Critical Assessment of Maritime Policy Essay

Critical Assessment of Maritime Policy


National Shipping Policy is determinedly carved in the political and economical consciousness of many nations. It has an extensive history and will analyze the effect of globalization. The deregulation of world shipping began even before globalization became a familiar force in trade policies. Globalization will inexorably strengthen liberal trends in the world of shipping. There is still argument that shipping is an exclusive case and therefore it needs renewal of national shipping policies in many sectors.  The public at large and the policy makers should be given regular education and it also needs continuous vigilance due to this factor. Some factors of maritime areas such as the safety and environmental issues, labour that includes certification and training require invariable attention from the government. The vital change in the corporate governance and technology brings in request for new needs. The realities of global logistics will require a new definition of the maritime policy scope and objectives in the coming years (a Palgrave Macmillan Journal). It is analyzed that in the last two decades shipping has experienced intense restructuring and is categorized by trends in the way of globalization and is in search for a more competent combination of input. The OECD countries ship-owner are dependent on the growing flags of expediency. Whereas the maritime countries that are new mainly from Pacific Asia have materialized taking the benefit of supportive national environments and low-cost inputs. The tackling of preamble of the International ship registries was done by the traditional maritime countries in the late 1980’s. One of most non-interventionist is the Norwegian International Ship Registry and has achieved great success (Informaworld).

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Contrast the National and Regional Shipping and Port Policies

A large part of the UK port industry is owned privately and the investment in the new facilities is market focused and offered at a nil cost to the exchequer. The significant port companies in UK have changed their ownership in recent times. But it cannot be proved that these changes are resulting into operational or commercial policies changes of the concerned ports. The Government re-evaluation is whether such development in the port competence can be safely left to depend on the market or should the Government adopt a dominant role by formulating national strategy for the development of the port. The private ports account for 66% of the industry whereas the trust port account for 25% and 9% of the local authority sector. The trust port sector consists of several ports for instance the Port of London wherein the handling of cargo is totally in control of the private sector companies. It can be analysed that 84% of the cargo is handled by the private companies.

Though there are no vital changes in the industry structure since privatization has been terminated in the year 1997, changes can be seen in the private port ownership especially in the last twelve months. This has resulted in the country’s terminal capacity as majority of the proportion is operated by the companies those have ownership outside UK. The regional development strategy and the related regional transport strategy are getting increasingly significant in influencing the priorities of the Government for advancement in the inland transport infrastructure. The ports form an important factor for generating traffic and economic activity. The industry is enthusiastic to work with regional assemblies, RDA’s and local authorities in the regional strategy development. However as the industry is focused on the market the regional development strategy will be determined by the development plans of the ports. Up till now the contribution of the regional development strategies are erratic. As the efficient rail and road links are critical for thriving port. This due to the reason that the regional transport strategy tend to be manipulated by the requirements of the passenger transport to the damage of freight (Inquiry into UK Ports Industry). The world trade constantly is shifting to the global markets and this has led to new demands especially on ports. The economy of UK mainly is dependant upon the international trade. The competitiveness depends mainly on the economical, easy, quick and the secure movement of goods and people. The national interest that the ports serve made it possible to handle the current potential development and UK trade constantly and resourcefully. The principle is to not only fulfil the immediate demands of the consumers but invest in facilities such as the safeguard communities and safety environment. The economy is in need of thriving ports industry. The shipping industry is such that it has to face rising expectations from the wider public and local communities apart from the consumer. The people are looking on for more responsible and open approach from that delegate with the powers and legal duties to run the ports. Their demand is ever for environmental standards and higher safety and security. Tonnages in the ports rise every year though only few Dockers handle it doing various jobs by utilizing new technology (Modern Ports a UK Policy). The organization that governs shipping and navigation in every country are known as the maritime law. This law is determined by the ship’s flag. For instance the ship flying American flag in Europe is subject to the American maritime law.

Safety, Social and Economical Management of Shipping.

Safety Management

There are many statutory regulations that govern the shipping industry. These regulations support the shipping pollution prevention and safety efforts at both the National and International level. The characters of shipping business permit to carry the flags that depict the objectives of the company. Some of the flag authorities give more consideration to the performance of their registered vessels for environmental and safety consciousness. Some of the other authorities known as the flag of convenience, move towards the problem in a more diplomatic manner. As per the OECD in the world commercial fleet sub standard ships has been estimated to be at 10 – 15%. Vetting inspections are the solutions that Maritime Industry has given to solve such problems. These inspections are performed in the chemical tankers, bulk carriers, and oil tankers. This vetting inspection makes a strong commercial incentive for the operator of the ship to meet the terms of the inspection. As the result of this inspection decide whether the ship gets cargo. The external audit are said to have a minimal effect on the ships prevention of pollution and ship’s safety due to the shipboard operations. The focusing was on the technical problem but later on as there was advancement of the technical system the reason for the accidents was put on the individuals who were directly related with the operations. The Piper alpha the major accident investigation have documented that the reason failure of operators and equipments lie deeply in the safety culture and safety management of the organization. The TMSA have provided 12 safety guidelines rules for the operators of the ship who want to accomplish the environmental and safety excellence. Some of the guidelines are navigational safety, management and recruitment of shore personnel, Maintenance and reliability standards, cargo mooring and ballast, operations, incident investigation and analysis, environmental management and safety management, measurement analysis and improvement and such other related guidelines (Enhancing Quality and Safety Management in Shipping).

Social and Economical Management

The shipping management plan’s one of the key objectives is to improve environmental protections by creating an efficient and practical system to offer a safe and environmental responsible operation of vessels and reduce such risks as the shipping accident. These are based on the responsiveness and flexibility to the development in shipping operational practices and technology. It also involves regulatory standards and enforcements that are consistent with contemporary safety management system and international conventions. It considers minimisation strategies of risk based on common understanding among the stakeholder priorities and risks for the counter measures to minimize such risks. A partnership approach between the shipping industry and the regulators should be there for long term sustainability of the area. A safety and environmental protection culture promotion should be done such that it accepts the responsibility for environmental, social safety and economical outcomes and there should be reduction in extent for the human constituent in causation of the shipping industry. The key aspect is to support international recognitions of cultural, social and environmental implication and danger to safe navigation of large vessels in constituency. It plans for a wide and geographical remote area that distributes the resources for responding and monitoring the shipping movements and incidents. Contingency plans need to be regularly applied to respond to the incidents that can occur. It needs to manage the communication of environmental, cultural, economic, and social interests and influences. Improving monitoring and interaction with the shipping by utilizing emerging technological advancement. It augments the coordination between the interconnecting jurisdiction and dogmatic agencies that authorize the relation of management of shipping and reinforce coordination of response management that involves no pollution. Recognize and gratify the developments in the shipping industry that include trends to crew multi – skill larger ships and change the demography of global seafarers (Shipping Management Plan).

Analyze Current Issues related to Shipping and Ports.

The attention is focused on the environmental effect of shipping due to increase in carriage of larger volumes of hazardous cargos such as the petroleum products and crude oil and such other chemicals by ship in the 20th century. This is also especially due to the accident of several tankers that have resulted in large oil spills.  The key response has been intense on the operational and accidental discharge of oil into sea. The International and national regulation such as the Oil and Pollution Act (OPA) of 1990 in U.S. IMO MARPOL 1992 Amendments, Reg. 13F and G are forcing the world’s tanker fleet to be converted to double hulls. The MARPOL earlier needed segregated ballast tanks to prevent the discharge of oil residue subsequently to the use of the cargo tanks that hold ballast tank. The bilge and the ballast lately have identified as an intermediate for transport of non-indigenous genus to the latest host countries. One of the instances is the zebra mussel that has bought the United States from Europe in this manner. (Marine Policy: Shipping and Ports). The Air pollution is one of the issues that are related to the Shipping and Ports industry. The air pollution that is generated by the international ships that are occupied in global trade is creating an increasing rate of polluted air quality that in turn effect the health of the public and the communities that reside in the far inland and the coastal area. This pollution in air excessively harm the environment, human health, wild life habitats and the standard of the life of the people from poor communities or  people who live near the ports or along the rail routes, along truck or the internodes facilities that carry cargo transport ships. Such global trade need to be acknowledged and measured as the international air pollution policy for ships is negotiated, discussed and adopted. These policies should aim to eliminate and minimize the current and the future air emissions impact on the communities and public health from the rising growth in international trade growth. Though the impact of community impacts and public health from the shipping emissions affect all people, there are certain people who benefit by higher human health, environmental and the community impacts from shipping emissions, international goods movement development activity in general and port expansion. Environmental injustice has been   identified in the United States as meaningful involvement of all people and fair treatment of all the people irrespective of race, national origin, colour or income related to implementation, development and enforcement of environmental regulations, policies and laws. (Air Pollution from Shipping Emissions). The in Europe maritime activities comprise a considerable fraction of anthropogenic emission of air pollutants. The International maritime shipping in Europe has led to SO2 and NOx emissions in the year 2000 that was about 30 percent of the emissions that are land based in the EU-25. Though the legislation is being executed to control emission from international shipping the rise in the volume of ship movements that are expected will recompense the environmental impacts that are positive of these measures and will result to further growth in the emissions from the ship. By 2020 it is assumed that the maritime activities will overcome the proposed baseline emission level form the land based sources and this will surpass the target level that are established by European Commission in Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution for the land based sources. This expected increase in the ship emission will neutralize the envisaged advantage of the costly effort that control the balance emission from the land based sources in Europe. It can be seen that the current emissions from ships is responsible for nearly 10 to 20 percent of the sulphur deposition in the coastal areas. This is expected to increase even further in to more than 30 percent in larger areas of Europe   and to nearly 50 percent in the coastal areas (Analysis of Policy Measures to Reduce Ship Emissions in the Context of the Revision of the National Emissions Ceilings Directive).

Research a maritime issue from a socio /political /economical perspective

Social and Operational Issue

The higher skill requirements, lower manning scales and large scale internationalization within few crews consist mainly of the national flag of registry that has bought many social issues with it. One of the social issue is increasing demand for the uniform of professional standards in terms of experience and skills that have resulted in the advancement of the lately announce IMO shipping board crew standards of qualification. The other social issue is the provision of the uniform shipboard accommodation standards. As there is decline in crew size the ship technology also change. The individual crew member functions become broader and at the same time they experience social isolation. The crews are generally organized in the national unions that are alienated into unlicensed and licensed seafarers. There is also increasing pressure towards change in traditional classification and designation of the seafarers. Though the nationalism of maritime is encouraging the national union and it often uses national citizens on national flag ships. It can be observed that more than 80% of overall world shipping and 43 % of world shipping are restricted to shipping registered under the flags of convenience by the DWT that are now managed by the mixed nationality crews. The People’s Republic of China has recently entered in this field of activity. Operationally ships not just call less often at the domestic ports of the crew dwelling even their stay is for short term. This has resulted into the shipboard crews spending most of their time on the board. They are offered facilities such as private baths and cabins, swimming pools, closed circuit television, 24 hour self food services and such other benefits. This has resulted into an impact on the relationship on board ships and social structure. As the officers and crew members are offered separate eating facilities by most of the vessels even though the food served and such other conditions are not differentiated. There is a change in the professional and traditional gap among the engineering and deck officers and crews due to the multipurpose shipboard manning when they both perform. The highly skilled and educated crew that are performing mainly few manual labour functions and monitoring this social separation between the crew and the officer is reducing (The World of Shipping Industry).

Economical and Political Issue

One of the crucial elements for the European trade is the transport that contributes to the welfare and standard of living. The Lisbon policy main objective is to enhance and maintain its competitive position in global trade. Thus to raise the economy internalization of external costs in terms of congestion and air emission has become important. Congestion is an externality that needs to be considered. Though, users of the congested transport modes or nodal points penalizing will not the basic problem. The maritime freight services need to get the cargos to the port whether by rail, road or inland waterways therefore if these infrastructure user are penalized it will not solve the purpose. Therefore the new investments in the extension and the port capacity of the hinterland connections have become the priority. Only penalizing congestion and not considering the infrastructure problem is subsequently going to result in increase in costs.

In addition, the added transport capacity will lead to fewer accidents; the costs of accidents being one of the forms of externalities the Commission’s proposal are looking for to cover within a charge. The reduction in air emission is a key priority that the governments all around the world are looking forward to. The maritime industry have agreed to the view of the Commission that for transport by sea and air international solutions need to be found and implemented considering the transport  modes global nature. The industry does not understand the relevance of performance measure that should have used to calculate external costs. These are standard measure used globally. The internalizing external cost should be used to address the externalities and develop the pertinent transport sector conditions. The context of all modes that includes transport by road should be realized as beneficiaries of investments that are used for raising revenues from the charges. The internalization of costs should be carried out with utmost care as this already the country bearing such trying economic times neglecting this aspect may lead to economic decline (MIF Group Transport Shipping).


The maritime shipping industry is one of the essential medium of transportation in the world. In today’s world success and prosperity are interrelated to international trade. Ships and ports constitute of 90% of the world cargo and offer flexible and efficient medium of transport. Though the shipping industry holds a history of protectionist regulation the industry is progressing efficiently. The protection and safety of the crew and the vessel of marine environment from the consequence of maritime accidents is receiving international attention. Though it is slow to adopt such new technologies the shipping industry is to adapt and progress to support the world transportation in the present industry (European Union Short Sea Shipping).


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