Here’s a refresher on what the world was like before Malcolm McLean’s invention and what’s changed since.
International Trade News
U.S. imports of electrical goods in dollar value terms expanded 6.3 percent in 2014, the fifth consecutive annual expansion, partly because of a strengthening consumer sector. The trade outlook for 2015 looks positive, with import value expected to increase 5.9 percent, reaching an approximately $330 billion.
Just two hours before they were set to call the port at Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates, the crew of the Maersk Tigris likely had little or no idea that the container ship would become international news while heightening tension in the Middle East.
General Mills will be the first tenant at a tri-modal logistics facility near Manchester, England, set to open next year. The inland port will offer rail, truck and short-sea shipping links.
U.S. consumer spending and new homebuilding are forecast to grow so steadily this year that imports from Far East Asia are likely to grow by a faster-than-expected 4.5 percent, year-over-year.
Japan posted a monthly trade surplus for the first time in nearly three years in March, as exports grew on the back of a weaker yen, led by robust U.S.-bound shipments, while imports tumbled due largely to lower oil prices.
The Mexican government is pumping $5 billion — more than 77 billion pesos — into its network of 117 ports, as the country’s rising middle class demands more imports and Mexico rises as a regional manufacturing powerhouse.
In the first two months of 2015, Chinese exports by value to Hong Kong, its second-largest trading partner, fell 6.5 percent year-over-year, while outbound shipments to Japan, China’s third-biggest receive of its exports, slipped 0.4 percent in the same period, according to statistics from Global Trade Information Systems, a sister company of JOC.com within IHS Maritime & Trade.
The first consignment of South African apples ever shipped to China is on the water and will arrive in Shanghai on May 2 following eight years of negotiations between the two countries over access to the giant Chinese market.
The term “One Belt One Road” has invaded reports on China trade over the past few weeks, with Beijing officials rarely missing a chance to extol the virtues of the regional initiative that brings together the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road developments aimed at linking China with Europe and Africa, and the countries in between.