Maritime Directory

Shipping Facts!!!

Shipping and World Trade

  • The international shipping industry is responsible for the carriage of around 90% of world trade.

  • Shipping is the life blood of the global economy. Without shipping, intercontinental trade, the bulk transport of raw materials, and the import/export of affordable food and manufactured goods would simply not be possible.

  • Ships are technically sophisticated, high value assets (larger hi-tech vessels can cost over US $200 million to build), and the operation of merchant ships generates an estimated annual income of over half a trillion US Dollars in freight rates.

To learn more about Ships as Assets and Ship Finance visit our article entitled: Finance

Safety and Regulation

  • Shipping is the safest and most environmentally benign form of commercial transport. Perhaps uniquely amongst industries involving physical risk, commitment to safety has long pervaded virtually all deep sea shipping operations. Shipping was amongst the very first industries to adopt widely implemented international safety standards.

  • Because of its inherently international nature, the safety of shipping is regulated by various United Nations agencies. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) in particular has developed a comprehensive framework of global maritime safety regulations, which are enforced on a worldwide basis.

To learn more about Shipping Rules & Regulation visit our article on the IMO with access to the IMO website: IMO Rules and Regulations

Environmental Performance

  • Shipping is the least environmentally damaging form of commercial transport and, compared with land based industry, is a comparatively minor contributor to marine pollution from human activities.

  • There has been a substantial reduction in marine pollution over the last 15 years, especially with regard to the amount of oil spilled into the sea, despite a massive increase in world sea borne trade.

To learn more about how our industry cares about the planet visit our article entitled: An Industry That Cares About The Earth

What about Efficiency?

Consider this:

Liner shipping is the most efficient mode of transportation of goods. In one year, a single large containership could carry over 200,000 container loads of cargo. While individual ships vary in size and carrying capacity, many container ships can transport up to 8,000 containers of finished goods and products on a single voyage.

Similarly, on a single voyage, some car carrier ships can handle 7,600 cars. It would require hundreds of freight aircraft, many miles of rail cars, and fleets of trucks to carry the goods that can fit on one large liner ship.

Ready for some fun facts???

  • Containerships have the capacity to carry several large warehouses worth of goods on a single journey.

  • A large containership engine weighs up to 2,300 tons has about 1,000 times more power than a family car.

  • Large containerships can be operated by teams of just thirteen people utilizing sophisticated computer systems.

  • The ships' computer systems are highly advanced, enabling the precise routing, transport, loading and unloading of thousands of containers for every voyage.

  • If all the containers from an 11,000 TEU ship were loaded onto a train, it would need to be 44 miles or 77 kilometers long.

  • In an average year, a large container ship travels three-quarters of the distance to the moon. That means in its lifetime it travels to the moon and back nearly ten times.

  • A container of refrigerators can be moved from a factory in Malaysia to Los Angeles -- a journey of roughly 9,000 miles or 14,484 kilometers -- in just 16 days. The cost to transport a bicycle from Thailand to the UK in a container is about US$10. The typical cost for shipping a DVD/CD player from Asia to Europe or the U.S. is roughly US$1.50; a kilogram of coffee just fifteen cents, and a can of beer - a penny.

For more information and facts on shipping visit: World Shipping Council and International Chamber of Shipping