The Shipping Industry - An Overview
The shipping industry is continually concerned in endeavoring to anticipate what will be the next big source of trade. The fluctuations of world trade dictate which ships are those that will carry the most-in-demand products. Merchants and shipowners who are capable of taking advantage of such circumstances will have a better chance to profit the most. As far as shipowners are concerned, one can easily conclude that having the right ship at the right place where she is most sought after will result in high earnings.
As a consequence of the above, shipowners and shipbuilders have worked closely together to design and build different types of ships, which can handle and accommodate the widely varying requirements of the world’s cargo markets.
Shipping, or carriage of goods by water, has played a significant role in the development of human society over the centuries. Shipping has been a crucial link by which commercial relationships have been established between widely separated parts of the world. There are 2 major types of shipping services: shipload services, which move goods in bulk for one or a few shippers; and liner services, which carry relatively small shipments of general cargo on a regular schedule for many shippers. Some ships are owned by firms engaged in the production or processing of goods in bulk. Examples are tankers owned by petroleum companies, and bulk carriers owned by steel companies. Most ships, however, are owned by firms whose prime business is shipping. These owners make their vessels available to importers/exporters through a highly efficient international network of shipping brokers.
Vessels which carry cargo can be divided into a number of groups, each offering a wide versatility of usage. The following listing is a compilation of the most common types of ships. Some of these ships carry cargoes while others just carry passengers, yet there ships that carry both cargo and passengers. Others ships are built to serve specialized requirements, that is, harbor tugs, icebreakers, and fishing vessels, to name but a few.