Introduction to the history of the Maritime Industry

Cribb has been working with companies in the maritime sector for many years, and this is an area that interests us. That’s why we want you to discover it. The history and evolution of the maritime industry are long. The sea routes are the oldest means of transporting goods. At first, people used them with simple logs to which the goods were attached with ropes. Later, when larger goods had to be transported, people put several logs together. Most often, merchants used the sea routes to avoid land convoys, which were often plundered.

The first traces of real ships date back to ancient Egypt. These boats moved with sails and oars. The first notable development of ships took place during the first maritime expeditions. Originally, they were designed to carry as much cargo as possible on the river with as little labour as possible. For sea expeditions, they had to be equipped with more oarsmen, as navigation was more difficult due to ocean currents.

The history and evolution of the maritime industry.
The first real ships date back to ancient Egypt.

An international vision

Navigation had a great influence on the development of civilization and the life of seafarers at sea. Around the same time, the Romans invented ships that could cross the Mediterranean in about a month. These ships were used to transport low-value goods such as grain and building materials.

From the VII to the XIII centuries, the Arab empires began to develop trade routes through Asia, Africa and Europe. The sea routes enabled people to trade and explore internationally. After the establishment of sea routes around the world, people began to create faster routes. The most famous of these routes is the Suez Canal, which was created between the 19th and 20th centuries to travel between Europe and Asia without crossing Africa. This period also saw the development of cruise ships and the expansion of leisure travel.

At the end of the XXth century, container transport developed, which gave rise to today’s shipping industry. The development of this ship was rather slow. The industry has developed greatly in the last 150 years.

If you want to learn more about this history here is a quick interesting video on it.

The technological evolution in the Maritime Industy

The first development was seen on board to adapt to different marine environments. The technology itself also underwent a great evolution. The first instrument was the astrolabe, which was used to predict the positions of the sun, moon, planets and stars. The navigator used other instruments such as a magnetic compass and a compass. The dates of manufacture of these devices are not known. However, we know that they were used by the Chinese army between 960 and 1279.

The history and evolution of the maritime industry.
Maritime and navigation technology has undergone a great evolution.

As mentioned earlier, the industry has made great strides in the last 150 years, especially in the 1950s when shipping containers were invented.

The first man to do this was Malcolm Mclean, who stacked metal crates on a ship. This method allowed goods to be better protected and more of them to be transported. By the 1980s, most industrial goods were transported around the world in containers. This was the beginning of globalisation.


Today, the shipping industry continues to grow. Ships are getting bigger and bigger and can carry more than 20,000 containers each. In addition, ships are becoming more autonomous as technology advances. An autonomous ship is an unmanned vessel that is controlled remotely from a virtual land bridge. This new technology poses new problems. The most important problem is cyber threats in the maritime industry.

If you are interested in cyber security in this sector, here is our article on the subject.