The shipping industry has become incredibly essential as we become more and more globalized. You as an individual can order clothes online from another country, and your order will show up at your home within a few weeks, possibly even days. A large company can receive produce from across the ocean to sell at their own stores. This is why you can buy bananas all year round even if you live in Colorado.
At any given moment, millions of tons of clothing, produce, electronics, and cars are crisscrossing the globe in a massive international trading network.
As we become more and more dependent on other nations, and they become more dependent on us and others, international freight shipping becomes a vital asset. In fact, roughly 90% of world trade is handled by the international shipping industry. While global trade is not a new phenomenon, these networks grow stronger everyday.
Here are some facts you might not have known about the shipping industry.
If you’ve never been on a large boat in the middle of the ocean, you’ve probably never thought about this, but roughly two thirds of crews on ocean freight ships have zero means of communication while at sea around the world. This means they could be gone for months at a time with no way to contact their families.
Their hard work and dedication definitely pays off, though. Without them, the United States would not be able to receive two thirds of our national oil supply. That means we wouldn’t be able to fuel the many of the trucks that are involved in the shipping industry as well.
Every year, a single container ship regularly travels 75% of the same distance it would take to get to the moon and come back. Plus, there are roughly 20 million shipping containers traveling the oceans at any one point in time.
Of course, international shipping is often intermodal, which means goods travel the seas, the skies, the rails, and the roads. Not only do trucks ship tons of cargo now, but the trucking industry is expected to grow by 21% in the next decade.
Without these shipping methods, the world as we know it today would cease to exist. The next time you pick up a banana at the market in the middle of the winter or buy new shoes from across the ocean, thank someone who works in the freight shipping industry.
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