The complex network of cargo ship movements

Michael Gastner

Imperial College London

The global network of merchant ships is arguably the world’s most important transport network. Advances in shipping logistics have transformed the world economy in recent decades. It is estimated that nowadays 90% of world trade is hauled by cargo ships. As a side effect, cargo ships also exchange up to ten billion tons of ballast water, and with it potentially harmful bio-invasive species, around the globe. I will present how the world-wide network of ship routes can be inferred from the recorded itineraries of more than 16,000 cargo ships. I will highlight the main properties of the network and discuss consequences for economics, traffic modelling and forecasts of ship-mediated marine bio-invasion.


London Mathematical Laboratory, 14 Buckingham Street, London, WC2N 6DF

Date & Time

Wednesday 22nd August 2013 at 14.00hrs


LML Seminars are free to attend and no registration is required.