by boaty mcboatface ~
“Whats that coming over the hill is it a monster, is it a monster?”
No it’s bloody not, it’s the “Maersk Alabama”, fully laden with containers transporting essential everyday items from the Asian factories to your doorstep. On average this journey takes between 25 – 30 days and this one ship would have sailed all the way from the bat eating China, down through the Singapore Strait, over to India for a quick Tikka Masala to then sneak past the pirates of Somalia, dodge any Iranian missiles, hope that some idiot has not blocked the Suez Canal, avoid migrant boats in the Mediterranean before finally sailing up the West coast of France and into port on the South coast of England. And the journey does not stop there; an average container ship will travel the equivalent of 75% of the way to the moon and back in a single year. A ship will see more of the world in one single voyage than an 18-year-old girl from Tudor hall would have seen on her whole “gap yah” (OMG loveee Koh Pang Yanggg Darlingggg). Without ships chugging silently day and night through the open seas and some of the most severe weather conditions, the world would be a very different place.
Shipping is the glue between world economies with 90 – 95% of global trade being transported by sea and despite everyone benefitting by shipping, very few people realize its importance. No country is entirely self-sufficient, and every country relies on maritime trade to sell what it has and buy what it needs. Everything that we consume in our everyday lives would have been transported via sea in the form of raw materials, components or the finished product. In my eyes, shipping is indispensable to the world.
“Oh but it’s bad for the environment” shouts a tree-hugging activist who probably spends most days sitting outside BP headquarters smoking a joint while badly playing the ukulele. In fact, shipping only contributes to 2.5% of total global greenhouse gas emission (and this figure is falling) which is an extremely tiny percentage in relation to the benefit that it brings everybody around the world. The shipping industry has played such an important part in the dramatic improvement in global living standards and has taken millions of people away from extreme poverty. Now, anyone can drive around Nairobi in a 2002 Mercedes coupe searching for a brand spanking new washing machine … you see, everyone‘s a winner here!
So, for those still reading I hope that I have changed your view on the shipping industry and the important role it plays in everyday life. I could go on, but it is a Friday afternoon, and I am desperately keen to get a few pints in Jamaica (if you know, you know) before I unsuccessfully try to flirt with a blonde-haired, fake-tanned woman from Essex who’s more interested in what Gemma Collins’ chihuahua had for breakfast than my amazing tales of being a shipbroker…