Freight Shipping Statistics Made Possible with Steel Weld Studs

Since the first usage of stud welding in the early 1900s for the shipbuilding of freight, naval, and other large vessels, stud welding operations have become a mainstay for the maritime industry. Over the next 120 years, stud welding grew to be used in a broad range of industries in addition to shipbuilding, including the construction, electrical, and food equipment industries. While stud welding is widespread across the industrial world today, it continues to be a key operation for the maritime and, by extension, freight shipping industries. Because it is such a heavily used manufacturing operation for freighters, stud welding and steel weld studs in particular make container shipping possible and allow a trading economic system to exist on a global level. For any stud welding projects, Northland Fastening Systems supplies welding units for rent or purchase, CD and drawn arc studs, welding accessories, and more.

The Impact of Steel Weld Studs on the Shipping Industry

As we’ve said, freighters and other shipping vessels could not be made as efficiently and safely without the use of stud welding. The steel weld studs used to construct these vessels are what make container shipping a significant part of the global economy.

Container Shipping

Let’s look at some basic statistics from the container shipping industry made possible with stud welding (published as of 2022):

  • 80% of all products traded worldwide are shipped by sea.
  • In 2020, around 1.85 billion metric tons of goods were shipped around the world by freight.
  • In the past 40 years, cargo ship tonnages have increased in capacity from about 11 million metric tons to around 275 million metric tons.
  • Around 54,700 merchant ships operate globally.
  • Some of those types of merchant vessels include general cargo, crude oil tankers, chemical tankers, container ships, and passenger ships.
  • Shanghai handled 47 million tons of cargo in 2020, making it the leading global port for container shipping.
  • New general cargo ship designs may produce 40% less CO2 emissions by 2040.
  • The first standardized intermodal freight containers were developed in the 1950s.
  • The first refrigerated freighters were introduced in the 1970s.
  • The world’s largest cargo ship, the Ever Ace, measures 1,300 feet and has a holding capacity of 23,992 standard freight containers.

Steel Weld Studs to Meet the Needs of Today and Tomorrow

Modern freight shipping has reached massive proportions to meet the demands of a growing population and an increasingly capitalistic economy. Despite the futuristic systems and designs of today’s freighters, they still all rely on the use of stud welding and steel weld studs for construction.


To learn more about the abilities and uses of stud welding, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with our team today.


Best Cable and Welding Gear Management for Job Site Safety

Active job sites in any industry should have safety systems, checks, and manufacturing process regulations in place for the protection of workers, construction materials, and equipment. In the stud welding industry, safety is equally important for all those factors, especially because stud welding operations are so prolific across many different types of job sites. From multi-story constructions and major infrastructure to automated in-house production lines, safety systems and precautionary practices are critical. If you are working with stud welding for any project, Northland Fastening Systems can provide the supplies and support you need to get the job done. We offer a broad range of welding gear, which includes tools for rent or purchase, welding studs, accessories, and even repair services.

Safety in the Workplace

Although manufacturing in general has been industrialized since as early as the 1760s, universal safety standards have been slow to develop. In the U.S., OSHA wasn’t established as part of the U.S. Department of Labor until 1970, when the Occupational Safety and Health Act was passed.

Welding Gear

Today, OSHA helps make a broad range of work environments, from offices to construction sites, safer for workers, employers, and third parties. For worksites where stud welding gear is active, OSHA dictates several safety conditions, which include cable management.

The Need and Importance of Cable Management

Stud welding equipment on job sites often needs to be moved far from power sources, requiring cable extensions that can spread across trafficked areas and throughout other equipment and building materials. These cables present several hazards:

  • Tripping hazards, which can lead to more severe fall risks
  • Tangle hazards with other electrical equipment and power tools
  • Electrical issues that arise if a surge occurs or cables are damaged
  • Electrocution risk if cables are damaged from mismanagement
  • Falling object hazards if items are pushed by cable movement
  • Fires or explosions due to sparking from damaged cables
  • Ineffective installation of studs caused by poor power supply to welders

Welding Gear Includes Cables

To prevent any of these safety issues, deliberate cable management is important. Cable management starts with planning the layout of extensions and the movement of cables throughout a job site. Care must be taken to ensure cables will not build up through walkways or stretch underneath other equipment. Always make sure cables and any other electrical systems are properly grounded. Cable ties and links are small but mighty components that can keep cables tidy, in place, and away from areas of a worksite where they might be damaged or cause other problems.


Cable management and stud welding safety only work with the right equipment. To learn more about the welding gear, supplies, and cable management options we offer, contact Northland Fastening Systems at (651) 730-7770. Request a quote online to get started with us today.

Material Specifications for the Drawn Arc and Capacitor Discharge Stud Welding Process

Because stud welding is used so prevalently throughout different industries, it shows its versatility in terms of applications and materials. Stud welding operations also have great flexibility when it comes to sizing, such as stud diameters and lengths. With stud welding, you can perform food-grade fastening systems, composite construction, large-scale thru-decking, and much more. If you are taking advantage of the wide range of the stud welding process for any project, big or small, you can find all the supplies you need with Northland Fastening Systems (NFS). We provide a complete supply of welding tools for rent or purchase, drawn arc, capacitor discharge (CD), and short cycle welding studs, welding accessories, and repair services for most models. Our own welding technicians are also available to provide support and advice from their own expertise and knowledge.

Stud Welding

For the majority of stud welding, steel is a mainstay material for drawn arc and CD operations, but there are many other materials that are critical parts of the stud welding process as well as materials that can improve and alter the properties of a weld.

Stud Welding Process

Let’s look at the material specifications for different components of the many steps that may be included in a full welding operation:

Studs and surfaces:

As mentioned, steel is a primary material for most stud welding scenarios. Low carbon steel and 302/304/305 stainless steel grades are common for drawn arc welding. However, for drawn arc operations, aluminum, other stainless steel grades, monel, and inconel can also be used for studs and surfaces. CD stud welding uses similar materials, including low carbon and stainless steel, but 1100, 6061, and 5000 aluminum alloys, brass, and other steels can also be used.


For drawn arc welding, cadmium and zinc alloys can be used as plating. CD welding can use copper, cadmium, nickel, zinc, and many other plating metals. If nonweldable plating is already on a surface, that should be removed to prevent weld contamination.


Generally speaking, all low carbon and stainless steels can be annealed for both the stud and surface. Annealing can be done to a maximum of 75 Rockwell B for low carbon steel and 90 Rockwell B for stainless steel.


An important nonmetal material used in stud welding comes in the form of a ceramic ferrule. Ceramic ferrules are a part of the drawn arc process. Ferrules are installed at the point of the weld around the stud tip to contain and control molten metal while the weld is performed. They can then be chipped off when the weld is cooled.


If you are looking for materials used in any part of the stud welding process, contact NFS at (651) 730-7770. You can also request a quote online to get started with us today.