Five Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Shipping & Logistics

When you buy something online, it is easy to forget about the processes that are needed in order to deliver the item to your door. So perhaps it is time to take a closer look at shipping and logistics and learn something new about it… Luckily for you, you can read a few things right here:

Container ship in Thames river
photo credit: L2F1

Wine is transported without bottles

A recent BBC programme presented by Masterchef’s Greg Wallace revealed that wine is not transported the way we might imagine, especially when it comes to the large supermarkets in the UK. It all comes down to how much items weigh and the practicalities of moving many tonnes around the globe. Therefore the companies do without the bottles and actually move wine around in shipping containers, by using really big bags. These allow the wine to stay airtight, as well as drastically reducing the weight of the containers. It really does make sense if you take the time to think about it.

Shipping containers are lined with quilts

There are also some shipping containers that look snug and cosy as they are lined using insulated quilts (check them out on The reason for this is that some items are temperature sensitive and could otherwise be affected when out on the sea. These quilts can be used for protection against both cold and heat, making them effective at keeping the temperature relatively static during transit. Insulated quilts are commonly used for fish, meat and even some chemicals.

The UK’s busiest port is not in London

Many people believe that London handles the most tonnage, but there is one port that has overtaken the capital to be given this title. Grimsby & Immingham is actually the UK’s busiest port in terms of tonnage and handled 12 per cent of the total in 2012. This port has been busier than the capital since 2000; following it are London, Milford Haven, Southampton, etc.

We deal more on an international basis

Most of the freight handled at UK ports is going to or coming from foreign ports, meaning we trade more via boat on an international basis than we do nationally. In fact, over three quarters of freight handled in 2012 followed this statement correctly; this totalled 393 million tonnes. Interestingly, when it comes to foreign freight traffic, 66 per cent are items being imported, as opposed to the amount which is exported. Foreign imports have been larger than foreign exports since 1987.

The Netherlands is our busiest trading partner

Since 2002, the Netherlands has been the largest trading partner with the UK. Of the 198.8 million tonnes of traffic travelled between the UK major ports and EU countries, 53.7 million tonnes of freight passes to and from the Netherlands. This is thought to be partly to do with the cargo initially travelling to Rotterdam and continuing on to other countries.

About the Author: This article is written by Jack Bani