The Science Of ...

It's (largely) out of sight, but our way of life is based on global shipping

About 90% of world trade is transported on water.

The cost of global shipping is low due to large vessels, standardised containers and economies of scale.

The most crowded sea route is between China and the US, with goods travelling from China to the US four times higher than the opposite direction.

Ports represent nodes in the global shipping network while routes represent lines.

Global shipping plays a vital role in today’s economy and maritime traffic is one of the most important drivers of global trade.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA, for his weekly "Science Of" feature.

Scroll down for quotes from the audio below.

Maersk has been around for more than 150 years.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

We move tens of thousands of containers around the world. We have 619 ships.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

Our latest vessel can take 15 000 containers; it’s the length of 4 rugby fields and as high as a 12-storey building. It has a crew of 13.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

Piracy will always be problem. We have the security to protect our crew, cargo and vessels. It is near impossible to board our ships.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

China makes up 30% of all the traffic between South Africa and the Far East.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

In the UK shipping trade contributes 2% to GDP.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

Filipinos make up a third of the world’s 1.25 million seafarers.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

Our volumes are still increasing; our challenge remains freight rates.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

We operate in 40 Sub-Saharan African countries.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

A Maersk vessel visits a port somewhere every 15 minutes.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

Maersk is the largest in the world, but our competitors are fairly close.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

Ships are one of the most environmentally friendly modes of transport.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

Freight rates are dropping globally.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

Durban carries 65% of all South Africa’s container traffic.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

Shanghai handles 35 million containers per year.

Frederick Jacobs, Chairman of Maersk SA

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