Shipping Industry, the industry devoted to moving goods or passengers by water. Passenger operations have been a major component of shipping, but air travel has seriously limited this aspect of the industry. The enormous increase, however, in certain kinds of cargo, for example, petroleum, has more than made up for the loss of passenger traffic. Although raw materials such as mineral ores, coal, lumber, grain, and other foodstuffs supply a vast and still growing volume of cargo, the transportation of manufactured goods has increased rapidly since World War II.