Working onboard a ship

The shipping industry is responsible for 90% of all trade. More than 50,000 commercial vessels transport cargo across the vast oceans.

Container ships are one of the most popular merchant vessels. They make up approximately 10% or just over 5,000 boats.

It can be challenging to manage a container ship. To perform each task efficiently, it takes a highly skilled crew who has been through years of training.

Depending on the size and composition of the container vessel, crew members typically consist of at least 20 people, including the captain and engineer, in the engine rooms.

3 Things To Expect While Working on a Cargo Ship

Cargo ShipWorking onboard a ship may feel like an exciting adventure for you. You sail out to the sea, visit new places, and earn double what you make right now.

But some aspects of working on a ship might surprise you, such as your living quarters and the people you’ll meet.

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#1. Cabins for the crew

If you’re coming as a crew member and not a high-level officer, expect that your living quarters will be small and crowded.

Most likely, you’ll be sharing your room with another crew member. You may even live in a cabin with four to five other people.

That means you’ll have to work on your communication skills, too. It’s best to get along with your shipmates, especially since you’ll stay together for a long time.

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Also, since you’ll be sharing a room with others, you need to know the proper etiquette in a situation like this.

If you’re a smoker and your roommate isn’t, look for another place to smoke. If your roommate is a smoker and you’re not, ask him politely to smoke somewhere else.

On top of that, you should always try to maintain your bunk bed as clean as possible. Now, if it looks like your roommate is a slob, you could ask him politely to tidy up.

But if your request is met with defiance, talk to your superior about your roommate, and he might be able to remedy your situation.

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#2. Feelings of loneliness

You may initially be excited to get on a ship and start your career in the freight or shipping industry. But, after a couple of weeks out in the sea, you feel a little bit homesick, and you might even choose to stay on land after your contract with that ship is made.

Don’t worry if you feel homesick or lonely right away. It’s normal; every seaman in any maritime manning agency has experienced this.

You’re feeling lonely because you’ve fallen into a routine that’s starting to bore you, and you’re far away from your family and friends that you feel so isolated.

It doesn’t help that all you see is water whenever you look out of the ship. To fight off feelings of loneliness, you can start a new hobby, work out in the ship’s gym, or while away your time watching movies or reading books.

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You can also befriend your shipmates and learn more about them. If you have a wonderful camaraderie with your shipmates, you’ll have more time sharing stories with them than sulking in one corner and thinking of home.

#3. Calling home is expensive

calling home
It may be challenging to call home, depending on the ship you’re working on. Because of their advanced communications system, it may be easier to call home or send emails to your family and friends if you’re working on a cruise ship.

If you’re working on a cargo ship, better prepare yourself to be unable to talk to any of your family members for a couple of months while you’re out in the open sea. Also, please be warned that it may be expensive. So, make your call quickly, and make it count.

These are some things you’ll encounter once you board a ship. So consider that life onboard a boat is exciting, and the money is also good. But, also be aware of the downsides of preparing for or even avoiding them.