Maritime Industry

The Maritime Industry is... much more than the deep-sea merchant fleet. It includes tug and barge operations, port and terminal operations, pilot age, freight forwarding, chartering, intermodal services, admiralty law, passenger and excursion services, Great Lakes and inland waterways shipping, shipbuilding and repair, naval architecture and marine engineering, seaman training, government programs and shipping, vessel classification, marine insurance, communications, recreational boating, and much more...

In New York State alone it is a $14 billion a year industry. It has contributed to the growth of the nation and the world. The development of modern transportation systems worldwide and economic globalization has been driven by the maritime industry, the transportation industry leader. 

If there is a bonfire case of "labor of love" for a worthwhile endeavor, the Maritime Museum at Fort Schuyler must be recognized as a prime example. The museum is funded, staffed, operated and maintained strictly though volunteer support and monetary contributions. Many Maritime College cadets volunteer time to serve as museum tour guides and provide exhibit construction and upkeep, while alumni participate in periodic "work parties" to do their share.

To understand the importance of shipping in our lives, we only need to look at the diverse types of goods we use every day. From the mouse to the computer screen, the shirt on your back and shoes on your feet, to the fuel that powers our vehicles and factories around the world every day, what we now call basic necessities of modern life are brought to us by world trade. Some 90% of world trade is transported by sea. In 2006, seaborne trade reached over 30 trillion ton-miles (an increase of 49% compared to trade in 1996).

The three main types of goods transported by sea are dry bulk, oil and containerized cargo. Dry bulk accounted for 38% of the world's seaborne trade in 2006. Oil trade formed the second largest type of cargo accounting for 36% and containerized cargo contributed 15%. These trades are carried by more than 20,000 merchant ships to various ports around the world, leading to a global cargo throughput of 14.8 billion tones and container throughput of 440 million TEU. The operation of these ships generates an estimated annual income of about US$ 630 billion (S$1.05 trillion) in freight rates within the global economy. That's about 5 % of total world trade. 

Looking ahead in recent years, the world has seen the centre of maritime gravity moving to Asia. Asian countries share of world seaborne trade increased to 39 % in 2006 (compared with 31% in 1996) and where nearly half of the world's merchant fleet is domiciled in Asia. 13 of the world's top 20 ports are also located in Asia, handling around 36 % of the world's containers. Three of the world's largest shipbuilding nations are in Asia accounting for 90 % of global market share.

Besides the growth of the world's port operations, Shipping and Ship Building have also contributed significantly to the global economy through its demand for supporting services such as Ship Financing, Marine Insurance, Maritime Legal and Arbitration Services, Maritime Education and Research & Development (R&D) etc. The global shipping portfolio of commercial banks is estimated to be about US$ 272 billion in 2006. Currently, the market capitalisation of the 182 public shipping companies listed on 35 exchanges is about US$ 359 billion and major Asian exchanges (comprising Hongkong, Singapore and Tokyo) account for as much as 34% of the global value. Risk management tools such as trading in forward freight agreements (FFAs) has also grown significantly with notional value of contracts rising from US$ 7 billion in 2002 to US$ 56 billion in 2006.

With Singapore strategically positioned within Asia, we are well placed to leverage on these growth opportunities. To this end, Singapore will continue working towards developing well-integrated business infrastructure and conducive business environment, skilled manpower and advanced maritime R&D and technology in support of the continued growth of the Singapore Maritime Cluster that serves global needs.


To meet the requirement of trained man-power there are two pre-sea and post-sea training institutes under the Directorate General of Shipping, Ministry of Surface Transport. Maritime Transport is a critical infrastructure for the social and economic development of a country. It influences the pace, structure and pattern of development. The Department of Shipping encompasses within its fold shipping and ports sectors which include ship building and ship-repair, major ports, national waterways, and inland water transport. Department of Shipping has been entrusted with the responsibility to formulate policies and programmes on these subjects and their implementation.

A comprehensive policy package is necessary to address the diverse issues facing the Maritime transport sector-Over 95% of the world's trade goes by sea and, in the 21st century, the seas of the world carry more good than ever before. The volume of goods traveling by sea has increased nine fold since 1950. The robust world economy, fuelled by Chinese and Indian growth with shipping tonnage to orders for next 5 to 6 year, and the level of scrapping old tonnage is at its historical low as the high freight rates continue to make even the old tonnage profitable.

The number of ships sailing the seas is growing at a brisk pace. There is also surge in number of larger and more technologically advanced vessels.

The global shipping industry is increasingly relying on India as a favored source of its current and future seafarer demand, because it acknowledges the India has the means to satisfy the number shortage and the Indian academic system provides the strongest foundation for building high standards of skills, initiatives, professionalism and leadership required of the modern seafarers.

There are over 85,000 merchant ships in the world with more than 100 types of cargo ships. Ships do not move cargoes; people do we require ambitions individuals to join our competent and committed team officers operating our modern fleet of vessels.