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Sea freight may be one of the slowest forms of freight delivery, but as one of the most economically and environmentally friendly ways to get your cargo overseas, it’s still a very valuable part of the freighting industry. Seafarers, Sailors, Shipmates – whatever title they prefer to go by, the staff on board cargo ships work hard on long journeys to keep the world’s freight safe, but what is like actually like? We’re taking a look at that, here.

Hard At Work

Life on board a ship isn’t all sunbathing and waiting around for the next port – in fact, there’s plenty of work to be done. Keeping the goods on board safe is a vital part of the journey and with the unpredictability of the ocean at times, checking and double checking is just a part of the daily routine.

There are various jobs on board a ship, all of which play an important part in the smooth nature of a journey. From the Captain, right down through Engineers, Officers and Electricians, keeping these huge ships running without a fault is a 24/7 job. Even the Master/Captain of the ship has more to do in a day than simply keep watch over everything – with responsibility for safety and maintenance, there’s a lot of pressure on two very well-versed shoulders. Keeping on top of payroll, accounts, inventories and customs and immigration regulations are also a huge part of the job.

Keeping Busy

From top deck all the way down to the engine room, keeping busy throughout the day is easier than you may think. If you aren’t working, finding things to keep entertained is all a matter of what you enjoy most. Whether it’s offering a helping hand to those still working away, keeping watch over the precious cargo on board or just marvelling at the moody seas they pass, seafarers on board a cargo ship are rarely lost for entertainment.

Reading, writing, painting, indulging in a binge of Netflix – these are all possibilities on board a cargo ship, but sailors have also been known to spend hours simply watching the passing waves with other ships travelling the same well-worn paths from port to port or being lulled into sleep by the gentle rocking. Interacting with on-board travellers is also possible in some cases, recalling tales of previous trips and memorable experience like no other, so this truly can be a social venture. Changing temperatures and temperaments offer something different with each day, so keeping busy really isn’t an issue on board.

Rest & Relaxation

When it comes to resting and relaxing after a day at work, it all depends on the cargo ship. Some can have everything from an onboard gym and pool to WiFi, DVD facilities and table tennis to keep employees occupied but relaxing can depend on personal preference. Some seafarers will enjoy sleeping at any opportunity, while others prefer to sleep less and stay active throughout long days. Sunbathing on deck, deck watching and catching up on a book or 10 can all help pass the hours between jobs. Whatever the choice, there’s always someone else around to offer a touch of social interaction and support when it’s needed.

Whether you’re simply curious about the life of a seafarer, or you’re looking to join this unique career, hopefully, we’ve given you an insight into just what to expect when it comes to life on board a cargo ship.

If you’re looking to ship your cargo via sea freight, feel free to get a free quote online today, or get in touch for more information regarding our services, today.


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Barrington Freight Ltd,
Bowden House,
Luckyn Lane, Basildon,
Essex SS14 3AX