Merchant Navy

Ships in the Merchant Navy

Long before the invention of the first airplane, ships were there and helping man trade and travel the world. The first known shipping vessels date back about 10,000 years. Even today years after the invention of airplanes, the need for ships has not diminished even a bit. Even to this day, 90% of the world trade depends on the shipping industry. It is the primary means of trade and cargo transportation. Merchant navy uses the shipping vessels which are specifically designed to be able to transport large amount of cargo. There are many types of modern ships in the merchant navy, which include:

Container Ships:

These are ships designed to carry containers. Shipping containers are truck-size large containers which can be used across different modes of transport without difficulty. A large container ship can store up to 15,000 containers. A large container ship can cost anywhere between 10 to 100 million depending on its design and technology.

Cruise Ships:

It is also known as a cruise liner and is a passenger ship. It is primarily used for pleasure voyages and the experience of being on a cruise ship is more important than the destination. Leisure cruising was born in 1822. Harmony of the Seas, a ship owned by Royal Caribbean International Cruise Line is today the largest cruise ship in the world. It can house a maximum of 6,360 passengers.


It is a merchant vessel which carries passengers, and sometimes vehicles and cargo as well, across a body of water. They usually operate at regular intervals and provide return service as well.

Oil/Gas Tankers:

Oil and Gas can’t be transported in shipping containers and hence special vehicles are designed for their transportation. These are called Oil/Gas tankers. Seawise Giant was the largest oil tanker ship until it was broken up in 2009.

Chemical Carriers:

These ships are designed for bulk transportation of chemicals. These ships carry sensitive cargo and they follow a lot of safety regulations for the safe transportation of the same.

Cable Layers:

These ships are used to lay underwater cables for telecommunication and electric power transmission. These ships are classified into two categories basis their purpose: Cable repair ships and cable-laying ships.

Car Carriers:

They are mainly known as Roll-on/roll-off ships. They are designed to transport wheeled cargo like cars, trucks, trailers, tractors etc.

These are some of the merchant vessels being used across the globe today. However, there are many more ships and vessels under operation with the purpose of trade.

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Neha Gupta

A Professional writer with over 10 years of experience, I love writing and learning about new areas during the process. Writing about merchant navy has given me a close look at the sacrifices made by the seafaring community and it is a pleasure to bring to light, through my blogs, for all to see and view, the hard work and dedication of these unsung heroes i.e. the seafarers.

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