Sunday, 23 June 2013

Global Shipping Industry Invests Big to Meet Growing Demand

In the world of global cargo shipping, everything pertaining to it just keep getting bigger and more efficient wherever you look. From the giant ships to the huge cranes needed to transport the millions of shipping containers to the ports themselves, they all are growing in size virtually year after year. It seems as if the industry has a motto of some sorts such as "Bigger is Better." The recent announcement that China is going to build the world’s biggest shipping canal in Nicaragua to accommodate the largest container ships in the world today plus the even bigger one’s that are still in the planning stages, is a testament to the growth of the global shipping industry itself.

Before the first shipping container was even invested back in the mid-1950’s, each port had to mostly rely on manpower to move consumer goods from ships to shore to trucks and trains. Nowadays, most new modern ports are equipped with the latest technological equipment and they are not only efficient but they are certainly most effective. A recent announcement in the Netherlands stated that the APM Terminals facility at Rotterdam’s new Maasvlakte 2 site will most likely end up being the world’s most automated facility of it’s kind. One of the reasons for it’s being built in the first place is to be able to handle the new Triple-E container ships that Maersk Line’s is building that can carry 18,300 TEUs. To put that in perspective, the first container ships in the 1960’s could only transport about 1,000 TEUs.

As the global economy grows so too does the demand for shipping containers filled with consumer goods and port operators have to try to stay one step ahead just to be able to keep pace. So far the industry has been doing a good job to do so and all these innovations and inventions in the industry are designed to save money and manpower and time as well. There are already plans made by international shipping companies to build container ships that can carry up to 30,000 TEUs if and when it is necessary in the future. If it can be done and justified economically, the shipping industry will do what they can to become better at what they do. It is a competitive sector with lots of money to be made and just as much to be lost, if the right investments are not made at the right time.

There is no doubt the technological evolution of the shipping industry is changing the way the world trades it’s consumer goods. It has indeed laid a solid foundation for a more inclusive and prosperous global economy moving forward into the future. With some analysts calling for a global economic boom sometime before 2020, it’s important that shipping industry leaders are ready to accommodate it and continue to deliver shipping containers, prosperity and economic growth, all over the world.

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