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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 09, 2020
Headline for 6 Fascinating Facts on Shipping – Set Sail on a Knowledge Quest!
Joanna James Joanna James
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6 Fascinating Facts on Shipping – Set Sail on a Knowledge Quest!

Shipping is a part of our lives; while we may not directly be connected to the industry, chances are we have used, are using and / or will be using products that have been brought from other countries via container ships! Here are some absorbing facts about all things shipping.


It's Nothing New

While the technology and ships may have been modernised, shipping has been around for ages and is one of the world's oldest industries. It dates back thousands of years when during simpler times, merchants and seafarers would travel to different ports around the globe and engage in trading and transporting goods.


Travel Vast Distances

Cargo ships have to travel vast distances across the ocean to reach their destinations. This will help put it into perspective; in general, during the course of a year, a container ship will voyage across the ocean to cover a distance which is equal to travelling three-fourths of the way to the moon and back. That is some serious mileage indeed!


One of the Safest Options

When it comes to commercial transport, shipping is still one of the safest options available. Even back in the 19th century, the industry adopted international safety standards which have paved the way for this. The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is amongst the key organisations that regulate safety in the shipping industry; with ships carrying around 90% of the commodities in the world, it is good to know that safety is a priority.


Plenty of Ships & Containers

Did you know around 55,000 merchant ships are sailing across the ocean? These include everything from container ships to cargo ships. Of course, many of these different vessels are engaged in shipping containers of which, the number is approximately 20 million or more! It's a good thing that Global Container Terminals the likes of South Asia Gateway Terminals (SAGT) which can be found at the Colombo Port feature cutting-edge machinery to deal with the growing number of shipments.


The Ships Are Huge

While you may know container ships are huge, do you realise just how big they can get? The massive ones can, in fact, reach lengths of around 400 metres and can accommodate a staggering 20,000 containers. The larger the ships and the more they carry, the greater the economies of scale which will reduce costs; in the quest for more cost-effectiveness, who knows how much bigger ships will get!


It is Cost-effective

Shipping is quite economical especially when it comes to transporting large quantities of goods or cargo. While certain governments may impose high import duties, the actual cost for shipping bulk items is relatively less. Just how cost-effective is it really? A popular example used is that you can ship Scottish cod to a faraway country like China, have it filleted and sent back for less of a cost than to have people in Scotland complete the same task! That said, additional factors such as the relatively low cost of Chinese labour should also be taken into consideration.