Ship transport is watercraft carrying people (passengers) or goods (cargo).
Sea transport has been the largest carrier of freight throughout recorded history. Although the importance of sea travel for passengers has decreased due to aviation, it is effective for short trips and pleasure cruises. Transport by water is cheaper than transport by air, despite fluctuating exchange rates and CAF charges to account for such.
Ship transport can be over any distance by boat, ship, sailboat or barge, over oceans and lakes, through canals or along rivers. Shipping may be for commerce, recreation or the military purpose. Virtually any material can be moved by water; however, water transport becomes impractical when material delivery is highly time-critical.
Containerization revolutionized ship transport starting in the 1970s. "General cargo" includes goods packaged in boxes, cases, pallets, and barrels. When a cargo is carried in more than one mode, it is intermodal or co-modal.