To understand shipping, one needs to understand the administrative control followed in the maritime industry. A ship trades worldwide, therefore the regulatory requirements to be followed by the ship need to be universal and common for all ships, irrespective of the country of registry. The Regulations for the ships are developed at the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), which is a body under the United Nations. These Regulations are discussed and adopted at IMO, which need to be ratified by the countries participating at IMO. Once the Regulations are ratified by the number of countries agreed in the Regulation, it is required to be implemented, uniformly across the globe.
Most of the readers must have seen the movie Titanic, story of a ship constructed using best of the technology in that era and believed to be unsinkable, yet not only the ship sank during her maiden voyage but also was the reason for the loss of more than 1500 lives. The builder thought did the best to construct the safest ship of the time, however, the best efforts were not enough. The expert analysis of the accident leads to the first known international requirement, called Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS). The SOLAS today covers all possible aspects related to regulations for ship construction, various safety aspects of ship’s hull, stability, fire safety, life-saving appliances, the safety of Communication, the safety of Navigation, carriage of cargo safely and many more. It is mandatory for all ships operating across the oceans to comply with the requirements of SOLAS. The requirements listed in SOLAS also keeps changing based on the review of the incidents happening to make the shipping a safer option for ships, her crew and the cargo loaded onboard ship.
The electronics have a major role to play in modern ships. The equipment used for communication and most equipment for navigational purpose require high tech electronics. We have discussed about basic equipment in Part I. Other communication equipment used on-board ship are Search and Rescue Transponder (SART), Navigation Telex (NAVTEX), Narrow Band Direct Printing (NBDP), Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB), DSC (Digital Selective Calling etc.
There is a need for corporates like D Link coming forward to participate in the communication technology for Shipping.