According to the information presented by the World Shipping Council (WSC), the use of containers as a method of transportation for goods has grown steadily over the decades. Today, container ships can carry about 60% of the value of goods shipped via sea. Therefore, it is impossible to estimate the influence of containers use on the worldwide economy and on the US economy respectively. However, the utilization of containers in the United States has substantially changed over the past ten years.
World Economy and Global Maritime Freight Markets
Levinson explains that the responsiveness of commerce to Gross Domestic product growth (GDP) has moderated over the past ten years. During the period from 2000 to 2008 global business grew by an average of 5.4 percent each year while financial activity as measured by the global GDP, rose by only 3 percent of the global GDP, while goods bound for the processing industry have in fact more than quadrupled. Marine modernizations have helped to fuel the growth of maritime freight traffic. The global recession in 2008/2007 triggered a massive slump in world trade and accordingly shipping. Following a modest rise of nearly 3 percent in 2008- trade nosedived by about 14 % in 2009. Freight estimates dropped to historic lows on many sub-markets. As at the beginning of 2009 about 9 % of bulk carriers worldwide lay idle, unemployed, in parts, this capacity is slowly returning to the business in 2010 recovery (3).
Sea Containers in the United States
According to WSC, the sea vessels in the United States are ISO certified, and the standards were set forth by the International Maritime Organization and endorsed by the United Nations according to the 1977 Convention. The CSC Plate guarantees the “ISO steel module” is safe, and fully certified by a qualified engineer at the factory-of-origin according to international standards and regulations. Sea containers can be used solely for shipping or construction of low-cost houses and offices. Sea containers have provisions of different sizes depending on the purpose. Even though the US was the principal exporter for many decades and the headquarter of most of the giant shipping companies is in Europe. Manufacturing of ISO containers has always been in Europe and Asia but not in the United States.
Top Ten Seaports in the U.S
Inbound logistics explains that port selection is a major component of supply chain strategy. Specifically, the port of Los Angeles is considered to be the first one in this regard. To continue, the second is the port of Long Beach, the third is Port Authority of New York and New Jersey followed by Port of Seattle and Tacoma. The fifth place is occupied by Port of Savannah, Port of Oakland is the sixth top U.S seaport while Port of Virginia is the seventh U.S sea port. The eighth, ninth and tenth U.S sea port are Port of Houston Authority, Port of Charleston and Port of San Juan, Puerto Rico respectively.
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Top Ten Ports in World
As stated on World Shipping Council, the new number one port last year in the world is the port of Shanghai. In second place is Singapore port which is no longer number one but container traffic remains high. The third port in the world is Shenzhen China which is now the second largest Chinese port. In fourth place is Hong Kong container terminal. The fifth world port is Busan port south Korea which has shown continued growth. Ningbo-Zhoushan Port in China is the sixth world port. The seventh world port is Guangzhou Qingdao China. In eighth place is Guangzhou Harbor, China. Despite a decline in exports out of China, it continues to handle more cargo. The ninth world port is Jebel Airport in Dubai, U.A.E.T.E which has successfully positioned itself between east and west shipping lanes. In 10th place is Tianjin, China.
Import and Exports of U.S
Container shipping lines. World Shipping Council asserts that there are almost 400 liner services operating presently, most administering weekly exits from all the ports that each service calls. Liner vessels, mainly in the form of container ships and roll-on/roll-off ships, ferry close to sixty percent of the goods by value moved globally by sea each year.
Container shipment. Every day, containers are in transit aboard liner ships which offer regularly scheduled service on fixed routes. Each load represents a particular supply chain. Each supply chain is somewhat exclusive since it involves a prompt and precise transmission of goods between different means of transport. The container is tightly locked so the products can remain safely secure until they get to their destination that is a purchaser’s warehouse, factory or store (Levinson, 4).
Shipping requirement. When sailing a product abroad, the operator ought to know about packaging, branding, documentation, and insurance requisite. The documents should rightly meet U.S. and foreign government fundamentals, as well as proper assortment guidelines and protected against damage, loss, pilferage, and delay (Levinson, 4).
Shipping products. The U.S. purchases much more merchandise compared to its sells globally. In March, the nation’s trade deficit increased to its largest level since the 2007-09 financial crises. The U.S. imported $51.4 billion more in goods than it sold to foreign markets in that month alone (Inbound Logistics).
Shipping partners. One of U.S’s shipping partners is U.S. Shipping Corporation. It was formerly known as U.S. Shipping Partners L.P. The company provides long-haul marine transport business to US ports, carrying refined petroleum and chemical goods. Its fleet of about a twelve vessels entails tug-barge units and tankers (WSC).
Benefits and Weakness of U.S. Sea Shipping
According to Inbound Logistics, one of the advantages of U.S. sea shipping is that it is eco-friendly. Secondly, sea freightage encounters no traffic jam, and this way of transporting goods is a time-conscious way of delivery. Another benefit is that it is cost-friendly. One of the weaknesses is that sea shipping can be slow, and it might take a longer period for customers to get their goods. Moreover, unexpected storms can occur in the sea some so high that can wreck a ship which may lead to ships capsizing and loss of containers and property.
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Container Trade and Logistics
Inbound logistics mentions many factors that impact on some container imports and exports, including exchange rate fluctuations, changes in economic structure amongst others.
In the US, container logistics models have evolved continuously as a result of influences and factors such as the globalization and expansion of new markets, mass tailoring to address merchandise and market subdivisions, lean manufacturing practices, and associated shifts in costs.
Maritime Management Strategy of the United States
The Department of Transportation (DOT) predicts that in the years 2010 -2020 the amount of freight transported by water will grow by 43 percent domestically and 67 percent internationally. In 2006, 27 million 20-foot equivalent units (TEUs) of containerized cargo (an international industry standard) were loaded and unloaded at U.S. ports. One benefit of the maritime management strategy of US is that it advocates for additional infrastructure to improve productivity and accommodate the projected growth. The disadvantage of this method is the present financing mechanisms are not issuing enough revenue to align with construction, replacement, expansion, and rehabilitation projects (WSC).
The Collaboration of Asian and the US Markets
The market growths in the US, whether driven by monetary guidelines, commercial market or political occurrences, have for a long time been a superior force in the global markets. The financial crisis in 2008–09 and, much more recently, the mid-2013 “taper tantrum”, are prime examples of spillovers emanating from the US markets. With its broad financial correlation with the Asia-Pacific domain, the U.S can apply its impact over funding costs, portfolio rebalancing and risk appetite channels (Levinson 4).
Future Market Plan of America
As explained by the U.S Bureau of Budget and Planning, there is a tight connection between America’s prosperity with the global economy. Some strategic goals with objectives to expand access to future markets, investments, and trade are outlined. The performance goal for this objective is the advocacy to support the U.S. export of merchandise and services. The achievement objective statement states that by September 30, 2017, using 2013 baseline data, there will be help for elevated exports of U.S. goods and services. Implementation will be by doubling suitable economic aid, as regulated by the times’ ambassadors and assistant secretary cause publicly with overseas counterparts on behalf of U.S. trade to aid those companies to win particular international contracts or other export favorable by making points in meetings, during phone calls, or in written communication.
In conclusion, despite the challenges, container-shipping lines should continue to navigate market hard times. During the past years, the US sea ports showed signs of neglect which was worrying as the nation competes in an increasingly dynamic global economy. However, presently, container trade in the U.S keeps getting better as the service continues to become reliable. Operational improvement is evident in the recent years brought about by the new enlarged carrier alliances that every year. There is an expectation that the performance of the container in the United States will continue to maintain the current upward trend to impress customers, hence, having customer retention, as well as embrace technology, to remain relevant in the market.