To call the cargo shipping industry “big” would be to vastly understate its size. In 2011, the international freight shipping fleet consisted of 55,138 ships, and in 2013, these cargo shipping companies prepared 9,548 million tons of freight. The trade done by international shipping companies is believed to account for about 60% of all seaborne trade, believe it or not.

With an industry that big, there’s bound to be a sizable impact on the environment, but what you may not know is that cargo shipping is actually green, all things considered. Here’s how.

The Environmental Impact.
A study from 2009 found that the 15 biggest ships in the entire world actually gave off the same amount of greenhouse gas as 760 million cars. That’s about two cars for each and every American. Now, to be fair, that is a lot, and that is only 15 ships. However, they’re the 15 biggest ships, and a regular cargo ship’s engine has about 1,000 times more power than a family car.

Still the Greenest, Though.
Now, that being said, the cargo shipping industry is still comparatively greener than both trucks and planes, if you can believe it. In other words, if you want to ship something with the smallest impact on the environment, you’d best go by sea, rather than land or air. (Not to mention the fact that cargo shipping is incredibly cheap, too.)

It’s Wary of What’s Going On.
The shipping industry doesn’t have its head in the sand about what’s going on in the world. In fact, it was one of the first industries to actually adopt the widely implemented international safety standards, if you can believe it.

If you’d like to know more about cargo shipping, use a global trade directory to locate a company near you. If you have any questions, feel free to share in the comments.