International freight shipping has exploded in the last decades thanks to the globalization of the trade industry. The international shipping industry is responsible for approximately 90% of world trade. It's the most economical and most environmentally friendly method of transport; therefore, if you have a large amount of materials to ship over long distances, you will most probably be searching for the right international freight company to help you. Get free quotes from 5 different businesses by filling out our form below.
Approximately 2.5 million people are employed in the maritime industry in Europe alone, but The Philippines is the world's largest supplier of ship crews. Labour standards are set and regulated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO).
The shipping industry has been able to weather any economic storm, such as the global recession in the early 1980s, the Asian crisis in the late 90s and the current worldwide slump. Due to the overall increases in trade volume and the rising strength of developing nations such as China and India, analysts are predicting smooth sailing for the future of the international freight shipping industry.
A bright forecast is also due to the fact that moving goods by ocean or sea not only saves you money; it also saves the environment since it uses less energy and produces less carbon than other forms of transport. Safety standards and regulations have tightened since major catastrophes like the Exxon Valdez or Torrey Canyon spill. And there are even non-profit associations like The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) that are dedicated to the prevention of spills, education of avoidance and restoration of the environment.
The London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) promotes World Maritime Day, which is celebrated on different dates in each country but generally falls in the final week of September. This day is dedicated to a safe, secure and clean shipping industry. The theme for 2009 is "Climate Change: a challenge for IMO too!"
The IMO is the regulator of the international freight shipping industry, running affairs like a tight ship, so to speak. This industry is prone to rules and standardizations due to many factors but mainly because of its global nature. Imagine if each country was able to set their own parameters for the sizes and build of ships, containers or lifeboats? What if each country was able to establish their own navigational codes, rules of conduct and safety measures? These discrepancies would not only create disorder and confusion, but would also endanger the lives of the millions of people who work in the international freight shipping industry. The Convention on Facilitation of International Maritime Traffic (FAL Convention) works to safeguard uniformities in the industry and facilitate cooperation amongst all parties and nations.
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) publishes the Review of Maritime Transport Report once a year, which gives a global picture of events, rates, costs, tonnage moved, advancements in economic efficiencies, and development in transportation and ports. This hefty report is looked upon as an extremely valuable resource for people working in the international freight shipping industry.