What Do You Mean by Water Transportation?

by Carl Evans
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water transport image by Vasiliy Koval from Fotolia.com

Water transportation is the movement of cargo or passengers through or across bodies of water. This can involve ships, ferries, cruise ships, submarines and other water-borne crafts as they travel through oceans, lakes, rivers and other waterways.


Trade centers were originally established in North America in order to move abundant natural resources, such as fisheries, timber and furs. The success of this commercial trading to consumers in Europe and other foreign areas prompted the institution of waterways in developing countries.


Water transportation consumes less energy and allows larger shipping loads compared to trucking, railroads or air. For example, a water barge can move one ton of cargo 514 miles with just one gallon of gas compared with 202 miles by train and only 59 miles by truck.


Within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard regulates the entry, educational and training requirements for most water-transportation jobs. The Coast Guard also offers licenses depending on the type of vessel and occupation.

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