Global trade potential is higher today than ever before with the potential of global markets outweighing that of domestic. As shipping lines announce new orders for larger vessels, it is confirmation of many who forecast freight growth will continue to outpace global GDP. We see growth in containerized traffic, especially in the emerging markets, supports previous research around the trade corridors which will continue to increase in importance. For example, the emerging-market growth champions, the BRIC countries today are exhibiting economic growth that exceeds the U.S. market. These growing global champs, although affected by the global economy, are positioned for further growth.

Proper positioning in emerging markets and better understanding of the driving factors behind global growth are key factors which will have an impact on our industry in 2012. Another important issue will be the economic landscape in Europe which poses a considerable challenge for global markets. Considering the increase in shipping line capacity and questionable demand in Europe, there is the potential for us to see in Europe a repeat of what we experienced in the U.S. in 2008.

Drawing from the lessons learned in 2008 may help us navigate the challenges in Europe and effectively manage the volatility resulting from shipping lines over capacity, as well as manage the depressed freight rates caused by weaker demand in the traditional trade routes.

By building flexible global operations, continuously innovating to increase efficiencies and respond to customers demands, plus manage the risks associated with a complex global market we will establish a foundation for addressing the challenges ahead.

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