cargo shippingCargo shipping is a far larger industry than you’d ever believe. Here are just a few of the most amazing facts about the economic impact international shipping companies have.

It’s Actually Cheaper to Ship Things Away For Processing Than Take Care of Them Domestically.

Believe it or not, international freight shipping is so economically advantageous that it’s actually cheaper for some companies to have an international trading company take their product, ship it to thousands of miles away for processing, and have it brought back to be sold. In Scotland, fishing companies ship their cod 10,000 miles away to China to get filleted, because it’s cheaper than having Scottish filleters do the job. Now, obviously this is partly because Chinese labor is cheap, but it also speaks volumes about the low cost of cargo shipping.

The U.S. Is the World’s Largest Trading Nation… For Now.

The United States is the largest trading nation in the world, or at least it is for now. In 2011, U.S. goods and services supported about 9.7 million jobs, and exports of good and services contributing $2.1 trillion to the economy. However, nearly half of surveyed Asia-based companies plan to export more than 60% of their output in five years’ time compared to fewer than one-fifth of companies in the Americas. In other words, it seems like Asia is hungry to increase its shipping industry.

Cargo Shipping Companies Are a Massive Target For Criminals.

Because they’re such economic powerhouses, cargo shipping vessels are huge targets for criminals. Every year, more than 2,000 sailors die at sea, and a staggering two cargo ships are lost every day. In 2010, Somali pirates held 544 seafarers hostage, and in 2012, the attack rates on seafarers was actually higher than the number of violent crimes in all of South Africa, the nation with the highest crime rate in the entire world.

If you know of any other amazing shipping facts, feel free to share in the comments.