Check out this movie, which is about the hidden network of ships and containers which plies the world's oceans, and brings us most of the items that we own...
There are numerous books on this theme, and these are referenced in this piece which I was linked to via Ian Cook of 'Follow the Things'. I have Rose George's 'Deep Sea and Ocean Going' which is a great book.
See the short film here, showing the importance of shipping containers in global trade.
There's an interesting connection too with the big resource that I produced for CILT in association with the GA. This had a section looking at maritime freight.
Another VIMEO trainer: Freightened...
FREIGHTENED - The Real Price of Shipping - Trailer from Polar Star Films on Vimeo.