, underway replenishment, and other duties provide opportunities for overtime work. Service aboard ships typically extends for months at a time, followed by protracted shore leave. However, some seamen secure jobs on ships they like and stay aboard for years. The quick turnaround of many modern ships, spending only a few hours in port, limits a seafarer's free-time ashore. Moreover, some foreign seamen entering U.S. ports from a watch list of 25 countries face restrictions on shore leave due to
maritime security Maritime security is an umbrella term informed to classify issues in the Maritime transport, maritime domain that are often related to national security, marine environment, economic development, and human security. This includes the world's ocean ...
concerns. However, shore leave restrictions while in U.S. ports impact American seamen as well. For example, the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots notes a trend of U.S. shipping terminal operators restricting seamen from traveling from the ship to the terminal gate. Furthermore, in cases where transit is allowed, special "security fees" are at times assessed. Such restrictions on shore leave, coupled with reduced time in port, translate into longer periods at sea. Mariners report that extended periods at sea living and working with shipmates, who for the most part are strangers, takes getting used to. At the same time, there is an opportunity to meet people from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Recreational opportunities have improved aboard some U.S. ships, which may feature gyms and day rooms for watching movies, swapping
sea stories Nautical fiction, frequently also naval fiction, sea fiction, naval adventure fiction or maritime fiction, is a literary genre, genre of literature with a setting on or near the sea, that focuses on the human relationship to the sea and sea voyag ...
, and other activities. And in some cases, especially tankers, it is possible for a mariner to be accompanied by members of his family. However, a mariner's off-duty time is largely a solitary affair, pursuing hobbies, reading, writing letters, and sleeping. On modern ocean-going vessels, typically registered with a
flag of convenience Flag of convenience (FOC) is a business practice whereby a ship's owners Ship registration, register a Merchant vessel, merchant ship in a ship register of a country other than that of the ship's owners, and the ship flies the civil ensign of ...
, life has changed immensely in the last 20 years. Most large vessels include a gym and often a swimming pool for use by the crew. Since the ''Exxon Valdez'' incident, the focus of leisure time activity has shifted from having officer and crew bars, to simply having lounge-style areas where officers or crew can sit to watch movies. With many companies now providing TVs and DVD players in cabins, and enforcing strict smoking policies, it is not surprising that the bar is now a much quieter place on most ships. In some instances games consoles are provided for the officers and crew. The officers enjoy a much higher standard of living on board ocean-going vessels. Crews are generally poorly paid, poorly qualified and have to complete contracts of approximately 9 months before returning home on leave. They often come from countries where the average industrial wage is still very low, such as the
Philippines The Philippines (; fil, Pilipinas, links=no), officially the Republic of the Philippines ( fil, Republika ng Pilipinas, links=no), * bik, Republika kan Filipinas * ceb, Republika sa Pilipinas * cbk, República de Filipinas * hil, Republ ...
or
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...
. Officers however, come from all over the world and it is not uncommon to mix the nationality of the officers on board ships. Officers are often the recipients of university degrees and have completed vast amounts of training in order to reach their rank. Officers benefit e.g. by having larger, more comfortable cabins and table service for their meals. Contracts average at the 4 month mark for officers, with generous leave. Most ocean-going vessels now operate an unmanned engine room system allowing engineers to work days only. The engine room is computer controlled by night, although the duty engineer will make inspections during unmanned operation. Engineers work in a hot, humid, noisy atmosphere. Communication in the engine room is therefore by hand signals and lip-reading, and good teamwork often stands in place of any communication at all.


Environmental impact

The environmental impact of shipping includes
greenhouse gas emissions Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities strengthen the greenhouse effect, contributing to climate change. Most is carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels: coal, petroleum, oil, and natural gas. The top contributors to greenhouse gas emi ...
, acoustic, and
oil pollution An oil spill is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially the marine ecosystem, due to human activity, and is a form of pollution. The term is usually given to marine oil spills, where oil is released into th ...
. The
International Maritime Organization The International Maritime Organization (IMO, French: ''Organisation maritime internationale'') is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating Ship transport, shipping. The IMO was established following agreement at ...
(IMO) estimates that
Carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide ( chemical formula ) is a chemical compound made up of molecules that each have one carbon Carbon () is a chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol C and atomic number 6. It is nonmetallic and tetravalence, tetraval ...
emissions from
shipping Freight transport, also referred as ''Freight Forwarding'', is the physical process of transporting Commodity, commodities and merchandise goods and cargo. The term shipping originally referred to transport by sea but in American English, it h ...
were equal to 2.2% of the global human-made emissions in 2012 and expects them to rise 50 to 250 percent by 2050 if no action is taken.


Infrastructure

For a port to efficiently send and receive cargo, it requires
infrastructure Infrastructure is the set of facilities and systems that serve a country, city, or other area, and encompasses the services and facilities necessary for its economy, households and firms to function. Infrastructure is composed of public and priv ...
: docks, bollards, pilings, cranes, bulk cargo handling equipment, and so on – equipment and organization supporting the role of the facilities. From pier to pier these may differ, one dock handling intermodal transport needs (container-ships linked to rail by cranes); another bulk handling capabilities (such as conveyors, elevators, tanks, pumps) for loading and unloading bulk cargoes like grain, coal, or fuels. Others may be outfitted as passenger terminals or for mixed mode operations. Generally,
Harbor A harbor (American English), harbour (British English; American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, see spelling differences), or haven is a sheltered body of water where ships, boats, and barges can be docked. The term ''harb ...
s,
seaport A port is a maritime law, maritime facility comprising one or more Wharf, wharves or loading areas, where ships load and discharge Affreightment, cargo and passengers. Although usually situated on a sea coast or estuary, ports can a ...
s and
marina A marina (from Spanish , Portuguese and Italian : ''marina'', "coast" or "shore") is a dock or basin with moorings and supplies for yachts and small boats. A marina differs from a port A port is a maritime law, maritime ...
s all host watercraft, and consist of components such as
pier image:Brighton Pier, Brighton, East Sussex, England-2Oct2011 (1).jpg, Seaside pleasure pier in Brighton, England. The first seaside piers were built in England in the early 19th century. A pier is a raised structure that rises above a body of ...
s,
wharf A wharf, quay (, also ), staith, or staithe is a structure on the shore of a harbour or on the bank of a river or canal where ships may dock to load and unload cargo or passengers. Such a structure includes one or more berths ( mooring locati ...
s, docks and
roadstead A roadstead (or ''roads'' – the earlier form) is a body of water sheltered from rip currents, spring tides, or ocean swell where ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other sufficiently deep Sea lane, wat ...
s.


See also

* Electric ship * European Union shipping law *
Glossary of nautical terms (A-L) This glossary of nautical terms is an alphabetical listing of terms and expressions connected with ships, shipping, seamanship and navigation on water (mostly though not necessarily on the sea). Some remain current, while many date from the 17th t ...
*
Glossary of nautical terms (M-Z) __NOTOC__ M ...
*
List of cargo types Primary maritime cargo types References {{Container shipping companies Intermodal containers Economic globalization Freight transport ...
* List of maritime colleges * List of merchant marine capacity by country * List of sailors * List of ship companies * Lloyd's War Medal for Bravery at Sea *
The Marine Society The Marine Society is a British Charitable organization, charity, the world's first established for seafarers. In 1756, at the beginning of the Seven Years' War against Kingdom of France, France, Archduchy of Austria, Austria, and Electorate of S ...
*
Maritime history Maritime history is the study of human interaction with and activity at sea. It covers a broad thematic element of history that often uses a global approach, although national and regional histories remain predominant. As an academic subject, it ...
*
Maritime safety Maritime safety as part of and overlapping with water safety is concerned with the protection of life (search and rescue) and protection of property, property through regulation, management and technology development of all forms of Maritime trans ...
*
Merchant vessel A merchant ship, merchant vessel, trading vessel, or merchantman is a watercraft that transports cargo or carries passengers for hire. This is in contrast to pleasure craft, which are used for personal recreation, and naval ships, which are us ...
* MV Yara Birkeland *
Navigation Navigation is a field of study that focuses on the process of monitoring and controlling the motion, movement of a craft or vehicle from one place to another.Bowditch, 2003:799. The field of navigation includes four general categories: land navi ...
*
Navigability A body of water, such as a river, canal or lake, is navigable if it is deep, wide and calm enough for a water vessel (e.g. boats) to pass safely. Such a navigable water is called a ''waterway'', and is preferably with few obstructions against dir ...
*
Shipping line A shipping line or shipping company is a company whose line of business is ownership and operation of ships. Shipping companies provide a method of distinguishing ships by different kinds of cargo: # Bulk cargo is a type of special cargo that is ...
* SIGTTO * UNCTAD review of maritime transport *
Waterway A waterway is any Navigability, navigable body of water. Broad distinctions are useful to avoid ambiguity, and disambiguation will be of varying importance depending on the nuance of the equivalent word in other languages. A first distinction ...
* Ship watching


Notes


References

* * * * * *UNCTAD (2020). ''Review of Maritime Transport 2020.'' Retrieved from: https://unctad.org/topic/transport-and-trade-logistics/review-of-maritime-transport


External links


MarineTraffic: Global Ship Tracking Intelligence
{{Authority control Merchant navy Shipping * Freight transport