Our world may not be at peace, it may not be perfect, and may not be a problem-free planet. But, one thing is for certain, it is globally connected. And, what industry makes the biggest contribution to the global economy? The international shipping industry.
Many people overlook shipping and its importance to globalization. But then again, many people fail to recognize the sheer magnitude of the worldwide shipping market, just as few investors realize the alternative investment opportunities the prospering industry presents. For example, on an average year, approximately 86,000 shipping vessels carry more than 9 billion tons of cargo across the world’s oceans. That amount is greater than one tone per human being on this planet. It is because of this sheer volume that we have such an efficient global economy. In the past we may not have been able to achieve this amount of cargo, but nowadays shipping lines have the ability to stack cargo containers uniformly on a shipping vessel, to maximize the amount of space used and goods transported.
While it would be possible for the world to be internationally connected without the use of ships and shipping containers, the affects would not be as significant. As it stands, our world and its economy revolves around these ships and the containers they carry. Without them, billions of goods could not be imported, exported, bought, sold and distributed throughout the world. Given that shipping containers currently carry over 200 times the amount that parcel services do, it is easy to see why they are vital to the growth of the U.S. economy.
Stores like Wal-Mart completely rely on shipping via containers to stock their shelves. Without container shipping, countries like the United States would not be able to import the amount of products they do from foreign countries, such as China, Taiwan and Mexico. These products are what the U.S. economy is built on and other countries are no different. With that being said, global container shipping has revolutionized the way we transport goods and thus has given new life to globalization.
In order to profit from economic growth, an investor must be both knowledgeable and resourceful. A review of investment opportunities may reveal a wide array of investment vehicles, from foreign currencies and real estate to fine art and antiques. There are also investment interest in commodities such as coffee from Ecuador to those mega-ships (Maersk) from Oslo, Norway, and everything in between. The shipping industry, especially the container shipping industry, may just be the alternative investment vehicle, that floats your boat.
For those who would like to invest in the shipping industry, there are lots of opportunities are to be found. Maersk Line for one, has signed an agreement with Daewoo Shipbuilding to construct at least 20 Triple E container ships, at a price of more than $190 million. On the high seas of building new ships are companies like China Shipping Container, Hyundai Heavy Industries and United Arab Shipping, all awaiting new ships to bulk up their lines to meet demand for world markets. Huge sums of money for new ships are being spent, to accommodate the increased demand for goods from Asia. Maersk’s new Triple E ships, the largest container ships ever built serve the Asia-Europe markets, and find no lack of want to fill that market with goods. The resurgence in global markets have increased demand for goods, only a couple of years since numerous companies either dismantled or shelved numerous assets in aging fleets, and all have placed orders for ships with various shipbuilders. This points to growth, which usually points to new profits and increased asset values. Investing in the shipping industry has already caught the attention of hungry investors who are eager to profit from economic growth around the world.
Should you wish to invest in the shipping industry, as in other investments, there is always some level of risk. Managing risk is part and parcel of asset allocation, investment, divestiture of non-performing assets and broker or advisor selection. With that being said, the shipping industry is demonstrating signs of renewed vigor, enhanced participation and global attention, which can for the most part; be attributed to the huge investments that have been made to ensure its profitability. To help fund their expansion and worldwide improvements, the international shipping industry leaders have introduced opportunities for investors to profit from the continued growth of the container shipping industry, as well as the world’s recovering economy.