The Economist – Page 4

  • News

    A pinch of salt needed


    COMMENT: We live in a disrupted world where President Donald Trump in America is seemingly intent on destroying democracy and European Chief Negotiator for Brexit, Michel Barnier appears to only be able to offer a ‘take it or leave it’ stance when it comes to a so-called hard Brexit, writes ...

  • Strategy shift: ever-larger ships are not the answer. Credit: JAXPORT

    All change for globalisation


    COMMENT: Globalisation is evolving and the change may well mean the end of the concept as we know it, writes Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Disruption takes many forms


    COMMENT: I recently attended the Terminal Operators Conference in Singapore where there was a lot of discussion about digitalisation, and blockchain - it was not clear to me whether the audience really understood the meaning or full implications of either, writes Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Optimism in the air


    COMMENT: Syria aside, there appears to be a sense of optimism in the air about the prospects of the global economy and the growth of trade despite Trump''s “America First” policies and disdain for trade agreements, writes Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Tax and tribulations


    COMMENT: There is a lot of speculation about President Trump''s Border Adjustment Tax (BAT), but little consensus on what it means, writes Ben Hackett.

  • Shout out: too much protesting is bad for consumer spending and consequently trade. Credit: Matthew Lenard

    Ultimate threat to trade


    COMMENT: We live in a new global reality where diplomacy is practiced via Twitter if we are to believe President Trump and the Lithuanian Prime Minister. This is, in my view, a very sad state of affairs with Twitter driving populism globally. Today, there is truth and alternative truth; in ...

  • Battle lines: someone seems to have forgotten that the US is a major exporter of goods. Credit: Gage Skidmore

    New year heralds change


    COMMENT: The world order of things has changed, populism has thrown politics and economics into a new mixing bowl, not necessarily for the good, writes Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Another miserable year


    COMMENT: The port and shipping industry really do not have much to look forward to these days. Despite all the recent scrapping of ships of all types, there is still a surplus of tonnage that slack demand cannot fill, writes Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Yet more turbulence ahead


    COMMENT: For those who thought that things could not get worse, they will. At the beginning of the year there was optimism by some that 2016 would end up being a good year, however it is hard to see how anyone could have come to that conclusion, writes Ben Hackett.

  • Are ever-larger ships, such as Maersk Line's Triple-E vessel, leading the way to disaster? Credit: Maersk.

    Face up to the stark reality


    COMMENT: I have come to the conclusion that economies of scale and the continuous upsizing of ships is leading the way to disaster, writes Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Finding a general purpose niche


    COMMENT: In the early days of containerisation ports employed a benchmark ratio that one 1,250 teu container ship (remember that huge size?) replaced four multi-purpose general cargo ships and brought a host of benefits, not least high productivity and low port times, writes Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Pressure on transhipment ports


    COMMENT: You would think that as container ships got bigger that we would see fewer ports of call, writes Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Connectivity all the rage


    COMMENT: The concept of port connectivity has been around for some time; UNCTAD, for one, has done considerable research into the subject looking at freight rates, number of services, hinterland connectivity and reliable feeder operations, writes Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Batten down the hatches


    COMMENT: It seems when things are bad in the maritime industry, they are really bad, writes Ben Hackett.

  • Up in smoke: China's factory output is depressingly low. Credit: Jonathan Kos-Read

    A real threat of recesssion


    COMMENT: The economic signals are increasingly suggesting that the global economy is headed for a recession similar to that experienced in 2001: the economic fundamentals are not very positive and suggest lower growth in the US, the EU and Asia, by Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Feeling the pain in Asia


    COMMENT: Global trade for the first eleven months of 2015 has at best been flat, but of those, eight months were negative or had no growth. The next six months are likely to be similar in nature, writes Ben Hackett.

  • Downturn: the IMF's annual meeting warned that slowing growth in China poses a threat to the global economy. Credit: International Monetary Fund

    Beware of great expectations


    COMMENT: The leaders of the major economies are hoping that next year will be better than 2015 is turning out to be as the stock markets crash around us, wars engulf us in more places than can be rushed to and consumers remain wary of their future. However, the signs ...

  • Tough job: Tackling corruption in Ukraine is proving hard. Credit: Maria Savenko

    Is Ukraine's optimism misplaced?


    COMMENT: Your Economist recently spent two days attending a conference on container shipping and ports in Odessa, where the popular catchphrase is “victory, freedom and peace” in that order, writes Ben Hackett.

  • News

    Economic hurdles remain


    COMMENT: Ports and terminals around the world are making major investments in upgrading facilities, building new ones and re-financing what they have. It seems as if there is a general belief that global trade will return to the growth paths seen before the Great Recession and that shipowners will pursue ...

  • Interface: it's the shoreside capabilities that will stunt ship growth. Credit: rainer.n.foto

    Affordability of economies of scale


    COMMENT: Like all things in our world we try to keep up with new trends in order not to be at a disadvantage. In economic terms this is known as comparative advantage, defined as the ability of a firm to produce goods and/or services at a lower opportunity cost than ...