The international shipping industry is responsible for transporting approximately 90% of world trade. Shipping is the lifeblood of a global economy. Intercontinental trade, the bulk transport of raw materials, and the import/export of affordable food and manufactured goods would not be possible without shipping. Ships are technically sophisticated, high value assets (larger hi-tech vessels can cost over U.S. $200 million to build). The operation of merchant ships generates an estimated annual income of over half a trillion U.S. Dollars in freight rates.
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