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Article 1 (Nov 2021): Global seaborne shipping carries vast quantity of goods

November 30, 2021
If you have seen empty shelves at your local stores in the last few months, that might be because of the traffic jam in ocean shipping, which is responsible for much of what we buy.
Maritime shipping networks transport an estimated 80 percent of goods. Roughly 90 percent of bulk dry manufactured goods, including electronics and clothing, are transported across the oceans.
Many goods are shipped in standardized ISO shipping containers that typically measure 8 feet wide and either 20 or 40 feet in length. That said, shipping containers may vary in size depending on the goods shipped. Ultimately, container trade is responsible for roughly 60 percent of seaborne trade.
Shipping is often measured in Twenty-foot Equivalent Units with one 8 x 20 container counting as single unit, or TEU. In 2000, global container port traffic measured just under 225,000,000 TEUs. As of 2018, world-wide container port traffic came in a bit under 800,000,000 TEUs.
Shipping company Costamare reports that there are 5,461 container ships currently in service, with a total capacity of 24.6 million TEUs as of August 2021. The Organization of Economic Development believes that maritime trading volumes will triple by 2050.  To put the size of modern ultra-large container ships into perspective, American Nimitz aircraft carriers, among the largest warships ever constructed, measure 1,092 feet long. As such, the biggest container ships are nearly a football field longer.
Container ships aren't the only type of ocean cargo ships. In some cases, special ships are built to transport specific products, such as automobiles. With roll-on roll-off cargo ships, you can drive cars directly into covered cargo holds, where they are then secured. Upon reaching the destination port, cars can be driven off the ship and prepared for overland transport.

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