Logistics: Why Ships No Longer Go To Sea


June 15,2008: Navies are facing a crises because of rising fuel costs. Last year, these costs went up fifty percent, and another 25 percent jump is expected this year. Oil prices have been growing steadily over the past decade, as the huge economies of India and China both experienced strong growth. Global GDP has grown from $29 trillion to $48 trillion (a 65 percent jump) in the last decade, but oil production has not kept up (increasing 10 percent, while natural gas went up 29 percent and coal 40 percent). Defense spending was up 45 percent in that period, meaning that most navies (and air forces) are responding to the skyrocketing fuel prices by spending fewer days at sea. Fuel oil for ships is now approaching $600 a ton. A destroyer, moving at high speed, can burn over 100 tons a day. A large aircraft carrier is, at current fuel prices, much cheaper to run on nuclear power, than fuel oil. Even smaller ships burn a lot more fuel in aggregate.

All this means crews get less training, and naval chores get less attention. This is great news for smugglers, pirates and terrorists, who can expect to see fewer warships out on patrol, as the price of fuel keeps rising.


Article Archive

Logistics: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close