World Maritime Day — History and Significance

World Maritime Day is meant to recognise the importance of the maritime industry. It promotes innovations in the industry to improve maritime security, maritime environment, safety, and shipping. The day is marked every year on the last Thursday of September.


Immediately after World War II, the member states of the United Nations came together in Geneva to form the International Maritime Organization (IMO). The organisation was set up to develop a comprehensive regulatory and infrastructure framework for global maritime shipping.

Increasing globalisation, trade and passenger shipping had meant that the world urgently needed a regulatory framework. After the IMO was created, there were frameworks around issues of maritime safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical cooperation, maritime security and efficient shipping. Today, it has 175 member states and three associate members.

As part of the efforts to promote and recognise the importance of the maritime shipping industry, global stakeholders came together to observe World Maritime Day on March 17, 1978. Since then, the day is observed by numerous countries across the world.


The maritime industry is often called the lifeblood of the modern world as nearly all products have seen one component or the other being shipped across countries, if not continents.

When global logistics broke down in the immediate aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, various industries crawled to a halt as the global shipping industry was forced to pare its operations down. While logistical operations have more or less recovered since 2021, the period highlights the importance of the shipping industry.


The theme for World Maritime Day 2022 is ‘New Technologies for Greener Shipping.’ The shipping industry is one of the biggest consumers of fossil fuels. The theme aims to bring up the immediate need to support the industry in transitioning to be more green, in order to support a sustainable future.


Leave a Reply


8 − 5 =