What is international trade?

Some countries have a few commodities/natural resources more than their domestic needs. They sell these commodities in exchange for money, goods or products. This is called international trade. For example Saudi Arabia has surplus oil. It trades this oil countries all over the world in exchange for currency, heavy machinery and sometimes even technology.

How are these goods transported from one country to another?

Goods are transported from one country to another by means of cargo ships.

What are cargo ships?

Commodities and goods are traded internationally in hundreds and thousands of tons/cubic meters/containers/other units. In most cases it is not profitable to transport such huge quantities by air, rail or road. It is common knowledge that the sea forms only direct route between two countries. The ships that are built specifically to transport these commodities called cargo ships.

What is the merchant Navy?

The fleet of ships that carry commercial cargo from one place to another and the people who operate them [crew] is called the merchant Navy. The merchant Navy facilitates international trade.

Is the merchant Navy part of the defense forces?

No. The merchant Navy has no connection to the defense forces. Although the initial training and fitness requirements are similar the role of the merchant Navy is to facilitate international trade and this is best done during peacetime.

Why call it the merchant Navy why not something else?

In fact, the merchant Navy is also referred to as merchant shipping, Mercantile Marine, commercial shipping and many other references in different countries. During its many wars, Britain was supported by its national merchant Marine to supply its troops. In recognition for its services the merchant Marine was given the title of the merchant Navy. We follow the British system and therefore we too call it the merchant Navy.

What are the various ranks and departments of the merchant ship?

Like all organizations, the crew of a ship is also divided by rank and by department.
A cargo ship has three main departments:
1. Navigation or deck department take care of the navigation and gives the ship direction from point A to point B.
2. Engine department runs and maintains engines that propel the ship from point a to point B
3. Catering department take care of the housekeeping and the catering.

Each department is divided into rank:•
DECK DEPARTMENT
Captain / Master
chief mate/first officer
second mate/second office
third mate/third officer
GP rating

ENGINE DEPARTMENT
chief engineer
second engineer
third engineer
fourth engineer
fitter/machinist
GP rating

Totally how many people work in a ship?

This is referred to as the ships complement. Depending on the type of operation the ships complement could very between 16 to 25 people. The ships complement other than the Captain is called the ships crew. The captain of the ship is commonly referred to as the master.

Which is the best department to work on a ship?

Depends on your interests and needs. It is very difficult to advise you on which would be the best department to work on the ship. If you interest lies in engineering or mechanical then you should probably choose the engine department. However, if you interest lies in steering the ship or navigating the ship from one place to another it is best to choose the deck department.