What is the Merchant Navy?

Well, for starters, it is not part of the armed forces so it’s not the militarized Navy that it is often so confused with.


Img courtesy: sakshieducation.com


The merchant navy, also called merchant marine, is the fleet of merchant vessels that are registered in a specific country and can be referred to as the commercial maritime fleet.

King George V bestowed the title of the “Merchant Navy” on the British merchant shipping fleets following their service in the First World War and since then a number of other nations have also adopted the use of that title.

Shipping plays an important role in the transport sector of India’s economy as approximately 90% of the country’s trade by volume (70% in terms of value) is moved by sea. India has the largest merchant shipping fleet amongst the developing nations and ranks 20th amongst the countries with the largest cargo carrying fleet.


off-shore vessel viking-fighter-lead
Img courtesy: ship-technology.com


The Merchant Navy comprises of ocean-going ships, vessels involved in coastal trade, off-shore vessels and also vessels involved in transporting cargoes to the hinterland via rivers. And these vessels are operated by highly trained personnel often numbering about 20 or less in a large ocean-going vessel.

If you would like to read more, the following articles will provide more information.

Life in the Merchant Navy

What are the ranks in the Merchant Navy?




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