Ship transportation is the process of moving people, goods, etc. by ship or sailboat over a sea, ocean, lake or other inland waterway. This is frequently undertaken for purposes of commerce, recreation, or military objectives.
Early sea transportation was accomplished with ships that were either rowed or used the wind for propulsion. In the 1800s the first steam ships were developed, using a steam engine to drive a water wheel or propeller to move the ship. Originally the steam was produced using wood or coal, but most ships now use slightly refined type of petroleum called bunker fuel. Some specialized ships, such as submarines, use nuclear power to produce the steam.
Recreational or educational craft still use wind power, while some smaller craft use internal combustion engines to drive one or more propellers, or in the case of jet boats, an inboard water jet. In shallow draft areas, such as the Everglades, some craft, such as the hovercraft, are even propelled by large pusher-prop fans.
Military use of the seas and waterways is covered under navy.
Although relatively slow, modern sea transport is a highly effective method of transporting large quantities of non-perishable goods. Transport by water is significantly less costly than air transport for trans-continental shipping.