Actions Needed for Sustainability in Maritime Transport – Part 5

Actions Needed for Sustainability in Maritime Transport – Part 5

The Maritime sector is vast and runs globally on a large scale. With the increasing trade between countries who mostly use marine routes for the transport of cargo, there has been a surge in marine traffic.

World trade has seen a boost over the past few decades and shows no signs of slowing down. Global trade and maritime transport work hand-in-hand towards spreading economic growth worldwide. Since ships have the need to travel long distances over continuous periods of time, carrying tons of cargo at a time, it has become imperative for countries to adapt and use sustainable methods for maritime transport.

Maritime transport is the soundest method of transport since it is an efficient tool for mass transport, hauling cargo in bulk quantities, and is also an effective method of preventing pollution as compared to the other, more conventional means.

If put to use in an appropriate mode, maritime transport will prove to be globally beneficial. A sustainable maritime transport system will ensure positive implications all around; i.e., of the social, economic, and environmental aspects that are important to every country using maritime transport.

A number of goals to bring about sustainability in maritime transport system have already been studied, as seen in the previous articles. It is imperative to implement them with the help of careful and well-rounded strategies.

In addition to those, there are a few more actions that, if applied wisely, will ensure the smooth and efficient running of the maritime transport system, which we shall look at, presently. These include the goals of sound finance, liability, and insurance mechanisms and ocean governance.

Finance, Liability and Insurance Mechanisms for Sustainability in Maritime Transport

Maritime transport is the most efficient method for transporting goods and cargo; is a fact that has been acknowledged worldwide. But with the increase in companies opting for maritime transportation services, there is also an increased risk that the ship might undergo an accident or a mishap, causing irrevocable damage to property and the company.

At such times, putting a proper financial mechanism in place and efficient planning can be of immense help to recover from the damage without shelling out a ton of money.

Governments from across the world are continuously evolving and creating new laws and legislation to enhance safety, efficiency, and environmental stewardship. The shipping industry needs to concurrently update its regulations and safety measures with every change in the rules of their respective government.

This entails significant investment in long-term prospects of research, production, and maintenance, staying abreast of the changing political tides and accordingly choosing the right insurance plans.

This is important because, in cases of maritime accidents, the financial consequences have a huge impact on shipowners, companies crew and passengers of the ship, and on a larger scale on the people who depend on the ocean for their employment and livelihood. In the aftermath of such incidents, insurance schemes or planning which provides adequate compensation to companies and ships in cases of marine accidents and mishaps helps in bringing the entire shipping industry back onto its feet again.

A Sustainable Maritime Transportation System should include abundantly available and feasible finances to construct new ships or to renovate and modify the existing ships to keep up with the new safety rules and requirements.

It should provide appropriate compensation and satisfy liabilities according to regulations. There needs to be a harmonized approach between the companies and the users to enforce liabilities and other insurance-related requirements. A common global framework that makes such guidelines abundantly clear and helps the management of insurance cost is the need of the hour.

This will in return facilitate the cost of insurance be kept at a reasonable level and prompt compensation and returns can be provided to those suffering losses due to maritime incidents.

Ocean Governance for Sustainability in Maritime Transport

Due to the increasing use of the ocean for trade, there is a rise in challenges to keep the marine traffic and marine transport running smoothly, without a hindrance. The constant friction and tension between the rising economies, people interested in the oceans’ profitability, and environmental concern create a need for ocean governance.

The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) and other global standards establish certain principles which ensure that the conflict between competing interests does not have adverse effects on the trade pattern in the marine sector.

A sense of camaraderie and coordination between competing interests is required to balance the expenditure and maintain harmony between users.

Influence should be created among people who are engaged in conflicting marine activities and interests in order to establish effective ocean governance. Issues that give rise to conflicts should be discussed and resolved so as to maintain smooth functioning on the ocean.  A number of initiatives should be started in order to create harmony and good governance to form a sustainable maritime transport system.

It should be conveyed that the Maritime Transportation System takes actions and provides effective services to ships and companies around the globe.


The above factors are the few ones that need to be implemented to achieve maritime sustainability. In the few previous articles, numerous efficient actions to facilitate sustainability in the maritime transportation systems have been listed and explained in detail. These need to be given ample consideration due to the need for sustainability in the current maritime sector. It is important to establish these measures in the maritime transporting system to ensure sustainability.

Providing required financial assistance, reviewing liabilities and insurance requirement is of utmost priority. Offering requisite compensation to people or companies affected by maritime accidents is a major way of ensuring sustainability in the transport systems. In addition to that, giving ample amounts of funds to build or renovate ships according to the recent and required set of rules is important as well.

Most importantly, to ensure a sustainable maritime transport system, it is necessary to establish initiatives and programs to influence and make people aware of the importance of the ocean and environmental conservation.

What is your opinion about the laws for governance with regards to maritime transport sustainability? Share your insights with us in the comments section below!

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