Benefits of Liner Shipping

International liner shipping is a sophisticated network of regularly scheduled services that transports goods from anywhere in the world to anywhere in the world at low cost and with greater energy efficiency than any other form of international transportation.

Global Economic Engine

Liner shipping connects countries, markets, businesses and people, allowing them to buy and sell goods on a scale not previously possible. Today, the liner shipping industry transports goods representing approximately one-third of the total value of global trade. Additionally, as a major global enterprise in its own right, the international shipping industry is responsible for millions of existing jobs and plays a crucial role in stimulating new jobs. It contributes hundreds of billions of dollars to the global economy annually thereby increasing gross domestic product in countries throughout the world. Moreover, as the lifeblood of global economic vitality, ocean shipping contributes significantly to international stability and security.


Recently, two independent sources looked at the economic contribution of the liner shipping industry and concluded that it is indeed a global economic engine for two reasons: the significant amount the industry contributes directly to the global economy, and the role of the industry as a facilitator of economic growth for other industries.


IHS Global Insight – Economic Contribution of Liner Shipping Industry

In November 2009, IHS Global Insight, a recognized global leader in economic and financial analysis and forecasting, completed an evaluation of the economic contribution of the liner shipping industry using 2007 as a base year. Key findings include:

  • The annual economic contribution of the liner shipping industry was:
    • Direct gross output or GDP Contribution — US$ 183.3 Billion
    • Direct capital expenditure — US$ 29.4 Billion
    • Direct jobs — 4.2 million
    • Compensation to those employees US$ 27.2 Billion
  • Full annual economic impact, including indirect and induced effects:
    • US$ 436.6 Billion
    • 13.5 million jobs
  • Cargo transported by the liner shipping industry represents about two-thirds of the value of total global trade, equating each year to more than US$ 4 trillion worth of goods.
  • Workers at ports world-wide loaded and unloaded cargo for more than 10,000 liner vessel-stops per week, with the average ship making 2.1 port calls per week.
  • Liner shipping companies deployed more than 400 services providing regularly scheduled service, usually weekly, connecting all countries of the world.
  • In mid-2008, there were more than 17.8 million containers in the world fleet, which cost the industry US$ 80.1 billion to purchase.
  • In the United States alone, the industry spends US$ 869 million per year to operate the fleet of chassis used to move containers over land.
  • The liner shipping industry has spent over US$ 236 billion in more than a dozen countries on the purchase of new vessels.