What is Merchant Navy ?


Many students wish to pursue a career in Merchant Navy. However, not many know what merchant navy is? There are a lot of misconceptions in the minds of people in terms of what is merchant navy. Many confuse it with the Indian navy. Some think merchant navy is just about working on a cruise ship. However, the term is much more complex than that.

What is Merchant Navy?

A country’s commercial shipping fleet i.e. shipping vessels used for trade and transportation of cargo along with their crew are called that country’s merchant navy. This does not include passenger vehicles, defence and warships. India with a large coast line has a prominent Merchant navy. It ranks fifteenth in the world in terms of deadweight tonnage. Also, India is considered a major supplier of workforce for the Merchant Navy. As per Wikipedia, 12.8% of officers and 14.5% of ratings working in the seafaring trades around the world today are Indians.

Importance of Merchant Navy

Shipping has the distinction of being one of the oldest industries in the world. But this doesn’t mean that over the years with technological advancements it has seen a decline. Rather with the impact of globalization and modernization, shipping as a trade has seen may technological advancements which have made the career safer and stable. Sea transport is not just important for the world's economy but also people world over as over 90% of the world's trade is carried by sea. It is using maritime transport that most of the things that people take for granted reach them. Also, sea transportation is, by far, the most cost-effective method of goods transportation. It is used today to transport everything from oil to cars, bananas to trailers.

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