Shifts In Maritime Transportation Industry

The present slow down of the industry in the developed world gives rise to this pessimism however, the forecast for the developing world produces a completely contrasting picture.
Maritime transportation is intricately linked by the means of transportation i.e by the shipping industry. Thus the health of the shipping industry gives a fair picture of the state of the transportation industry. After the end of the Second World War, The United States was the leading country in maritime transportation. The remarkable Marshall Plan saw the rebuilding of a shattered Europe in which seaborne commerce played an important role. Transportation of oil as also other goods increased manifolds. Closure of the Suez Canal in 1956 caused a short term downswing, but also helped add impetus to the shipping industry as the oil now had to come around the Cape of Good Hope thus increasing the capacity and capability of the maritime transportation sector. Between 1957 and 1973, the West’s domination of the maritime transportation industry was challenged by Japan who became the industry leader. In that period the transportation industry was very much a ‘sunset industry’ as far as the Europeans and the Americans were concerned but a ‘sunshine industry’ for Japan. The OPEC oil embargo of 1973, caused a sudden glut of oil tankers which had no cargo to carry. Consequently, the maritime transportation industry suffered badly. The Japanese shipbuilding industries suffered heavily and in the intervening vacuum, the South Koreans stepped in to claim their stake in the global maritime transportation pie. China and Singapore too joined the race. The maritime transportation industry today is characterized by some important factors shaping the world.