Future of ships



I’m slotted to attend SUNY maritime academy this fall and all of this is pretty concerning to hear.


just make sure its a dual course where you learn how to fix them as well as drive them


Mill about in these forums for a while and you won’t find much optimism for the survival of the US Merchant Marine. On the bright side, it was that way long before talk of autonomous ships cropped up. Including twenty some odd years ago when I first matriculated at that same educational institution.


In your professional opinion: do you recommend to stay the course, or steer away from this field?


Well I don’t plan on giving up on it until it gives up on me and I think there are many more out here like me. Most of us got into this field because we enjoy the work, the lifestyle, and the living it provides. Not necessarily in any particular order. Some like the money more than anything else, but that is not in my opinion the driving motivator of why I go to sea. It’s because deep down I know I was born to do it. If you feel an inkling of that, you should pursue your course of study at the academy.

Autonomous ships may happen in the future but there will always be some niche within the industry that all of us with this specialized knowledge and skills should fit into.


That is the spirit. Even if autonomous ships appear in limited number in a few areas during the next 10 years that is not going to affect the job market to any large degree.

The “smart ships” development may reduce the number of crew required on ships sooner, but also not to the extent that seafarers with the right knowledge, attitude and willingness to upgrade their skills to stay relevant will not be in demand. Those who don’t may have a problem though.

There is a shortage of well trained Officers and Engineers in the world right now and that is expected to increase in the years to come as the shipping fleet grows with demand. Nationality are not an issue due to STCW being applied worldwide.

Countries like China, India and the East European countries are developing fast, thus being less likely to remain suppliers of rankings in the future, while the Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar and some other countries in Asia are likely to be the main source in the foreseeable future.


Speaking of Smart Ships; Bourbon has been named “Shipowner of the Year” for it’s “Smart Shipping” program:


Norway may be in the forefront of developing technology for autonomous and smart ships, but there are still some recruitment of Officers and Engineers, although apparently not enough Cadets to fill the need:

That has not happened for some years now, but with the number of ships in the Norwegian registers (NOR & NIS) and Norwegian owned ships under foreign flags, there are more need for Officers and Engineers.


Not only Smart Ships,. Now also smart MOUs:


I don’t know if there are anybody here on the forum that is interested but here is an invitation to the large conference and exhibition on Electric and Hybrid Marine Propulsion and Autonomous Ship Technology to be held in Amsterdam 27.-29. June 2018??:


The Future of Ship Management is already here according to OSM.

They will soon launch their NEXT Ship Management System at their Singapore office:

With 11000 seafarers of all nationalities employed on hundreds of ships of all kinds and operating worldwide, they certainly need an efficient management system to keep track of everything.


That was a smorgasbord of business school buzzwords. Shifting all the decision making and brain power to the office sure sounds like a lot more work than simply hiring smart and capable mariners.


“smart and capable mariners”, not many in Asia so I can see why you move decision making to the office.
Practice for autonomous ships?


You mean;“except one”, or don’t you count yourself in that category either??


Rotterdam is not sitting on the fence, they are preparing for the inevitable:


These two converted free-fall lifeboats are dodging each other + commercial and recreational traffic in the designated test area in the Trondheim fjord:


Ha ha ha. Maas approach is the definition of a traffic shit show. That should get reaaallly interesting real quick


wasnt trained in Asia


A tabloid view of what ships will look like in 30 years time:


Shipping is being dragged kicking and screaming into the digital age:

Greek Shipowners are in the forefront on adapting to the new reality:
Could that be because there are money to be saved and made??