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.