Category: Globalization

Ranked: The World’s Largest Container Shipping Companies

This post is by Marcus Lu from Visual Capitalist

infographic showing the largest container shipping companies

Visualizing the World’s Largest Container Shipping Companies

Did you know that 80% of the global goods trade is transported over sea? Given the scale of human consumption, this requires an enormous number of shipping containers, as well as ships to carry them.

At an industry level, container shipping is dominated by several very large firms. This includes Maersk, COSCO Shipping, and Evergreen. If you live along the coast, you’ve probably seen ships or containers with these names painted on them.

Generally speaking, however, consumers know very little about these businesses. This graphic aims to change that by ranking the 10 largest container shipping companies in the world.

Ranking the Top 10

Companies are ranked by two metrics. First is the number of ships they own, and second is their total shipping capacity measured in twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs). A TEU is based on the volume of a twenty-foot long shipping container.

The data used in this infographic comes from Alcott Global, a logistics consultancy. Fleet sizes are as of June 2021, while TEU capacity is from January 2022.

RankCompanyCountryTEUNumber of Ships
1Maersk🇩🇰 Denmark4.3M718
1MSC (Mediterranean Shipping Company)🇨🇭 Switzerland4.3M606
3CMA CGM🇫🇷 France3.2M542
4COSCO Shipping🇨🇳 China2.9M497
5Hapag-Lloyd🇩🇪 Germany1.7M259
6Ocean Network Express🇯🇵 Japan1.5M218
7Evergreen Marine🇹🇼 Taiwan1.5M201
8HHM (Hyundai Merchant Marine)🇰🇷 South Korea0.8M79
9Yang Ming🇹🇼 Taiwan0.7M87
10Wan Hai Lines🇹🇼 Taiwan0.4M (Read more...)

3 Reasons for the Fertilizer and Food Shortage

This post is by Bruno Venditti from Visual Capitalist

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3 Reasons for the Fertilizer and Food Shortage

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Bad weather, the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and a shortage of fertilizer have led to fears of a global food crisis.

This infographic will help you understand the problem by highlighting three key factors behind the mounting food crisis.

#1: The Fertilizer Shortage

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the war has disrupted shipments of fertilizer, an essential source of nutrients for crops.

Russia is the world’s top exporter of nitrogen fertilizer and ranks second in phosphorus and potassium fertilizer exports. Belarus, a Russian ally also contending with Western sanctions, is another major fertilizer producer. In addition, both countries collectively account for over 40% of global exports of the crop nutrient potash.

Here are the top 20 fertilizer exporters globally:

RankCountryExports Value (Billions in USD)
#1🇷🇺 Russia$12.5
#2🇨🇳 China$10.9
#3🇨🇦 Canada$6.6
#4🇲🇦 Morocco$5.7
#5🇺🇸 United States$4.1
#6🇸🇦 Saudi Arabia$3.6
#7🇳🇱 Netherlands$2.9
#8🇧🇪 Belgium$2.6
#9🇴🇲 Oman$2.6
#10🇶🇦 Qatar$2.2
#11🇩🇪 Germany$1.5
#12🇮🇱I srael$1.5
#13🇪🇬 Egypt$1.5
#14🇱🇹 Lithuania$1.4
#15🇩🇿 Algeria$1.4
#16🇪🇸 Spain$1.3
#17🇯🇴 Jordan$1.3
#18🇵🇱 Poland$1.2
#19🇲🇾 Malaysia$1.0
#20🇳🇬 Nigeria$1.0

The main destination of fertilizer exports from (Read more...)

Mapped: The Top U.S. Imports by State

This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

Map of the most common import in each U.S. state

Click to view a larger version of the graphic.

Mapped: The Top U.S. Imports by State

In 2021, the U.S. brought in approximately $2.83 trillion worth of goods from its various international trading partners.

But what types of goods are most commonly imported throughout different parts of America? This graphic by OnDeck shows the top import in every U.S. state, using January 2022 data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Most Popular Categories of U.S. Imports

Petroleum is the most popular import in 12 states, making it the most common import across America. In 2021, about 72% of imported petroleum was crude oil, which was then domestically refined into products like gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel.

StateTop Import
FloridaNucleic Acids
IdahoData Processing Parts
IowaRoad Tractors
KentuckyVaccines and Antibodies
MaineLight Oils
MassachusettsLight Oils
NebraskaNucleic Acids
NevadaElectrical Processors
New HampshireAircraft
New JerseyMedicine
New MexicoData Processing Parts
New YorkPrecious Metal
North CarolinaVaccines and Antibodies
North DakotaPlatinum
OregonSemiconductor Machines
Rhode IslandVehicles
South CarolinaUranium
South DakotaCow Meat
VermontElectrical Energy
VirginiaPrinter Parts
West VirginiaAircraft

A (Read more...)

Global Trade Series: The Benefits of Free Trade

Data Highlights the Importance of Free Trade Part 1 of 3
Hinrich Part 2 of 3
Hinrich Part 3 of 3

The following content is sponsored by the Hinrich Foundation.

Free Trade Infographic

Hinrich Foundation

The Benefits of Free Trade

History has shown that trade can be a powerful engine for economic growth. Despite this, the number of protectionist policies enacted around the world has increased.

This is due to a rising tendency to view trade as a competition, rather than a cooperative endeavor. For evidence, consider the ongoing China-U.S. trade war, which has impacted everything from electronics to soybeans.

The economic costs of this dispute are well-documented. In 2019, Moody’s Analytics found that the trade war had cost America 300,000 jobs. In 2020, the Federal Reserve concluded that U.S. firms had lost $1.7 trillion in market capitalization due to the introduction of new tariffs.

In this infographic from the Hinrich Foundation—the first of a three-part series on global trade—we explain the theory behind free trade and explore a powerful dataset that disproves the rationale for protectionist policies.

Why Do We Trade?

The main reason countries trade is to specialize their production. This is when a country’s population is able to focus on what it does best. For example, consider Germany’s expertise in automobiles, or America’s leadership in tech.

These countries use their comparative advantages to generate a greater surplus than if they produced all of their needs on their own. Through exchange, they can trade their surplus output (exports) for the output of others (imports).

Imports are what facilitate the benefits of trade. These are goods that people consume without having (Read more...)

Visualized: The Most Googled Countries

This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

View a higher resolution version of this network diagram.

Network diagram of the most googled countries, by country

Visualized: The Most Googled Countries, Worldwide

View a higher resolution version of this network diagram.

Analyzing societal trends can teach us a lot about a population’s cultural fabric.

And since Google makes up more than 90% of internet searches outside of the Great Firewall, studying its usage is one of the best resources for modern social research.

This series of visualizations by Anders Sundell uses Google Trends search data to show the most googled countries around the world, from 2004 to 2022. These graphics provide thought-provoking insight into different cultural similarities and geopolitical dynamics.

A Quick Note on Methodology

The visualization above shows the most googled country in each nation around the world over the last couple of decades.

For example, the arrow pointing from Canada to the United States means that, between 2004 and 2022, people in Canada had more searches about the U.S. than any other country globally.

And since this study only looked at interest in other countries, queries of countries searching for themselves were not included in the data.

Finally, each country’s circle is scaled relative to its search interest, meaning the bigger the circle, the more countries pointing to it (and searching for it).

The Top Googled Countries Overall

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the U.S. is the most googled country on the list, ranking first place in 45 of the 190 countries included in the dataset.

CountryTop Googled Country
🇦🇩​ Andorra🇪🇸​ Spain
🇦🇪​ The United Arab (Read more...)

Satellite Maps: Shanghai’s Supply Chain Standstill

This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist

Animated GIF shows Shanghai port traffic 2019 vs 2022

Satellite Maps: Shanghai’s Supply Chain Standstill

China has mandated a strict “zero COVID” policy since the onset of the global pandemic, which has led to tight lockdowns across the country whenever cases have started to spike.

Recently, lockdown restrictions have been enacted in major cities like Shenzhen and Shanghai, as China deals with one of its worst outbreaks since Wuhan in December 2019.

These cautionary measures have had far-reaching impacts on China’s economy, especially on its supply chain and logistics operations. Shanghai’s port system, which handles about one-fifth of China’s export containers, is currently experiencing significant delays as a result of the recent government lockdown.

Chart showing Shanghai port shipment volume falling after lockdowns

Shipping volume has dipped drastically since early March this year, right after partial lockdowns began in Shanghai. By the end of March, as restrictions continued to tighten up, shipping activity dipped nearly 30% compared to pre-lockdown levels. And while activity has recently picked up, it’s still far below average shipment volumes prior to the recent lockdown.

While the port is still technically operating, shipping delays will likely cause hiccups in the global supply chain. That’s because the Shanghai port is a major hub for international trade, and one of the largest and busiest container ports in the world.

How Bad is the Back-Up?

Here’s a closer look at satellite imagery that was captured by the Sentinel-1 satellite, which shows the current congestion at Shanghai’s port as of April 14, 2022. In the image, a majority of the white dots are cargo ships, many of which (Read more...)