Shifts in global demographics and population growth rates, coupled with long-term economic growth in developing markets, will have implications for the maritime sector over the course of the next decade.
The middle class is growing in the emerging economies of Asia, Africa, and Latin America where disposable incomes will drive growth in demand for imports of commodities and finished goods.
One consequence for the maritime sector of a rise in consumer spending in developing markets will be long-term growth opportunities for container ships.
More and larger container ships will require investment in ports, infrastructure, technology, and services to ensure that the flow of business remains efficient.
Shipping’s employment problem is that it is seen as low-tech compared with industries such as the aviation, automotive and technology. To attract the next generation of maritime professionals, shipyards must become more technologically advanced and innovative, and seafaring must learn new skills and integrate new technology.