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The 10 Busiest Shipping Routes in the World

The 10 Busiest Shipping Routes in the World

The Strait of Dover is the strait that passes through the narrowest part of the English Channel. As you could imagine, this strait gets a ton of traffic going in both directions. The shortest distance across the strait is about four miles or so. A lot of the shipping traffic between the Atlantic and the North and Baltic Seas goes through this strait. In fact, the Strait of Dover is known as the busiest shipping route on Earth. It is estimated that over 400 ships pass through this area daily. With this amount of volume, safety is a serious issue on the waterway.

Believe it or not, the English Channel has been in use since the 1700s! It is hard to believe that people have been using this channel as a passageway for this long. The fact that ships have been carrying cargo through this passage for hundreds of years makes you wonder what we would do without it. This seaway is considered one of the busiest in the world. On a good day, about 500 ships will pass through the area. Since there is such a high volume of ships there have been two lanes designated to ensure the safety of the passing ships.

The Bosphorus is a strait that forms part of the boundary between Asia and parts of Europe. Though it is the world’s narrowest strait, it is also one of the busiest. Since it connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara the traffic daily is immense. This strait is known for being a bit dangerous because the waters are very shallow and because it is so narrow. Because of this safety is always in the front of everyone’s mind. When navigating this waterway it is of the utmost importance to proceed with extreme caution.

You’ve probably heard of the Strait of Gibraltar but never really thought too much of it. Believe it or not, this famous throughway is one of the busiest shipping routes on the planet today. Though it is narrow, it connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea. The fact is that several hundred ships pass through the strait in a single day. Without it, cargo ships would have to reroute and take a long way around. This would slow down shipments as well as use more fuel and natural resources. I can honestly say that the world is a better place because of the Strait of Gibraltar.

The Strait of Georgia accommodates hundreds of ships each and every day. The strait connects Vancouver Island to the coast of British Columbia. Believe it or not, the strait is about 150 miles long and between 11 and 34 miles wide. Since it is so big it makes it fairly easy for it to accommodate large amounts of traffic as it relates to shipping. An interesting fact about this strait that makes it ideal for shipping is the fact that it is over 1,300 feet deep at its deepest point. This depth makes it easy for ships to speed through.

Even though Cook Straight is one of the most unpredictable waterways in the world it is still useful for shipping. The strait is between the south island of New Zealand and the north island of New Zealand. The strait was first passed through in the late 1700s by Commander James Cook and has been open for business ever since. This waterway makes it easy for shipping to take place between the islands that make up New Zealand. It should be noted that on a clear day it is possible to see all the way across the strait even if the water is tumultuous.

The Straits of Florida basically connect the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean just off the coast of Florida. Dozens of ships pass through this strait each and every day carrying cargo from the United States to points west and south. An interesting fact about this strait is responsible for carrying the Florida current to the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, the sunken remains of the USS Maine can be found deep below the waters of the Straits.

The Strait of Hormuz is flat out one of the busiest shipping routes on the planet. It is located between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf. Each day roughly 13 oil tankers pass through the waters carrying over 15 million barrels of crude oil that are to be distributed to other parts of the world. The strait accounts for about one-third of all of the world’s oil shipments by sea and about one-fifth of all the world’s oil shipments in general. Without this strait, the price of oil would be increased worldwide as it would be more difficult to ship thus making it quite a bit more expensive.

The Strait of Magellan is the passageway that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. It is located just south of South America and is considered hard to navigate because of somewhat unpredictable currents. That said, it still gets a lot of shipping traffic daily.

The Panama Canal joins the Atlantic and the Pacific and is known as one of the busiest, if not the busiest, shipping canals in the world. In all, over 815,000 vessels have gone through the canal since it opened for business. Simply put, the canal made it easier to ship as it was no longer necessary to navigate all the way around South America.

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