Whilst there are vast oceans that could be used for heavy equipment shipping from one location to another, there have, over time, become vital arteries for global trade.
The Suez Canal is the most famous of these, in no small part because it cut the travel time between Europe and Asia from several weeks to a matter of days, and has since seen over 18,000 vessels travelling it each year.
However, it is not the only major shipping route in the world, nor is it the only important man-made route. Here are some other commonly used routes for freight shipping and transportation.
The single busiest shipping lane in the world, the English Channel, particularly the Dover Strait, sees hundreds of vessels travel across it each day.
Whilst the importance of the connection between English and European ports is clear, it also connects the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea, making it a vital stop when goods travel from Europe to America.
One of the most difficult engineering projects ever made, the Panama Canal connects North and South America and is as vital for trade between the two continents as the Suez Canal is between Asia and Europe.
The main reason for this is it helps ships avoid the dreaded Cape Horn route routing the southernmost point of Tierra Del Fuego.
Taking ten years to build between 1904 and 1914, it reduced a dangerous, weeks-long route to around 11 hours, and thanks to expansions can carry some of the larger container vessels (Up to 14,000 TEU ships).
The shortest sea route between India and China, the narrow Strait of Malacca connects the Indian and Pacific Oceans and has become one of the busiest and most important shipping lanes in the world, carrying a quarter of the world’s shipped goods and a quarter of all oil.