10 Ugly Truths About 21st-Century Shipping

Good post from gCaptain: 10 Ugly Truths About 21st-Century Shipping

This is #1 which I agree with 100%

The captain is no longer in charge of the ship. It’s the banks, office managers and the weather that make the ultimate decisions.

The original post is from Marine Cafe ,


As someone who often browses old maritime newspapers and interacts with the present ones, I can also agree with the following:

The traditional maritime press is dead, strangled by cut-and-paste journalists and PR agents.

Even though it’s good for business, I sometimes wish news pages wouldn’t just copy something I post on the company website and republish it word-to-word as news.


I think the fact that we don’t do that is the biggest reason for gCaptain’s success. Nobody wants to waste their time reading that some dude got promoted to Jr Vice President of regional sales.


The traditional maritime press is dead, strangled by cut-and-paste journalists and PR agents.
I could not agree more with this observation. When I was a younger man I used to write ship reviews for an offshore journal, which required me to actually visit the ship. It would come out every month and I used to think that it could not get any better. The magazine is still active, and I occasionally see a copy; today I think that it could not get any worse. I still write articles for my own website, but sometimes think I have something to say which deserves a wider readership. I email editors but NEVER receive a reply. So good manners as well as good journalism have been binned.


I dont get that in these stcw95 days, the Captain doesnt train or employ the crew but when it goes wrong the local authorities blame them.
The crooked manning agencies run the vessel, by sending crew with fake everything, then as the Captain you complain you become the problem and get reassigned.
Dont worry it happens in aviation as well, a buddy of mine failed a few Koreans, Boeing ensured he no longer works for their subcontracted simulator business as they want to sell planes to that new budget airline that sent their cousins from the military.
There are still bright kids but I reckon the average person is getting dumber as qualifications have been dumbed down so far especially degrees, they are a joke in most cases now.

It would be more accurate to think of captains as the equivalent of an on-scene commander. Not in charge overall, just in charge locally.

and when you are asleep and your night orders are good and it goes wrong you still get the blame

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Most Captains are pretty sleepless…at least this one is.

Ashore, sleep like the dead.

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Valuable lessons here. Never be in a position of responsibility without having the authority over the span of control you are charged with.

And never underestimate the importance of having a good #2 person
who can handle the situation in your absence.

Ultimately, you can delegate authority, but not responsibility.

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Not talking about authority over subordinates. Nobody is claiming the shore-side authorities are running the crew.

Captain’s authority is local, confined to the ship. That the captain’s responsibly is not limited by time of day is well understood.