In Sean’s Ships: Bringing the World Together, Sean and Robot are on a mission to sell custard creams across the world and with the help of the Captain, have been learning all about ships and world trade.
In this series of Sean’s Ships we’ve been learning all about international trade – that’s the way different countries exchange stuff. A bit like the way you might trade things with friends in Minecraft.
In this episode we look at imports and exports, as well as how things like fruit keep from going rotten even on long journeys.
Imports and Exports
Imports are goods coming IN to the country, exports are goods going OUT. When items are imported, they arrive on ships at ports in large metal shipping containers. The UK is an island nation and 90% of everything bought arrives by sea.
From clothes we wear to food we eat, many every day things we buy in the UK come from overseas.
The largest imports into the UK are crude oil and gas from places like Norway, USA and Middle East, clothing and computers from China, cars from Germany and fruit, like oranges and lemons from Spain. The UK exports many goods to other countries including cars and vaccines.
How do things like fruit stay fresh on long journeys?
It takes days to travel by sea so there are some things that have to be done to stop items like fruit going rotten before they reach their destination.
One of the tricks they use to make sure fruit is perfect when it reaches the UK is to pick it a few days before it’s ripe. That way, it ripens on the journey and reaches you in perfect condition.
They also use special shipping containers called reefer containers. Reefer is a term that refers to a refrigerated storage container, which maintain a constant temperature and humidity level.
Sean’s Ships – Bringing the World Together. With support from Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
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