International trade flows have increased dramatically over the last three decades. The value of world merchandise exports has risen from $2.03 trillion in 1980 to $18.26 trillion in 2011, equating to an astonishing average annual growth rate of 7.3%. This explosion in global trade has been driven by two factors: the first is the continued modernisation of developing markets with huge growth potential; the second is the notable rise in consumer consumption across Europe, Asia and America. Looking to the future, trade analysts have projected a steady increase in merchandise trade volumes over the next five years. Container ships serve as a vital foundation of modern merchandise trading, offering an efficient mode of transport that is capable of moving large volumes of goods.
To support this growth, countries around the world are upgrading their existing port facilities. This edition of China.Action.Money considers the future prospects for container trade in 2016 and demonstrates why container ships are a core component of global trade expansion.
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