Ship Speed: Why are Massive Ships So Painfully Slow?

Water transportation has always been an important way for people and goods to move around the world. According to surviving clay tablets and containers, waterborne vessels were used as early as 4000 BCE.

Ship engineering design has come a long way since then. Ships have become more sturdy and their size increased dramatically. However, even though their size and design have changed over the course of time, their speed stayed relatively the same. Whether it is a cargo ship or a cruise ship, these engineering marvels tend to be on the slower side.

Compared to the other types of travel, ships take quite some time to get to the destination. If you were to go from NYC to London by plane, it would take you seven hours. Traveling by ship, however, would take seven days.

This comparison may sound normal and you might have already known that big ships are very slow. Still, questions like “Why are ships slow?” or “Can ships be faster?” can keep your mind busy. To give you a headstart: Yes, ships can go faster, but they usually tend not to. There are several reasons for that but in general, slow ships are good both for the environment and economy.

Ships have been around for a long time and engineers have tried their best to improve them. Their design and security have improved but their speed has stayed the same. The reason is not that we can not make ships go faster but because we choose not to.

If you want to know exactly why be sure to check our video!


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