Source: Shipping density data adapted from National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, A Global Map of Human Impacts to Marine Ecosystems.
(Detailed PDF Map)
Maritime Shipping Routes and Strategic Passages
The above map represents the shipping routes density for the global maritime transport system as well as the main strategic passages forcing a convergence of shipping routes at specific locations. These routes are supporting the bulk of the traffic, but numerous other routes are existing (namely for coastal shipping), depending on the origin and the destination of the maritime shipment. Transatlantic and transpacific traffic concerns a wide variety of ports, so there are numerous routes, most of them having a path along the great circle. Trans-Indian ocean traffic is dominantly intermediary traffic between Pacific Asia and Europe, implying a series of more clearly defined routes, namely between the Strait of Malacca and Bab el-Mandab.