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Cable lying vessel, as the name implies, are those ships or vessels that are primarily designed to lay cables offshore or in deep waters. The importance of the cable laying ships has increased due to recent advancement of communication systems, which ultimately require powerful and effective transmission lines. Cable laying operations such as fiber optics for telecoms, power cable for power transmission from offshore wind farms, and umbilical installation in offshore oil & gas operations utilize cable laying vessels.

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Cable laying ships are designed specifically to cater to the cable laying operation; however, since cable laying operations are not frequent, these vessels are also employed for other purposes such as research and monitoring of the ocean floor. Cable laying vessels are equipped with modern technology of dynamic positioning and dynamic tracking systems in order to simplify the intricate operation of laying cables. The vessels are able to track the pinpoint location due to these systems, thus making the cable laying operation smooth and simple. The size of the vessel depends upon the type of equipment installed on the deck such as carousels, trencher, ploughs, cranes, and accommodation capacity.

Cable laying vessels are used for both, laying the cable as well as repairing damaged lines. Thus, based on operation type, the cable laying vessel market can be segmented into cable laying operation, cable repairing operation, and combination (cable laying & repairing). Some of the advanced cable laying vessels are equipped with the facilities of cable laying as well as repairing. In terms of cable laying capacity (in tons), the cable laying vessels market can be segmented into below 1000, 1000 – 3000, 3000 – 5000, 5000 – 7000, and 7000 & above. The most common range is 4000 to 6000 tons of cable laying capacity. This capacity directly depends on the carousels (turn tables) installed on the deck of the vessel. Based on operating water depth, the cable laying vessel market can be segregated into shallow water vessel and deep water vessel.

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Major players operating in the cable laying vessels market are Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V., Van Oord, IHC Merwede, ABB, Damen Shipyards Group, ASEAN Cable ship Pte Ltd., Blue Offshore, Global Marine, Engineering Technology Applications Ltd., and SIEM OFFSHORE CONTRACTORS.