Size of container ship fleet 2022, by nationality of operator
In January 2018, the global cellular container fleet had a capacity of around 21 million twenty-foot equivalent units, or TEUs. One TEU is the shipping industry’s standard unit of measure, which denotes the capacity of an ISO freight container. Such standard freight containers are also called intermodal containers because they can be transported via three different modes of transport: via sea, rail and road. Intermodal freight transport is a method that once revolutionized cargo handling by reducing the damage done to goods stored inside containers and by dramatically expediting cargo-handling operations. Some 60 years ago, cargo shipping was a lot more expensive and time consuming. As a result of the introduction of standard containers, the volume of seaborne trade has grown significantly over the past six decades. This trend can still be seen today. The tonnage of international seaborne cargo loaded in containers increased by around 833 million metric tons between 2005 and 2017.