National Maritime Day


The Maritime Industry just plugs along and people continue fueling their cars, sipping coffee and buying out of season fruit.

Today is National Maritime Day and I can't think of a better day to think about what we're buying, where it comes from, and how it gets into your hands.  Even President Obama has a bit to say about honoring the Women (and Men) who take to the seas to boost our economy.  

The next time you're at the grocery store buying a banana - especially if you live somewhere where it's impossible for a banana to grow consider these facts:

  • Sea Transport has been the primary means of moving freight through recorded history!
  • Each year the Maritime Industry transports 13 trillion dollars worth of goods totalling 70% of world wide freight (source).  
  • The Maersk Triple-E can carry 18,000 containers - 10 above and 10 below deck - and are to large to transit the Panama Canal (source).  
  • The Philippines is the largest source of Seaman in the world - and has been since 1987.
  • More than 60% of the dry cargo ships lost were bunkers older than 25 years in the period 2009-2013 (source).  
  • A modern large crude oil tanker (VLCC) for example, is able to transport the same amount of cargo twice the distance as of 20 years ago using the same amount of energy.  Marine diesel engines, the prime mover of the world merchant fleet, has undergone similar efficiency improvements and modern engines installed today use about 10 to 15% less fuel per kilowatt-hour as compared with engines installed 20 years ago (source).
  • In the 1970s there were about 3.2 million tons of oil spilled in the 2000s there was less than .25 million tons of oil spilled (44% of that was from 2 incidents) - major progress!
  • Shipping transfers approximately 3 to 5 billion tonnes of ballast water internationally each year.  A similar volume may also be transferred domestically within countries and regions each year.  The IMO (International Maritime Organization) has developed and adopted the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments which, when in force, will require all ships to carry out Ballast Water Management procedures to a given standard (source).  (Here's a post from 2010 when I talk about Ballast Water!)
  • In 2010 Somali Pirates seized 1,181 Hostages.
  • Thanks to Navy Patrols by Coalition Warships there has been an almost 90% decrease in Piracy in Somali waters!

All you need to do is look at these shipping lanes in black & red to see the magnitude of what's being moved across the worlds oceans!

(it is completely by accident that I blogged at length last night about The Jones Act - it can't be National Maritime Day without mentioning the importance of the Jones Act and how misunderstood it is.)