The shipping industry appears to be in trouble, environmentally and financially

The Context Of Things

I’ve seen Season 2 of The Wire — “dead girls in a can!” — which is about the extent of my knowledge on international shipping topics, but I do find it broadly interesting. You could argue (and many have) that shipping is the foundation of our civilization. A lot of consumer products couldn’t reach consumers effectively if they were only transported on planes and rail, especially in this “increasingly global world” we discuss very frequently. As always, it’s all about the numbers:

“In 2012, it cost around 2.5 cents to ship a T-shirt from Asia,” says Rose George, author of “90 Percent of Everything: Inside the Invisible Industry that Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car, and Food on Your Plate.” She observes that “if you compare that to shipping before containerization, the transfer costs of getting anything to port, let alone on a ship, were 25%…

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