23 Strange Shipping Trends & Facts You Won’t Believe

In both life and the shipping industry, there are complete and utter curve-balls. Some things are predictable; in Britain, there will in all likelihood be rain (use this as your reminder – take an umbrella with you!) and in shipping, people will import more toys near Christmas. There are easily seen trends, often recurring patterns and incredibly accurate predictions.


There are, however, some exceptions.

There are some things even we find strange; some things that are purely weird. There are times where people will decide to import human bones and tons of sand and we will just scratch our heads. Today, we decided to share some of these absurd shipping trends and facts with you so that we can all be a little bit confused together.

  1. France is the 4th largest conventional weapons exporter in the world and 23% of their supply goes to Singapore. The United States is the world’s leading supplier and they account for 30% of the market, which surprises nobody, but France and Singapore? Strange.
  2. The rate of pirate attacks was higher last year than violent assaults in South Africa, which has the highest level of crime in the world. You thought the only modern pirate was Jack Sparrow? Apparently not.
  3. And here’s a rather random fact about a place you’d rather be – San Marino’s number 1 export is treadmills!
  4. Shipping accounts for an insane 90% of the world’s trade. Yet you never hear about it!
  5. It’s like we just go around collecting weird shipping facts for you. Try this one on for size; the number 1 exported product from Australia is tooth whitening products. That should put a smile on your face!
  6. The shipping industry accounts for 2% of the UK’s GDP, which is greater than the total GDP of restaurants, takeaways and civil engineering.
  7. The largest ships cost over US$200 million to construct.
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  8. The distances traveled in a year are staggering. A container ship travels the equivalent of three-quarters of the way to the moon and back in one year during its regular travel across the oceans.
  9. If all the containers in the world were to be lined up on one ship, that ship would stretch half way around the planet.
  10. Customs has to clear objects coming in from outer space too! Apollo 11 crew had to file a Customs declaration when they returned from the moon. The form is currently known as a Form 7507 General Declaration Agriculture, Customs, Immigration and Public Health. The Apollo 11 form lists the flight routing as “Cape Kennedy, Moon, Honolulu.” The cargo was declared as “moon rock and moon dust samples.”
  11. To this point, no tariff classification is required for moon rocks. “Articles returned from space” are exempt from entry. Other exemptions include: corpses, together with their coffins and accompany flowers.
  12. The importation of switchblades is against the law, but is allowed when in the possession of a person with only one arm.
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  13. There are container cities! A great example of one is in Mexico.
  14. A man once survived 10 days trapped inside a container! A kitten, however, survived an entire two week journey.
  15. England is only the second biggest importer of tea (gasp!) as the Russian Federation are the number one importer of tea. Simply scandalous!
  16. Vietnam’s leading export is broadcasting equipment.
  17. Germany is the leading exporter for drugs and medicine. We wouldn’t have expected that.
  18. Britain’s number 2 export are gems and precious metals.
  19. The USA’s number 3 export is space and aircraft.
  20. Japan is crazy about the Soviet-Russian children’s story character Cheburashka. In 2013, a Japanese director made a full-length cartoon about the beloved character. A toy version of Cheburashka is one of the most popular children’s products in the country.
  21. While on the sea, 2/3 of ships have no means of communication and less than 10% have internet.

Finally, to round this post off, here’s a fun fact that surprises nobody –

Hopefully you found this post interesting – there are definitely some strange shipping facts out there. Our personal favourite is that it becomes legal to import switchblades if you only have one arm! If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and share.





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