2020 world merchant fleet

Based on the publicly available UNCTAD data, the world merchant fleet was composed of over 95,000 vessels in 2020.
The total deadweight* of this gigantic fleet was over 2,000,000 thousand tons – meaning that in 2020 the merchant fleet had the capacity to carry (all in : crew, cargo, fuel, ballast,….) over 2,000,000,000 tons at any one point in time.

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Main types of ocean cargo

The various goods transported by ocean and transiting through ports can be divided in 5 main types of cargo:

  • Liquid Bulk (cca. 29% of the 2018 loaded tons for international maritime trade)
  • Dry Bulk (cca. 46%)
  • Containers (cca. 18%)
  • Roll On Roll Off and Break Bulk. (put together – cca. 7%)
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