If you’re interested in international trade and how products make their way from one country to another, it’s well worth reading on to discover a wide array of fascinating trade and transportation facts from Umberto de Pretto. Many of which may surprise you. Especially if you’ve never really given a lot of thought to how large an exercise it is to transport billions of dollars worth of goods each year!

Fascinating trade and transportation facts that may shock you:

  1. 90% of the world’s exports are transported by the world’s top shipping companies

As it’s far too expensive for many businesses and nations to transport thousands of tonnes of merchandise, most businesses choose to ship their exports, instead of choosing to send their products by air. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that approximately 90% of the world’s exports are currently transported by the world’s most trusted shipping companies.

  1. There are currently over 50,000 commercial freighter ships which are used to transport exports from one country to another

As 90% of the world’s exports are shipped to their final destinations, there are currently over 50,000 freighter ships which continuously traverse the seven seas in order to transport the vast majority of the world’s exports.

As shipping products is a lucrative industry, some individuals with large amounts of disposable income choose to purchase shipping containers, which they’ll then rent out to a shipping company, in exchange for a lucrative return on their investment.

  1. Freighter ships generate a combined annual income of over half a trillion dollars

If you add up all of the annual incomes of all of the 50,000 commercial freighter ships which are responsible for transporting the world’s exports, the number which you’d get would be around half a trillion US dollars. Which is an incredible sum of money.

  1. The average freighter ship costs approximately $200 million dollars to build

You may be surprised to read that the average freighter ship costs around $200 million US dollars to construct. Which makes each freighter ship a huge investment for their freighter company, which is one of the reasons why freighter ships are usually insured for hundreds of millions of dollars.

  1. The largest air cargo plane can shift 640 tons

While the vast majority of exports are shipped by freighter ships, a fraction of global exports are transported by air as in some cases buyers may not have the patience to have their goods arrive by sea.

You may be interested to find out that the largest air cargo plane can comfortably accommodate a weight of 640 tons. In order to fit 640 tons of merchandise, the Antonov An-225 Myira is the longest airplane ever produced at 275 feet long and boasts an insane wingspan of 290 feet.

  1. The Airbus Beluga is a special plane which was designed to efficiently transport vehicles

While most cars are transported via sea, the Airbus Beluga can comfortably hold up to 36 full sized cars.

In conclusion, you may be stunned to learn that roughly 90% of the world’s exports are transported via sea rather than by air and that the largest cargo plane in the world can comfortably accommodate 640 tons of merchandise.