Food shipped internationally by sea and air across countries and continents is the most cost-effective way to transport consumable products. Frozen storage and insulated shipping ensure food reaches its destination quickly and in perfect condition. Some of the largest cargo ships can carry loads of 740 million bananas in 15,000 containers on a single trip. As such, 90% of all trade occurs at sea.
The cost of shipping is so low that often companies save money by shipping items abroad for refining or work. For example, it is cheaper to ship sturgeon caught off the coast of Scotland to China for filleting and packaging, then back to Scotland to retailers, than it is to have the fish filleted and packaged in the UK.