Figure 5
Worldwide Overseas Oceanborne Cargo: 1995-2007

Figure 5
Worldwide Overseas Oceanborne Cargo: 1995-2007

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Figure 5 - Worldwide Oceanborne Cargo. If you are a user with disability and cannot view this image, use the table version. If you need further assistance, call 800-853-1351.

NOTE: Although figures 5 and 6 are not to the same scale, they both show nearly a doubling of cargo, by weight, over identical time spans.

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, based on data from various sources. Oceanborne cargo-United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Review of Maritime Transport, various issues, available at www.unctad.org/rmt as of Oct. 3, 2009. Air cargo-International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), special tabulations, Sept. 28, 2009.

  • In 2007, the most recent year for which data are available, the volume of worldwide international oceanborne cargo reached more than 8 billion tons. During the past decade, the annual average growth rate was about 3 percent.

  • Worldwide international air cargo reached 28 million tons in 2007, growing at an annual average rate of 5 percent over the past decade. This growth trend reflects continuing globalization of economic activities and increasing adoption of inventory management strategies.

  • By weight, the overwhelming majority of global overseas merchandise trade is carried by ocean vessel rather than airplane (excluding land modes of transportation). While generally ocean vessels transport low value-per-ton commodities (e.g., crude oil, grains, and coal), container vessels transport high value-per-ton manufactured goods of all kinds, such as automobiles, appliances, computer equipment, and apparel.