Ships have gone great strides in the last 50 years.
The Liberties and T2s of the 40s have become the Panamaxs, Capesizes and VLCCs of today. 10,000 ton dwt Liberties ran at 10 knots on 25 tons. 75,000 dwt Panamax Bulkers today run at 15 knots on about 30 tons. Advances in Materials, Engineering, Computers, Production and Management, on one hand, expansion and sophistication of Commerce and Finance, on the other, have given great growth to international shipping and great opportunities to shipbuilding. Consultants have played a positive and creative role in these developments and their contributions have been valuable and catalytic for both Shipowners and Shipbuilders.
A summary of progress in Dry Cargo Ships herebelow reflects the above. Interposed therein are notes on standardisation and series production, some lessons learnt from the motor and aircraft industries and resulting modern trends. The Liberty, SD14, Freedoms and current Panamax dry bulkers are then examined as typical examples. Finally we look into shipbuilding Contracts and Specifications and Shipowner/Shipbuilder negotiations, the influence of Charterers, Underwriters, Brokers, Bankers, Technology, Designers, Class, Machinery Makers and of course the Consultants, who act as coordinators among all these parties.
The design and building of ships requires collective, comprehensive, sophisticated and balanced work. It has to be well tuned at all its stages to ensure productivity in building, competitiveness in trading and to be always up to date.