With the highly anticipated completion of the Panama Canal expansion, many regions of the world are investing to get their shipping ports and container terminals upgraded and ready to accommodate fleets of the new ultra-large shipping container vessels. From the new state-of-the-art port facilities being built, to the modernization of existing ports and the deep dredging of channels, these trillion dollar infrastructure and port investments have encouraged growth in developed and emerging economies all over the world, by creating tens of millions of jobs worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
As they continue to demonstrate strong growth, China, India, Brazil, Russia, and Africa are all nations that are expected to emerge as huge and attractive consumer markets. With emerging markets (like these mentioned above) representing half the world’s population, it is within reason to believe that they could become major contributors to global economic growth and thus, offer more appeal to investors looking to invest in containers and global trade. Some analysts would argue that these regions have already become viable contributors to rebuilding the world’s economy, helping it continue to grow over the last five years. Others would say that their contributions have not yet been fully realized and are yet to truly shine. With that being said, the new global economy in the future is very likely to be more inclusive and competitive, particularly as the world’s emerging markets in the East and the South continue to see their economies grow.
The new structure of the container shipping industry is expected to evolve around cost-effectiveness and modern-efficiencies. Ports that are unable to comply with the new demands run the risk of watching their hopes for prosperity pass by. Experts and analysts will tell you that shipping ports and terminals are the economic lifeline of any regional economy. Over 90 percent of the world’s consumer goods are transported by sea and, with recent upgrades and improvements, an outdated or inefficient port will not be able to compete in the new global economy. Interestingly, one thing that all the leading emerging markets (mentioned above) have in common, is that they all made enormous investments into their shipping ports and most will be ready by 2015 to accommodate the industry’s growth.