Globally, marine transportation is a large, important and growing industry, spurred by the requirements of an expanding world population, increasing global trade and its competitive advantage as the most cost effective and least polluting means of bulk transportation per unit weight. This segment includes merchant shipping and ferries as well as associated port and waterway facilities. Technological innovation in the sector is primarily aimed at improving cost efficiency and satisfying regulatory requirements resulting form international conventions pertaining to operational safety, security and protection of the environment.
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is arguably the most significant influence on this regulatory environment. A prevailing trend in marine transportation is towards increasingly larger vessels with smaller, often multinational crews. The future opening of the Arctic as a result of climate change will prompt a major shift in global shipping patterns and will present new challenges in terms of environmental protection, safety, surveillance and security. Modern day pirates and terrorists present a growing threat to marine transportation and a need for technological solutions.
The subsectors under Marine Transportation are: