In this article we unpack the difference between Maritime, Shipping, Freight, Logistics and Supply Chain and how it is all connected, starting with some simple definitions of these terms..

Maritime Industry = anything related to the ocean, sea, ships, navigation of ships from point A to point B, seafarers, ship owning and other related activities..
Shipping Business = the act of carriage of cargo from point A to point using the ships which falls under the Maritime industry..
Freight = the cargo that is carried using the shipping services offered by the shipping lines using the ships which falls under the Maritime industry..
Logistics Services = the processes involved in getting the cargo from the manufacturers warehouse to the receiver’s warehouse including arranging for shipping services offered by the shipping lines using the ships which falls under the Maritime industry..
Supply Chain = the whole granddaddy process comprising of all aspects in a product cycle, for example from picking of the fruit at a farm in Point A to delivering the fruit to the shelf at a store in Point B using all of the above mentioned industries, businesses and services..


difference between maritime, shipping, freight, logistics and supply chain
Maritime Industry

It is fair to say that Maritime Transportation has been and still remains the backbone of global trade and has been so since the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Indians, Chinese, Europeans all started sailing and improvising the sailing methods from sailboats, dhows, long boats, dragon boats, steamships to the current ULCVs, VLOCs, VLCCs etc..

Maritime transportation is a derived demand whose main purpose is to support trade, business and commerce – whether global or domestic, whether cargo or people..

An estimated 89.5% of global trade is carried by sea.. As per UNCTAD figures, in 2016, world seaborne trade reached a volume of 10.3 billion tons with a predicted expansion of 3.2% between 2017 and 2022..


Source : UNCTAD

The growth, numbers and the volume involved makes the maritime industry one of the most globalized industries in the world in terms of ownership and operations..

Not just in terms of ownership, the Maritime industry also provides employment for an estimated 1.65 million seafarers working in the global merchant fleet across the world..

Here are a few stats for you to think of, about the Maritime Industry (all stats shared from UNCTAD)..


Thanks to Hariesh Manaadiar, the author of this educational blog on shipping and freight.