The importance of shipping in supporting and sustaining today's global society makes it indispensable to the world. As the world’s population continues to grow, particularly in developing countries, low-cost and efficient maritime transport has an essential role to play in growth and sustainable development.
Without shipping, intercontinental trade, the bulk transport of raw materials, and the import/export of affordable food and manufactured goods would simply not be possible.
Shipping is the life blood of the global economy, and is constantly fighting the challenges of technological, environmental and geopolitical issues that test the resilience of the maritime sector. Companies are increasingly turned to liquefied natural gas (LNG) to reduce their impact on the environment.
This industry is also adjusting by embracing automation. Autonomous cargo ships have long been touted as the next big thing, combining cost-efficiency with green credentials.
Have you ever wondered when a container turns up at your warehouse, where it has been and what parts of the world it has travelled to before it reached you? Shipping containers travel all over the world, from the far East to the busy ports of London and Europe, across the Atlantic to the dockyards of the USA.
The BBC decided to follow a container for a whole year for interest to see exactly where it travelled to. They marked and tracked a container using GPS for just over 12 months, in which it travelled over 50,000 miles, mostly by sea, but also by train and road. It traced a very interesting journey through the main events of 2009 - for a short while it stood in a Japan port while global trade was almost at a standstill.
It went on travelling from Scotland to China, through the Suez Canal and visiting Brazil and Singapore, charted by the BBC through television, radio and online until it was unloaded and finished its journey back at the Television Centre in London UK. In total it circled the globe more than twice, carrying loads of whisky, bathroom scales, and cat food, and was followed with great interest by an audience including school children and has now been donated by NYK to be refitted as a soup kitchen in Africa for people who have been affected by the global recession.
TradeLink International is active in preventative measures to avoid any type of event which may cause quality issues or a delay in the customers supply chain. Measures in place before a shipment include fluid communications with growers in their own language (usually Spanish) to ensure our requirements are fully understood as well as regular visits to the farm.
Once an order is ready to ship, a final analysis by a third party laboratory is undertaken to check the actual batch that is being shipped matches the specifications and standards accepted by the customer and regulations in the country the product is being shipped to.
Each one of our orders are tracked by our operations staff and weekly updates are sent to our client with information on the progress of the order, shipping information and any issues we foresee, such as delays in the shipping channels or ports.