Water Transport

Water transport is the process of transport a watercraft, such as a barge, boat, ship or sailboat, over a body of water, such as a sea, ocean, lake, canal or river. The need for buoyancy unites watercraft, and makes the hull a dominant aspect of its construction, maintenance and appearance.

Ship transport is primarily used for the carriage of people and non-perishable goods, generally referred to as cargo.

In the 1800s the first steam ships were developed, using a steam engine to drive a paddle wheel or propeller to move the ship. The steam was produced using wood or coal. Now most ships have an engine using a slightly refined type of petroleum called bunker fuel. Some ships, such as submarines, use nuclear power to produce the steam. Recreational educational craft still use wind power, while some smaller craft use internal combustion engines to drive one or more propellers, or in the case of jet boats, an inboard water jet. In shallow draft areas, hovercraft are propelled by large pusher-prop fans. or

Although slow, modern sea transport is a highly effective method of transporting large quantities of non-perishable goods. Commercial vessels, nearly 35,000 in number, carried 7.4 billion tons of cargo in 2007. Transport by water is significantly less costly than air transport for trans-continental shipping. A cargo ship sailing from a European port to a US one will typically take 10-12 days based on water currents and other factors. Sea transport remains the largest carrier of freight in the world.

Although the historic importance of sea travel for passengers has decreased due to the rise of commercial aviation, it is still very effective for short trips and pleasure cruises. While slower than air transport, modern sea transport is a highly effective method of moving large quantities of non-perishable goods. Transport by water is significantly less costly than transport by air for trans-continental shipping.

Ship transport is often international by nature. It is frequently undertaken for purposes of commerce, recreation or military objectives. When a cargo is carried by more than one mode, the transport is termed intermodal or co-modal.

Ships have long been used for warfare, with applications from naval supremacy to piracy, invasions and bombardment. aircraft carriers can be used as bases of a wide variety of military operations.

Ship transport is used for a variety of unpackaged raw materials ranging from chemicals, petroleum products and bulk cargo such as coal, iron ore, cereals, bauxite. So called "general cargo" covers goods that are packaged to some extent in boxes, cases, pallets, barrels, etc. Since the 1960s containerization has revolutionized ship transport.

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