The challenges facing Tuvalu in the area of domestic shipping are stemmed from many different factors. Typically, scholars identify issues such as long distances, small market economies, ports, infrastructure, technology, resources, experience and management, reliability of shipping services, natural disasters, and subsidies (Mies et al., 2017). Direct measures to combat poverty and social problems are also related to inland shipping, so addressing these problems also involves addressing supply issues (Semeli, 2020). It provides local employment (including women) in ship management, operation, and maintenance (Kotema, 2019). Despite its small population, Tuvalu will have a sufficient number of seafarers capable of performing the necessary functions. However, due to the lack of education and licensing, many people suffer from unemployment and the port from a lack of funds for modernization.
Inland shipping in Tuvalu faces complex, wide-ranging challenges. These include political and commercial pressure, ineffective enforcement and enforcement of legal requirements, and a lack of capacity to supply and maintain ships, machinery, and life-saving equipment. (Cheung & Hong, 2019). Governments are primarily responsible for ensuring that boats are operational and do not risk the lives of those on board and beyond (OPOC, 2021). More data is needed on the status of the shipping fleets serving Tuvalu countries, which is a significant obstacle to solving problems.
Scientists speaking about ways to solve the problems of inland navigation in Tuvalu emphasize that this will require additional funding. Significant expenditures are required for the purchase of materials and the employment of workers off the island to maintain a good state of navigation (Asian Development Bank, 2021). Given the previous studies reviewed, it can be noted that such pathways are also a potential problem due to the lack of adequate funding. In addition, it can be seen that such projects to improve the situation of inland navigation are mainly aimed at improving the quality of ships (Kotowska et al., 2018). It can help in solving many economic issues, such as fighting unemployment and improving the general standard of living of people.
At the present stage, the modernization of old ships with new technologies is complex, primarily because of the poverty of the country. For the remote nation of Tuvalu, where more than 11,600 people live on nine outlying islands, shipping is the only means of transportation (PRIF, 2020). The lack of safety culture due to the overcrowding of ships, both cargo, and passenger, has a lot to do with it. Keeping communities connected, receiving goods, and accessing essential services requires investment to bring shipping businesses to a sufficient level (Saner et al., 2019). The proposed acquisition may be to maximize the benefits of the Asia-Pacific Development Bank.
Tuvalu utilizes shipping technology in novel ways that should include different ways to create ships that use the existing fleet to develop other methods to propagate the practice. The islands figure that creating new ships will require resources the areas do not have and would need time to develop, leading to reduced income from these ventures. In this matter, Tuvalu should note the importance of shipping to its economy and determine if it can modify its fleet without losing too much income, which would reduce its capacity to operate in the market. It is crucial to note that Tuvalu works in a market with significant competitors such as Norway, China, and Japan. It has to develop better technology and shipping mechanisms that impede the further growth of its competitors.
The best notion entails the development of shipping tools that are currently not evident among the countries’ competitors. It is crucial to note that ports do not have a monopoly over their jurisdictions if they do not have items to procure or trade. In this way, they have a significant issue related to developing new ships that can operate within its borders and offer products and services to other areas (Lorange, 2020). Tuvalu is uniquely positioned to create novel shipping technology due to its shipping heritage. However, it does not have the financial capacity to come up with these designs faster than its competitors as they have the backing of larger governments. Therefore, Tuvalu takes advantage of maritime boundaries and hopes its current borders will provide sustenance before it can develop better equipment for its economic progress.
Tuvalu’s scope in terms of islands where it can operate spans a large area that should work as an advantage for its economic growth. Its reliance on fishing is a significant concern due to the lack of diversification in the field. Nonetheless, Tuvalu has a shipping monopoly that helps most residents avoid issues related to poverty and maintain a favorable position in the shipping market. Despite its size and population, Tuvalu operates in a dwindling market and could prevent overfishing within its borders through favorable fishing methods and avoiding other countries’ borders. In this way, it has developed a culture centered on shipping, a factor that is continually gaining ground in contemporary economies as the world becomes more integrated.
Furthermore, Tuvalu needs to boost its living standards, an issue that is relatively easy when using its shipping routes. The countries do not have a large fleet but may consider gaining some from their business partners in exchange for favorable shipping rights. In this instance, Tuvalu would lose in terms of economic gain while simultaneously developing its fleet and increasing its shipping capacity worldwide. This would play a significant part in the creation of a shipping economy as more people would have work in the sector. Additionally, this move provides Tuvalu with extra ships for its operations and limits the potential for its competitors to alleviate its source of funding. Therefore, as Tuvalu improves its shipping potential based on these deals, it boosts its business in the area through increased employment opportunities if the ship proves favorable and promotes future deals of such design. In this way, Tuvalu operates in a significant area that requires considerable investment and commitment to ensure it does not put its people’s work at risk while maintaining a favorable position in the shipping industry.
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