8 Facts About The Shipping Industry

10 July 2020 Brijesh Mongia


Have you ever asked yourself how does the coffee or tea that you are drinking get to your table? Your coffee, your laptop, and your mobile phone were all, for sure, shipped in a container. 

As a matter of fact: 90% of the world’s commodities are carried by the international shipping industry. And this is good news, because aside of being the most affordable means of transport for international import and export, it is also the safest and most environmentally benign form of it.

Although shipping is the oldest industry in the world, most people know very little about this kind of industry. 


That’s why we put together some interesting shipping facts:

1. 6 types of merchant ships: 

The global fleet has 6 types of ships: tankers, passenger ships, container ships, fishing vessels, bulk carriers and general cargo ships. There are approximately 55,000 merchant ships carrying cargo around the world.

2. Tons of bananas: 

The largest ship can store 18,000 containers. That means it can carry more than 745 million bananas. One banana for each European.

3. Powerful: 

A container ship engine has about 1,000 times more power than an average family car. Nevertheless, big container ships only travel at 23 knots at peak. That means they travel 26.5 miles per hour.

4. A long journey: 

In one year, an average container ship travels the equivalent of 75% of the way to the moon and back during its regular travel across the ocean.

5. Biggest fleets: 

Germany, Japan and Greece are the 3 countries with the biggest fleet based on total dead weight tonnage controlled by parent companies located in these countries.

6. Great employer: 

Around 1.5 million seafarers are employed by the global shipping industry.

7. Male-dominated industry: 

Only 2% of all seafarers are female.

8. Communication challenges: 

Around 33% of ship crews in the world have no means of communication while they are on the open sea. Only 10% have any kind of internet access.

Containers carry a large percentage of the goods that impact our daily lives. We can not understand globalization without referring to containers. The importance of these steel boxes is undeniable.


Source: Ocean Insights