Shipping is a huge part of everyday life and the size of steel ships and containers allow for enormous loads to be transported in one go. 90% of global cargo is carried by sea. 17 million shipping containers are currently in use across the world and the majority is made from steel. Without steel there would be no megaships.
Shipping consumes less energy and emits less GHGs compared to other modes of transport.
CO₂ emissions per tonne of cargo transported over 1 km by ship is 3g while by train and lorry truck it is 45g and 560g respectively.
The entire container voyage from China to Europe is equal in CO₂ emissions to approximately 200km of long-haul trucking in Europe.
A bottle of French wine shipped to New York has a lower carbon transportation footprint than a bottle of California wine transported by truck to the city.
Also, shipping goods by sea typically costs 12-16 times less than sending it by aeroplane.