An Interactive Guide to Global Shipping

Shaunacy Ferro

Each year, $4 trillion worth of goods criss-cross the globe on cargo ships. While you may not think much about how your Vietnamese shirt or your Chinese iPhone or barrels of Saudi Arabian oil made their way to you, the chances are high that they arrived by ship.

London-based data visualization studio Kiln and the University College London Energy Institute created this guide to world shipping, which illustrates how cargo gets across international waters, through canals, and into major ports. The voice-over narration guides you through both the world of shipping in general and specific aspects of the visualization.

In real time over the period of a year, you can see how ships navigate around the world, spreading out in open waters and following specific routes in heavily trafficked areas like the English Channel.

The interactive graphic can be viewed by color-coded cargo type or by ship traffic as a whole, focusing on how dry goods ships dominate trade between southeast Asia and South America or how liquid cargo dominates shipping traffic around the oil-rich Noway. The graphic also takes environmental impact into account, tallying the carbon footprint of all this transportation.

See the whole site for yourself at

[h/t Business Insider]

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