Maritime Companies

Maritime companies have been essential components of the global economy for an incredibly long time. As long as organized businesses have existed, and as long as humankind has needed to ply the seas, these businesses have served a number of different needs. Maritime companies engage in a broad range of different activities, including:

  • Shipping of general goods and products
  • Carrying passengers
  • Carrying freight
  • Oil and petroleum industry services, including drilling
  • Dredging and other near-shore operations
  • Supplemental and complementary services, including ferrying, supplying and much more

Examples of Maritime Companies

There are tens of thousands, perhaps millions, of maritime companies operating on the world’s waterways today. They range from local and regional service providers to some of the largest companies on the planet. For example, Royal Dutch Shell is technically a maritime company, as well as an oil company, and remains one of the most profitable on the planet.

Another example is Parker Drilling Company, which operates barges, drills, and other equipment to assist companies in the oil and gas sector, as well as other industries. Statoil ASA is another maritime company, and an example of a company created by a national government, although it was privatized eventually, and the Norwegian government now controls just over half of the firm’s public shares.

Laws Governing Maritime Companies

While maritime companies can be engaged in a number of different industries, they are governed by specific laws. Both state and federal maritime law apply to these companies, with specific elements including the Jones Act and the Longshoremen’s Act. The Jones Act was designed to protect seamen from negligence, unseaworthy vessels and more. The Longshoremen’s Act applies to harbor workers and others in the industry working on the shore, docks and around the harbor.

All US states have their own specific maritime law that applies to these types of companies, and the federal government’s maritime law can work in conjunction with state law, or supersede it depending on the situation.

Accident and Incident Types

Maritime companies and their employees can suffer any number of accident and incident types, depending on many different factors, ranging from sea conditions to weather, equipment maintenance, and a great deal more. Some examples include the following:

  • Sinking
  • Capsizing
  • Slip and fall accidents due to unsafe/unseaworthy conditions
  • Fires/burns
  • Explosions
  • Personal injury (back injury, traumatic brain injury, crushing injury, etc.)

Challenges Facing Maritime Companies

Maritime companies face a number of challenges due to factors within the organizations themselves, and from the environment. These include:

  • Piracy – Many parts of the world have seen an increase in piracy in recent years, including waters off Africa’s east coast. However, piracy can be found in numerous other areas.
  • Cyber Security – As the maritime industry becomes ever more reliant on technology, cyber security becomes increasingly important, and these firms are more and more in danger of being targeted by hackers and other cyber criminals.
  • Environmental Pollution/Damage – While many laws and regulations have been enacted governing maritime companies and their impact on the environment, one needs only to look at recent headlines to see that environmental pollution and damage are still on the rise, from the Deepwater Horizon accident in the Gulf of Mexico to wrecks, explosions, fires, sinking and more.
  • Worker Safety – While there are many responsible maritime companies in the world today, there are also those whose primary concern is profit, rather than worker safety.

For Those Injured

If you or a loved one has been injured working with or for a maritime company, it is essential that you work with an expert maritime attorney who understands this complex area of law and who can help you fight for your rights.