Water Transportation Industry - Statistics & Facts

Although seaborne container traffic accounts for the smallest share of the estimated 10.8 billion tons of global seaborne trade, containerized freight is often more valuable per ton. As a result, global seaborne container trade is believed to account for about 60 percent of worldwide seaborne trade in terms of value. When transported in containers, the freight - mainly comprised of consumer goods - can be moved interchangeably by commercial vehicles, railroads and container ships. At ports, container ships are loaded or unloaded by cranes at container terminals. PSA International is the world’s leading marine terminal operator, followed by Hutchison Port Holdings of the British Virgin Islands. The largest port in the United States, the Port of Los Angeles, generated a little over 440 million U.S. dollars in revenue in 2016. The Port of Los Angeles is operated and managed by the City of Los Angeles.


The countries with the highest quality of port infrastructure in 2016 include the Netherlands with an overall rating of 6.8, Singapore with a rating of 6.7, as well as the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong, both with a rating of 6.4.

In 2015, Kuehne + Nagel was ranked as the world’s leading ocean freight forwarder. In 2016, Kuehne + Nagel generated worldwide revenue of about 16.5 billion Swiss francs. As of April 3, 2017, the world’s leading container ship operators based on TEUs were: APM-Maersk, Mediterranean Shipping Company and CMA CGM Group.

* The abbreviation TEU stands for twenty-foot equivalent unit, a standard unit of measure in the shipping industry used to describe the capacity of container ships and terminals.

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