A broad-wheeled waggon, attended by two men, and drawn by eight horses, in about six weeks’ time, carries and brings back between London and Edinburgh near four ton weight of goods. In about the same time a ship navigated by six or eight men, and sailing between the ports of London and Leith, frequently carries and brings back two hundred ton weight of goods.
An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations by
Although Adam Smith’s words date back to 1776, general idea did not change, and the contrast had only been increasing. While figures may vary from source to source, it is estimated that up to 90% of the present global trade volume is carried now by sea. Even amid heightened uncertainty, and various recent downside risks – further absolute growth, albeit at a slower pace, is projected.
Shipping has always been at the forefront of global development, and no business is more exciting. Consider the great shipping boom of 2004, that made shipping investors some of the most fortunate and wealthiest people in the world. And then the financial crisis of 2008-09, succeeded by the oil price slump of 2014 – both made people rich to rags in less than a year.
Merchant and offshore shipping are being reshaped now, and a new normal appears to be taking hold. Supply chains are being restructured in view of intensified disruptions, whereas environmental sustainability and service-oriented approach is on the agenda now. Containerships are getting larger and larger; oil tankers have been used for storage most recently. Even the whole concept changes – ships are becoming greener, sailing with less crew, and use LNG, methanol as fuel or even powered by batteries. Nowadays, by using satellite communications, you can monitor all critical vessel machinery and systems online and in real time! Very soon we will have first fully autonomous ships serving coastal routes using either shore remote control or in fully automatic mode.
You cannot disagree that ships and shipping are fascinating, but which aspect is that you wish to explore? Let us know.