If you thought there weren’t many fascinating things about the cargo shipping industry, think again. Here are a few of the most interesting facts you never knew.

Cargo Shipping Crews Have Little to No Means of Communication.

Believe it or not, about two-thirds of cargo shipping crews in the world have little to no means of communication when they’re out on the open seas. Only about 10% have freely available Internet! Considering the fact that a container ship travels the equivalent of three-quarters of the way to the moon and back in just one year during its regular journeys, that’s a lot of time to be disconnected from the outside world.

The Cargo Shipping Industry Is a Pillar of Economic Growth and Stability.

Each and every single international trading company is a major contributor to the economy. Trade actually drives about 80% of the poverty reduction that’s lifted 500 million people around the world above the poverty line in the past 15 years. Take Asia, for example. About 40 years ago, it was the poorest continent in the world — twice as poor as Africa is today — but it’s now the fastest growing economy, and is twice as rich as Africa today. U.S. international trade is no joke either. In 2011, the nation’s international shipping companies supported about 9.7 million jobs.

Despite Their Power, Cargo Shipping Vessels Are Fairly Green.

A cargo shipping vessel’s engine has about 1,000 times more power than the standard family vehicle, but emits far less greenhouse gases in comparison. In 2009, the 15 biggest ships emitted as much greenhouse gas as about 760 million cars. In comparison to trucks and planes, shipping is actually the greenest form of transport, relatively speaking.

If you know of any other interesting facts about the cargo shipping industry, feel free to share in the comments.