Importance Of Conducting Regular Ship Maintenance

By: hugobarnes

Commercial shipping or freight transport is the first major step to delivering goods to end users. If trucks are at the top of the roadway hierarchy, ships top the list of useful vehicles that keep the economy in motion.

Commercial shipping has an estimated total of close to 90,000 ships. That's a lot more than most of us would assume. Recently, a calculation of the world's fleet carrying cargo comprised over 55,000 ships and a little over 1 billion GT. What does this tell us? That the commercial shipping industry will only grow which means there'll be a demand for repair services to keep fleets moving like clockwork.

Ships can last for more than 30 years. That's a very long time and making sure they function for that duration involves repairs, replacements and tweaks. Considering the sheer size of a commercial ship, work can extend to several months during which time the amount of money lost can be exorbitant. Just a day of having a ship out for repairs can translate to millions of dollars of loss in revenue. With so much at stake, it's so important that regular maintenance is carried out.

All ships must rely on planned maintenance systems which are a set of rules compiled by manufacturers and classification societies. Because there's so much at stake not only in terms of money but safety, above all, complying with these rules is absolutely necessary and mandated by law. Whatever repairs and parts replacement that must be done will also be inspected by licensed professionals using suitable technology.

Owners of ships must ensure that such checks are periodically made and that only qualified and properly licensed personnel are employed. Along a similar vein, care must also be taken to use only technology designed for planned maintenance systems. Backups of data must also be made because the information will have to be evaluated once checks are performed.

Unlike road vehicles like private cars where scheduled servicing consists of small examinations, some cleaning, and a change of important fluids, ships need tenfold care. The vessels are expensive too running into tens of millions of dollars not to mention the cost of fuel and the cost of running them. So, even minor damage that's not addressed immediately can mean loss of revenue running into a couple of million dollars a day. That's not counting the cost of paying the crew and keeping other systems up and running.

Planning maintenance systems comprise several programs or modules. Aside from the usual maintenance, they can cover a range of jobs such as crew management and payroll, similar to how eCRM works for corporations. Some of these jobs such as repair will fall to outsourced companies to perform. And just like any outsourced task, using only trusted companies is imperative. The task of keeping a ship in working order is no mean feat so it must be entrusted to a name that has years of experience behind it and plenty of updated working knowledge.

One of the many benefits of hiring such a company is that it can provide services other than repair like fabrication. This cuts the time taken to find a fabricator that can meet marine needs as well as guarantees a better outcome as the same quality standards followed by the company can be applied.

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