If you are looking to build a career that includes a variety of domains, then merchant navy is the way to go. In this field, you will be exposed to multiple facets and can gain wide exposure, which may be quite impossible in other professions.
Merchant navy is a collective name for the shipping industries that transport all goods from one country to another, via sea. The cargo can be oil, products, minerals and even food, which is then shipped to its destination using a planned sea route.
The course taken to complete the cargo operation depends upon the type of product and the size of the ship that is carrying the goods.
Listed below are some of the best reasons which will showcase the true benefits of joining merchant navy:
1. BIG PAY-PACKAGES
The biggest attraction of this profession is its pay packages and salaries. In merchant navy, the payment scales are kept high and is maintained by IMO (International Maritime Organization) and ILO (International Labor Organization). Even for a fresher, the salaries can range from US$ 1,500 to US$ 2,000. This ratio highly depends upon your hiring company, qualification, and position.
2. EXTREME TAX BENEFITS
Merchant navy professionals who spend a minimum of six months on a vessel are not subjected to taxes for a specified financial year. However, other merchant marines have to pay taxes, of they meet exemption requirements.
3. TEACHES TEAMWORK
Working for months on a vessel with novel team members teaches high professionalism, good communication skills and high discipline. Being a part of a novel team for months, brings a great personality change in a person.
4. EXPLORING THE WORLD
Traveling to exotic locations and seeing new places every year is most probably the biggest perks of this job. You will be able to see those parts of the world that normal people dream to visit.
5. INTRODUCES DIVERSITY
You will get a chance to spend time with team members who belong to different cultures, backgrounds and even nationalities. This will give you experiences that you will never gain from any other job in the world.
6. WIDER EXPOSURE
Your career in merchant navy will subject you to multiple emergency situations and unexpected events. This will improve your problem-solving skills and will help you to work better under pressure.
7. LOW QUALIFICATION DEMAND
You can apply for a job in merchant navy immediately after your high school exams with physics and mathematics. If you don’t want to pursue any higher education and want to take up a feasible job with a good payout, then merchant navy is ready for you.
8. BETTER LIFESTYLE
The qualities of punctuality and discipline will help you live a better and more productive lifestyle. Being focused and highly cautious is very crucial in the unpredictable oceans that your job will take you into.
9. LONG VACATIONS
As the job requires long working months it also gives equally compensating long vacations. You can enjoy being on land as well as water when you for this profession.
10. ADVENTROUS OPPORTUNITIES
In merchant navy, you are given multiple opportunities of feeding your adventurous desires. From taking up challenges in the ocean to exploring distant lands, you work and enjoy at the same time.
So, become a merchant marine and live your life to the fullest and earn good money. For assistance with careers at sea, you can approach TMC Shipping. They are India’s leading Marine career advisors and provide assistance with both, sponsored and non-sponsored maritime courses.
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Why to join Merchant navy?
A very important thing for you to note!
I am not a person who is working or who is having working experience in Merchant Navy! I am being asked many boubts and queries; which I am not capable of answering. There was very less information available on the internet when I created this page. So, this page was made in order to give a brief information, to the people, inspiring to get into merchant navy.
If You you have doubts. I have given links to the reputed institutes. You can get contact information on their websites and you can call them up and ask your doubts if you want to!
The Merchant Navy is a non-combatant commercial fleet, which deals with transporting cargo and occasionally, passengers, by sea. Its fleet is therefore composed of passenger vessels, cargo liners, tankers, carriers, as well as other special types of vehicles. A career in this field is full of adventure and long voyages to exotic places. Above all this, the excellent pay and promising promotional opportunities make the career lucrative and exciting in spite of all the hard work life and long absence from family and home. What is the big attraction of the merchant navy? Two things come to mind – money and foreign travel. There are other benefits like tax free income, quick promotions and an exciting life. But the money is the main temptation. You get fat pay checks and you don’t pay tax (if you stay out of the country for more than 6 months in a financial year). You start earning a big salary at a very young age. To give you an example, the starting salary for a 22 year old 3rd officer or 4th engineer (junior most officers on board ships) on an oil tanker is be more than 1500 $ per month (conservatively speaking). This amount depends on the type of ship and the company you join! Officers normally work on a contract basis. Junior officers do 6 to 9 month contracts, while senior officers do 3 to 6 months on board. Remember that you get paid ONLY when you are on board.
So, your salary is half of what you are said to get. The catch is, you stay away from home for extended periods of time. In fact you spend most of your time at sea rather than on land. Its not as if you reach a port and everyone goes ashore. Work continues with every officer / crew member working in shifts (watches as we call them). You are free to go ashore once you have completed your watch but don’t forget that you have to come back from your shore leave and work again. So, you either sleep or you go ashore. Work on a ship, never stops. As long as the ship is doing something – sailing, loading / discharging cargo, it’s making money for the ship owner. Port stays have gone down considerably so the ship is in port for a short time. Of course, this depends on the type of ship you are on. Container ships are in port for a few hours (YES few hours), oil tankers for 24 hours, cargo ships and bulk carriers stay longer in port. Watches in port are usually on a 6 on 6 off basis, 6 hours on duty, 6 hours off duty, and then you are back to work. Hence you cannot go ashore in every port because you need to rest sometime.
The ship owner is pays you to stay on board, not to go ashore! Its not all bad news, you do get to go ashore and do some shopping and maybe sight seeing. Ports are normally far away from civilisation. Travelling to and fro takes up time and is not cheap. With visa restrictions, many countries will not let you stay back for a holiday after you complete your tenure on your ship. So now you know why the ship owner pays you so much. You are being paid for staying away from family and home, you are being paid for long stints at sea and hardly any chance to go ashore. By the way, the girl in every port stories you have heard is pure myth!!! You will not get time to meet girls and if you do meet girls then they will be the wrong kind. Some companies do allow officers (usually senior officers) to carry their family (wife / kids) with them.
If you say, “I can handle everything, just as long as I get paid well.” That’s just fine, as long as you are aware of what you are getting into!
How to join Merchant navy?
While you are getting in an Institute for Merchant Navy >>
Go to the DgShipping website!
See the list of approved training institutes! And then search for the official website of that Institute through Google!
A few Private Institutes that may respond to your request and may guide you to enter their Institutes…
1. Samundara Maritime Institute, Lonavala.
2. Great Eastern Academy, Lonavala.
3. Vishwakarma Maritime Institute, Kondhwa, Pune.
4. MANET, Pune.
- You can find information for entering that particular Institute by contacting those Institutes!
- These are decently good institutes, to do your required courses in.
Also, Post Graduate Diploma in Marine Engineering (Formerly known as GME), 1 year course is offered in the following Institutes in affiliation with Indian Maritime University:
1. IMU, Mumbai.
2. International Maritime Institute, Greater Noida.
3. Anglo Eastern , Mumbai.
4. Maritime Foundation, Chennai.
5. Chidambaram Institute of Maritime Technology, Kalpakkam, Tamilnadu.
6. CV Raman College of Engineering, Bhubaneswar, Orissa.
7. MERI, Mumbai.
-The eligibility for the course is Graduate in B.E Mechanical engineering with an aggregate of 60% (SC/ST-55%).
- You need to have a valid IIT-JEE score after 12th to go for Merchant navy!
- You can prepare for the entrance exams that various maritime institutes conduct for the intake of candidates!
- The admission process consists of interview and a entrance exam. Get in contact with the institute for syllabus.
- For the Engine Side > Exams contain questions on aptitude, essay to check our English, and the main thing is the mechanical engineering questions.
There are also other Merchant Navy Universities coming up in India.
Career in Merchant Navy can be pursued either as an officer or a rating in mainly two specialized fields, i.e. Marine Engineering (Engine side) and Nautical (Deck side). To become a seafarer, following streams of entries (Pre-Sea courses) are available to Indian citizens in the Government as well as in private training institutions (recognized and approved by Director General of Shipping, Ministry of Shipping)
- 3 year degree course in Nautical Science for (10+2) students.
- 4 year degree course in Marine Engineering for (10+2) students.
- 2 year course for Diploma Holders.
- 1 year course for Graduate Mechanical Engineers.
- 3 month course for Deck Cadets for (10+2) students.
Types of ships in Merchant Navy you may deal with, in your career:
1. Container Ship
Container ships are cargo ships that carry all of their load in truck-size intermodal containers, in a technique called containerization. They form a common means of commercial intermodal freight transport.
Container Ship Size Categories
|Ultra Large Container Vessel (ULCV)||14,501 and higher||With a length of 397 m, a width of 56 m, draft of 15.5 m, and a capacity of over 15,000 TEU, ships of the Emma Maersk class are well over the limits of the New Panamax class. (Photo: The 15,000 TEU MV Edith Maersk.)|
|New panamax||10,000–14,500||With a beam of 43 m, ships of the COSCO Guangzhou class are much too big to fit through the Panama Canal’s old locks, but could easily fit through the new expansion. (Photo: The 9,500 TEU MV COSCO Guangzhou pierside in Hamburg. )|
|Panamax||3,001 – 5,100||Ships of the Bay-class are at the upper limit of the Panamax class, with an overall length of 292.15 m, beam of 32.2m, and maximum depth of 21.2 m. (Photo: The 4,224 TEU MV Providence Bay passing through the Panama Canal.)|
|Feedermax||2,001 – 3,000||Container ships under 3,000 TEU are typically called feeders, and are most likely to have cargo cranes. (Photo: The 384 TEU MV TransAtlantic at anchor.)|
|Feeder||1,001 – 2,000|
|Small feeder||Up to 1,000|
2. BULK CARRIERS
A bulk carrier,bulk freighter, or bulker is a merchant ship specially designed to transport unpackaged bulk cargo, such as grains, coal, ore, and cement in its cargo holds. Since the first specialized bulk carrier was built in 1852, economic forces have fueled the development of these ships, causing them to grow in size and sophistication. Today’s bulkers are specially designed to maximize capacity, safety, efficiency, and to be able to withstand the rigors of their work.
Today, bulkers make up 40% of the world’s merchant fleets and range in size from single-hold mini-bulkers to mammoth ore ships able to carry 365,000 metric tons of deadweight (DWT). A number of specialized designs exist: some can unload their own cargo, some depend on port facilities for unloading, and some even package the cargo as it is loaded. Over half of all bulkers have Greek, Japanese, or Chinese owners and more than a quarter are registered in Panama. Korea is the largest single builder of bulkers, and 82% of these ships were built in Asia.
A bulk carrier’s crew participates in the loading and unloading of cargo, navigating the ship, and keeping its machinery and equipment properly maintained. Loading and unloading the cargo is difficult, dangerous, and can take up to 120 hours on larger ships. Crews can range in size from three people on the smallest ships to over 30 on the largest.
Bulk cargo can be very dense, corrosive, or abrasive. This can present safety problems: cargo shifting, spontaneous combustion, and cargo saturation can threaten a ship. The use of ships that are old and have corrosion problems has been linked to a spate of bulker sinkings in the 1990s, as have the bulker’s large hatchways, important for efficient cargo handling. New international regulations have since been introduced to improve ship design and inspection, and to streamline the process of abandoning ship.
3. Cruise Ship
A cruise ship or cruise liner is a passenger ship used for pleasure voyages, where the voyage itself and the ship’s amenities are part of the experience, as well as the different destinations along the way. Transportation is not the prime purpose, as cruise ships operate mostly on routes that return passengers to their originating port, so the ports of call are usually in a specified region of a continent.
In contrast, dedicated transport oriented ocean liners do “line voyages” and typically transport passengers from one point to another, rather than on round trips. Traditionally, an ocean liner for the transoceanic trade will be built to a higher standard than a typical cruise ship, including high freeboard and stronger plating to withstand rough seas and adverse conditions encountered in the open ocean, such as the North Atlantic. Ocean liners also usually have larger capacities for fuel, victuals, and other stores for consumption on long voyages, compared to dedicated cruise ships.
Although often luxurious, ocean liners had characteristics that made them unsuitable for cruising, such as high fuel consumption, deep draught that prevented them from entering shallow ports, enclosed weatherproof decks that were not appropriate for tropical weather, and cabins designed to maximize passenger numbers rather than comfort (few if any private verandas, a high proportion of windowless suites). The modern cruise ships, while sacrificing qualities of seaworthiness, have added amenities to cater to tourists, and recent vessels have been described as “balcony-laden floating condominiums”.
3. REEFER SHIPS
Reefer ship is a type of ship typically used to transport perishable commodities which require temperature-controlled transportation, mostly fruits, meat, fish, vegetables, dairy products and other foodstuffs.
Reefer ships may be categorised into three types:
- Side-door vessels have water tight ports on the ships hull, which open into a cargo hold. Elevators or ramps leading from the quay serve as loading and discharging access for the forklifts or conveyors. Inside these access ports or side doors, pallet lifts or another series of conveyors bring the cargo to the respective decks. This special design makes the vessels particularly well suited for inclement weather operations as the tops of the cargo holds are always closed against rain and sun.
- Conventional vessels have a traditional cargo operation with top opening hatches and cranes/derricks. On such ships, when facing wet weather, the hatches need to be closed to prevent heavy rain from flooding the holds. Both above ship types are well suited for the handling of palletized and loose cargo.
- Refrigerated Container vessels are specifically designed to carry containerised unit loads where each container is an individual refrigerated unit. These ships differ from conventional container ships in design and power generation equipment.
A major use of refrigerated cargo hold type ships was for the transportation of bananas but has since been partly replaced by refrigerated containers that have a refrigeration system attached to the rear end of the container. While on a ship this is plugged into an electrical outlet (typically 440 VAC) that ties into the ship’s power generation. Refrigerated container ships are not limited by the number of refrigeration containers they can carry unlike other container ships which lack sufficient refrigeration outlets or have insufficient generator capacity. Each reefer container unit is designed with a stand-alone electrical circuit and has its own breaker switch that allows it to be connected and disconnected as required.
4. Roll-on/roll-off (RO RO SHIPS)
Ro-Ro Ship Illustrated
Roll-on/roll-off (RORO or ro-ro) ships are vessels designed to carry wheeled cargo such as automobiles, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, trailers or railroad cars that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels. This is in contrast to lo-lo (lift on-lift off) vessels which use a crane to load and unload cargo.
RO-RO vessels have built-in ramps which allow the cargo to be efficiently “rolled on” and “rolled off” the vessel when in port. While smaller ferries that operate across rivers and other short distances often have built-in ramps, the term RO-RO is generally reserved for larger ocean-going vessels. The ramps and doors may be stern-only, or bow and stern for quick loading.
5. OIL TANKERS
An oil tanker, also known as a petroleum tanker, is a merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil. There are two basic types of oil tankers: the crude tanker and the product tanker.Crude tankers move large quantities of unrefined crude oil from its point of extraction to refineries.Product tankers, generally much smaller, are designed to move petrochemicals from refineries to points near consuming markets.
Oil tankers are often classified by their size as well as their occupation. The size classes range from inland or coastal tankers of a few thousand metric tons of deadweight (DWT) to the mammoth ultra large crude carriers (ULCCs) of 550,000 DWT. Tankers move approximately 2,000,000,000 metric tons (2.2×109short tons) of oil every year. Second only to pipelines in terms of efficiency, the average cost of oil transport by tanker amounts to only two or three United States cents per 1 USgallon (3.8 L).
Some specialized types of oil tankers have evolved. One of these is the naval replenishment oiler, a tanker which can fuel a moving vessel. Combination ore-bulk-oil carriers and permanently moored floating storage units are two other variations on the standard oil tanker design. Oil tankers have been involved in a number of damaging and high-profile oil spills. As a result, they are subject to stringent design and operational regulations.
6. Chemical tanker
A chemical tanker is a type of tanker designed to transport chemicals in bulk.
Ocean-going chemical tankers generally range from 5,000 metric tons deadweight (DWT) to 40,000 DWT in size, which is considerably smaller than the average size of other tanker types due to the specialised nature of their cargoes and the size restrictions of the port terminals where they call to load and discharge.
Chemical tankers normally have a series of separate cargo tanks which are either coated with specialised coatings such as phenolic epoxy or zinc paint, or made from stainless steel. The coating or cargo tank material determines what types of cargo a particular tank can carry: stainless steel tanks are required for aggressive acid cargoes such as sulfuric and phosphoric acid, while ‘easier’ cargoes – e.g. vegetable oil – can be carried in epoxy coated tanks.
7. LNG carrier
An LNG carrier is a tank ship designed for transporting liquefied natural gas (LNG). As the LNG market grows rapidly, the fleet of LNG carriers continues to experience tremendous growth.
At the moment there is a boom in the fleet, with a total of more than 140 vessels on order at the world’s shipyards. Today the majority of the new ships under construction are in the size of 120,000 m³ to 140,000 m³. But there are orders for ships with capacity up to 260,000 m³. As of 6 March 2010, there are 337 LNG ships engaged in the deepsea movement of LNG.
8. FPSO vessels
Man has not only harnessed the seas for transportation but for industrial purposes also. The offshore industry owes all credit to the development of FPSO’s (Floating Production Storage and Offloading) units. Over the last 30 years, FPSO vessels have acquired a place of importance in the area of oil and gas production. They are an essential to exploit the reserves to the best of their potential. Oil has been exploited from off shore locations since 1950. The first oil FPSO was the Shell Castellon, which was built in Spain in the year 1977.
Why FPSO Vessel Over Pipelines?
In our section related to deep ocean engineering, we have studied how underwater pipes are laid in the sea. Yet laying of pipelines is always not a feasible option. The scale of economics always does not run in favor of this option. Oil and Natural Gas are an absolute essential for the industry. Even a small reserve cannot be ignored and for such a small reserve laying of pipeline may not an ideal option. FPSO’s are the best alternative in such cases.
An FPSO is a floating vessel that has been designed in a manner that makes it conducive to receive, process and store oil or natural gas. These stages are necessary before the produce is offloaded onto a tanker or a pipeline. Oil tankers may be converted to function as a FPSO. Vessels may be used for oil storage alone. Such units are termed as Floating Storage Units or FSU’s.
A Floating Production, Storage and Offloading vessel (FPSO; also called a “unit” and a “system”) is a type of floating tank system used by the offshore oil and gas industry and designed to take all of the oil or gas produced from nearby platforms or templates, process it, and store it until the oil or gas can be offloaded onto a tanker or transported through a pipeline.
Oil produced from offshore production platforms can be transported to the mainland either by pipeline or by tanker. When a tanker solution is chosen, it is necessary to accumulate oil in some form of tank such that an oil tanker is not continuously occupied while sufficient oil is being produced to fill the tanker.
Often the solution is a decommissioned oil tanker which has been stripped down and equipped with facilities to be connected to a mooring buoy. Oil is accumulated in the FPSO until there is sufficient amount to fill a transport tanker, at which point the transport tanker connects to the stern of the floating storage unit and offloads the oil.
There are two main types of FPSOs, the converted Oil tanker option or the purpose built option. FPSO vessels are broadly of two types:
- A Converted Oil Tanker
- A Custom Built
The FPSO’s can be permanently moored or diconnectable. It is the area in which the vessel has to be used that controls the basic design. In calm waters a simple design can serve the purpose but in case of volatile waters the structures will be designed accordingly. The basic difference is in the injection lines, which are external in case of calm waters and internal any other case. The second factor that is kept in mind while designing an FPSO structure is the direction of the wind in that area. The effort is to reduce the effect of the environment.
With increasing environmental and safety concerns the functioning of FPSO vessels is continuously monitored by international agencies (International Maritime Organization) The organization has issued detailed guidelines for carrying out the various functions and handling of discharge which may be a by product of the processing done on the vessel. With the very nature of the product stored on these vessels being inflammable, safety provision and training acquire immense importance.
The World’s Largest FPSO Vessel: The Girassol FPSO, is one of the largest FPSO vessel functioning in the world today. It was constructed in Korea. It has been constructed as a joint venture between Bouygues Offshore and Stolt Offshore within a period of 21 months. The vessel has a production capacity of 200,000 barrels per day and a storage capacity of 2,000,000 barrel storage capacity.
A very important thing for you to note!
I am not a person who is working or who is having working experience in Merchant Navy! I am being asked many boubts and queries; which I am not capable of answering.
There was very less information available on the internet when I created this page. So, this page was made in order to give a brief information, to the people, inspiring to get into merchant navy.
If You you have doubts. I have given links to the reputed institutes. You can get contact information on their websites and you can call them up and ask your doubts if you want to!