Evolution of Technology in Shipping

Shipping has been the method of choice for transporting heavy cargo across long distances. Today, marine transportation systems are an integral part of maritime trade, functioning at high efficiency. However, shipping has tenaciously clung to its traditional roots until the last decade or so. Previously, technology was often considered as somewhat of a liability instead of an asset. The scenario is gradually changing these days, with better and more advanced machinery and communication tools being invented for making a sailor’s life easier. This is an overview of the various technological advancements in the marine industry, in terms of marine infrastructure, navigation aids, salvage and firefighting support, security systems, and search and rescue facilities. Technological Advancements in Shipping Marine Infrastructure and Logistics In marine infrastructure, we primarily focus on ship design and operation. Shipping and shipbuilding has a history of over 5000 years, but post the Industrial Revolution, there has been a cataclysmic change in the approach towards shipping. Be it the energy source that powers the ship, or the hull design, or the engine and propulsion units used, adoption of technology has kept pace with the innovation in machinery within the industry. Today, fossil fuels are the most popular energy source used in ships. However, given the rising environmental concerns about greenhouse gas emissions, there have been efforts for sustainable … Continue reading Evolution of Technology in Shipping

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An Indian Perspective for World Maritime Day: Connecting Ships, Ports, and People

One of the most important factors for smooth maritime trade and travel is adequate safety for ships, ports, and people. The theme for World maritime Day, 2017 connects these three key elements, celebrating the interrelation of the diverse aspects of the marine industry. In continuation to 2016’s line of thought, the theme continues to explore the different ways in which shipping is indispensable to the world. Maritime safety and security is and has ever been an integral part of marine activities. However, for a long time, the shipping industry has been reactive about the safety of ships and people, learning from its failures. In recent years, the IMO has identified all natural and manmade causes that can impede the travel of the ships, such as weather hazards, piracy, war, technological difficulties, cyber infringement, terrorism, stowaways, and smuggling as threats to smooth sea trade and is prompt in taking action against these to ensure that ship and port security is not compromised. The International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code is the IMO’s principal framework for mandatory and non-mandatory safety measures that need to be taken by all member nations for maritime security. Several new measures have been put in place with the view of meeting IMO’s goals for sustainable development. Members of the UN associated with marine trade have … Continue reading An Indian Perspective for World Maritime Day: Connecting Ships, Ports, and People

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Dry Dock – History, Types, Advantages and Innovation

Every machine needs repairing, maintenance and constant upkeep for smooth functioning. Dry Docking is the process followed for the periodic repair and maintenance of ships, boats and watercrafts. Dry Docking is a method of ship repair being practiced for decades. It is a process of manufacturing, repair and maintenance of ships in an area known as the ‘lock’. In simple words, a lock is like a ‘garage’ for repairing ships. The only difference being, a lock is constructed aligning the shore for easy manoeuvre of the ship and sea water drainage. The main purpose of a Dry Dock is to expose the underwater parts for inspection, repair and maintenance. The ship to be repaired is hence manoeuvred into the lock and the gates are sealed post which all the sea water accumulated in the vessel is drained for better inspection and repairs. According to SOLAS, active ships that fall under the 100A5 category have to be subjected to a bottom survey twice every 5 years. Also, a Merchant Vessel which is older than 15 years needs to be checked for breaches or any defaults twice in every five years. In case of Passenger Ships, the repair period is every two years. The primary goal of a Dry Dock is to carry out effective repairs and maintenance of the parts that … Continue reading Dry Dock – History, Types, Advantages and Innovation

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