Wouldn't that look weird to a Martian?

For the whole of 2004, [Drewry Shipping Consultants] estimates that the number of TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent units) leaving Asia bound for America’s west coat could top 11m, while the number going the other way may be only 4.9m.

—The Economist[^1]

If you couldn’t see the money flowing, what would you make of one part of the world carefully crafting hundreds of millions of artifacts and sending them to another part of the world in an endless stream of ships, and getting back in exchange … less than half as many things? And repeating this year after year.