Thursday, March 23, 2006

More Containers

Der Spiegel has a great article in English.

When designing its terminal in Altenwerder, the Hamburger Hafen und Logistik Aktiengesellschaft (HHLA) had projected annual growth of 6 to 7 percent - maximum. But the figure has since topped 14 percent. "We totally underestimated the impact of globalization," says HHLA CEO Klaus-Dieter Peters.

At the time, no one could have envisaged how quickly the ocean-freight business would evolve as a result of the increasing division of labor. Asia -- particularly China -- serves as the world's manufacturing hub; Europe and the U.S. are its main consumers. And between them lie the seven seas. This waterworld is globalization's home field.

More than 3,500 cargo ships are sailing the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian oceans today. They are loaded down with about 15 million containers. Like beads lined up on a necklace, these huge vessels ply their transcontinental routes. And their number rises every week. The container market is growing nearly three times as fast as the world economy. If the experts are to be believed, the sky's the limit


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