With the continuous development of science and technology, dredging equipment and technology have been developed rapidly in the past hundred years, which can roughly be divided into three stages.
- The invention of the steam engine by Watt in Englandattheendof the 18th century triggered the industrial revolution in Europe and the introduction of mechanical dredgers powered by steam engines. At that time, people mainly used bucket type and scraper type dredgers. Since then, the dredging project had been in a new era that transferred from human-based to mechanical-based.
- In the middle 19th century, the centrifugal pump was invented, which was widely used for dredgers and conveying dredged soil. Then a new generation of suction dredgers appeared that applied the principle of hydraulic dredging. At the end of the 19th century, the diesel engine came into the world, replacing the steam engine and providing better power conditions for the emergency of large-tonnage, high-power, high-efficiency self-propelled trailing suction hopper dredgers, and cutter suction dredgers.
- After World War II, sea vessels promptly developed to large-scale, and during that time, supertankers, container ships, and bulk carriers with deep drafts appeared. So, the requirement to dredge deep-water channels and construct deep-water harbors to meet the development had greatly boosted the world dredging industry. Many large dredgers suitable for constructing in complex coastal conditions with the ability to dredge deep-water channels and harbors came forth. The emergence of large trailing suction hopper dredgers and cutter suction dredgers that can adapt to deep-water operations under harsh working conditions not only makes the construction and maintenance of deep-water harbor areas possible, but also change the geographical restrictions that dredging can only be carried out in inland rivers and lakes, greatly expanding the territorial scope the project, and also adds new content to the traditional dredging project, which is the combination of dredging and land reclamation or simply the reclamation project required for land reclamation.