What is Merchant Navy
Last updated on March 27th, 2023 at 06:30 am
Merchant Navy is the term given to the commercial shipping sector which includes Bulk Carriers, Container ships, Tankers (Oil/Chemical/Gas), Ferries, Passenger Ships, and Ro-Ro Vessels. With 90% of international shipping being carried out by sea, Merchant Navy plays a huge role in connecting countries, markets, and businesses.
There are many things that we use in our everyday lives, which get transported through ships. These ships are being manned by 20 – 22 people working hard, day and night to ensure that the particular cargo reaches its destination in time. Most of the things that we use on a daily basis are easily available to us and hence we take them for granted. We do not think about how do these goods reach us?
Salt is something that I’m pretty sure all of us use every day in our meals. Who can eat a meal without putting any salt in it? This everyday necessity, is transported through Bulk Carriers to places all over the world. USA is the major producer and exporter. Similarly, sugar, soap, coal, copper, iron ore, etc., are all transported through Bulk Carriers throughout the world.
Can you imagine partying with your friends without any drinks? The next time you are at a party sipping Coke or Corona (A famous Beer Brand not Covid!) don’t forget the seafarers because of whom you are able to get a hold of all these products. Raw materials such as barley, fruit, rice, and other ingredients are transported throughout the world through Bulk Carriers.
Liquified Petroleum Gas cylinders are yet another commodity that we can’t live without. You cannot cook a single meal at home without LPG cylinders. LPG is transported throughout the world by the use of Gas Tankers. Similarly, LNG Carriers transport Liquified Natural Gas around the world. Working onboard these vessels is a hazardous job and requires a very high level of skill and professionalism, but with higher risks come higher rewards. These vessels offer the highest salary in Merchant Navy with the Captain or Chief Engineer getting paid as much as 18000$ per month.
What is the first thing you do when you are about to go for a long drive with your friends or family or when you want to explore new places on your bike? You get it filled up at a petrol pump, right? Well, that petrol or diesel (whichever fuel your vehicle needs) is obtained from crude oil, which is transported through large Crude Oil Tankers.
I am pretty sure before reading this blog, most of you had never even thought about where you get most of these things from or how you get them? That is because of the lack of knowledge and awareness about the Maritime sector in our country.
Most people don’t even know the difference between the Indian Navy and Merchant Navy, and those who do know about it are only interested in the misconceptions associated with this field, calling seafarers drunkards, womanizers, and so on. In reality, seafarers are the unsung heroes that nobody talks about and yet they keep on doing their jobs silently without expecting any appreciation for the job they perform.
So, the next time you use any of the mentioned items, do not forget about the seafarers who are working out there in the middle of the oceans trying to earn a living for their families and at the same time are also making sure that you get all of these things at the comfort of your homes.
Below we have listed the different types of commercial ships and the cargo carried by them.
|Type of Ship||Cargo Carried|
|Bulk Carrier||Coal, grain, ore, copper, etc.|
|RO-RO Vessels||Cars, trucks, semi-trailer trucks, buses, trailers, railway carriages, etc.|
|Reefer Ship||Fruits, meat, etc.|
|Container Ship||Chemicals, foods, furniture, machinery, motor- and military vehicles, footwear, garments, etc.|
|Liquified Gas Carrier||Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG), Liquified Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), etc.|
|Chemical Tanker||Palm oil, vegetable oils, tallow, caustic soda, methanol, etc.|
|Product Carrier||Clean petroleum products (CPP) e.g. – Gasoline, Naphtha.|
|Crude Oil Tanker||Unrefined Crude Oil|
Reasons to Join The Shipping Industry
Below we’ve mentioned some of the reasons why you should consider pursuing a career at sea.
1. Lucrative Salary
Merchant navy gives you an opportunity to earn high salaries in US Dollars unlike any other profession in our country.
2. Adventurous Life
A career in the merchant navy is unlike any other regular, monotonous 9 – 5 job. It offers an adventurous life, as not a single day at sea, is ever the same as the day before. Every day you will face new challenges and explore various opportunities to learn something new.
3. Travelling the World
This profession gives you an opportunity to visit some of the most exotic and beautiful places in the world, which most people only get to see through movies.
4. Experiencing New Cultures
In this occupation, one gets to interact with people from all over the world. This exposes an individual to various contrasting cultures across the globe. Therefore, this profession increases the adaptability of a person and also familiarizes him/her with the customs and traditions followed in different countries.
5. Tax Exemptions
Merchant Navy also gives you the benefit of enjoying tax exemptions on your hard-earned money. However, such exemptions are subjected to certain conditions. As seafarers work on international waters, they are exempted from paying taxes as long as they complete more than 183 days onboard.
Note – This rule differs from country to country however, in India it is 183 days.
6. Long Vacations
No other profession in our country will let you enjoy a vacation of 3 – 5 months like merchant navy does. Once you complete your contract, you will be able to take as long a vacation as you wish, and once you want to join back on a vessel you can give the readiness notice to the company and within a month you will be back onboard.
How to Join Merchant Navy?
These are the following ways through which you can join the merchant navy –
- Deck Side
There are two courses through which you can become a deck officer –
- Engine Side
There are three courses through which you can become a marine engineer –
Another way of joining the merchant navy is become an Electro-Technical Officer. An ETO is responsible for the functioning and maintenance of the electrical equipment onboard. An ETO is a licensed member of the engine department and reports directly to the Chief Engineer.
- GP Rating
In case you belong from commerce background or want to join the merchant navy after class 10th then you can pursue GP Rating and join the deck, engine or salon department depending on your interests and preferences.
As mentioned earlier, Merchant Navy gives you the opportunity to earn really high salaries in US Dollars, that too tax free. Imagine you are a Chief Engineer or a Captain working on Crude Oil Tankers, who makes around 14000$ a month that is equal to around 10 Lakh Rupees per month. Suppose you work for 6 months in a year, that means you’ll be making around 60 Lakh Rupees per annum completely tax free.
If most seafarers learn to invest their money in the right places from the very start of their career, then they can easily retire before the age of 40, that’s how much this profession gives you in terms of financial stability. Apart from Captain and Chief Engineer, other junior officers also get paid well, with the lowest salary for the junior-most officer being around 2500$ per month.
Future of Merchant Navy
Even though many people believe that with the advancement of technology, job opportunities in Merchant Navy will decrease. Let me tell you that they are completely wrong.
Merchant Navy offers an ocean of opportunities to skilled and talented young candidates who wish to pursue a career at sea and will continue to do so for many years to come.
Although in recent years there have been problems in this industry due to the flooding of junior officers and cadets, still if you patiently pursue your goals in this profession, you’ll be paid more than what most top IT companies are paying their employees in our country.
With commercial shipping being the backbone of the entire world trade, the opportunities in this field are only going to grow substantially in the coming time. And for those of you all worried about autonomous ships, just remember that even commercial flights have autopilot but it still takes two pilots to operate an airplane.
In this blog, we have given you a lot of information regarding Merchant Navy, and I am sure after reading this blog many of you must be completely awestruck with the salary and the glamorous lifestyle that this profession offers. But this field is much more than what is apparent to the naked eyes. So, we recommend you do thorough research about the nature of work onboard and the challenges that come with it, before you make up your mind to join this profession. But, once you do make up your mind, Merchant Navy Decoded is here to guide you towards a successful career at sea.
If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
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