Around 90% of world trade is carried by the international shipping industry.
Without shipping the import and export of goods on the scale necessary for the modern world would not be possible.
Seaborne trade continues to expand, bringing benefits for consumers across the world through competitive freight costs. Thanks to the growing efficiency of shipping as a mode of transport and increased economic liberalisation, the prospects for the industry's further growth continue to be strong.
There are over 50,000 merchant ships trading internationally, transporting every kind of cargo. The world fleet is registered in over 150 nations, and manned by over a million seafarers of virtually every nationality.
Different types of ship in the world merchant fleet
Global supply and demand for seafarers
World seaborne trade
Major shipping flags
Largest beneficial ownership countries
Twenty largest containership operators Predicted Increases in World Seaborne Trade, GDP and Population UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport (2016)