See Shipping Traffic Move Through Straits Around the World

A visualization shows a week’s worth of vessel movement

Global ship traffic seen from space - FleetMon Satellite AIS and FleetMon Explorer

Grain, clothing, oil, vegetable oil, wine, fruit, meat, fish—most of the goods we need to live—all travel by multiple modes of transportation on journeys around the world. But at some point, 90 percent of those goods end up on a ship—including the railcars, trailers and automobiles that will carry the goods the rest of the way.

That translates to a lot of shipping traffic around the globe, and this video from the ship-tracking company Fleetmon, via the Washington Post, makes that clear.

In less than two minutes, you see a week’s worth of shipping vessels moving around the globe. The traffic concentrates as ships pass through straits—the Strait of Malacca, between the Malay Peninsula and the Sumatra, for example, sees about a quarter of global trade, reports Quartz

Shipping volumes have been climbing—up 43 percent over the past decade, Quartz says. The week featured in the video is in early September 2012. If it was made today, the lines would be even brighter, the straits more congested. 

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