The Author, of British Shipbuilders, surveys changes in seaborne trade over the past decade, and presents a comprehensive review of developments in merchant ships during the same period. Though the information given refers mainly to the U.K. fleet, it is broadly applicable to the world's fleets. The paper is arranged under the main headings:--A. Background. 1--Introduction. 2--Trading Background (World Trade--U.K. Trade--Passenger Traffic). 3--The U.K. Fleet. B. The Ships. 4--Passenger Ships. 5--Ferries. 6--Cargo Liners. 7--Container Ships. 8--Tankers. 9--Chemical Carriers. 10--Liquid Gas Carriers. 11--Tramps, Ore/Bulk, and Combination Carriers. 12--Roll-On/Roll-Off including Car Carriers. 13--Barge Carriers. C. Propulsion Systems. 14--Steam Plant. 15--Diesel Installations. 16--Other Power Units and Auxiliaries. 17--Fuel Cost. D. Summing Up. Under D., some brief comparisons are made between trends in the development of merchant ships and those of naval vessels. Trends within the merchant fleet are then discussed; they include, on the one hand, a move towards series-produced ships, and on the other hand a move towards specialised cargo-carriers; the challenge facing the shipbuilding industry may be the application of series production to custom-built ships. While there has been, over the decade, an adaptation of the cargo to the ship, as in container operations, there has also been an adaptation of the ship to the cargo, as in roll-on/roll-off traffic; in both cases, the ship becomes a more efficient vehicle. The rise in fuel prices has been so great that increased cost of transport cannot be prevented, but at the same time it provides a fresh incentive to designers and might lead to accelerated developments in propulsion or still greater increases in ship size.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • This is the 52nd Thomas Lowe Gray Lecture, presented in January 1980.
  • Authors:
    • Meek, M
  • Publication Date: 1980-3

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00316734
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: British Ship Research Association
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 8 1980 12:00AM