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August 2011 | Adam Leach
globalisation will boost Britain’s reliance on shipping to transport supplies,
according to an economic think tank.
report by the Centre for Economics andBusiness Research (CEBR) predicts that over the next 20 years marine-based transport of supplies will
boom, with imports to the UK growing by 287 per cent, from $345 billion today
to £1.63 trillion, and British exports increasing by 119 per cent, from £233
billion to £1.95 trillion.
report forecasts that even if the global use of fossil fuels such as oil and
gas falls, the decline of production in the North Sea will lead to an increase
in fuel shipments from other regions, such as the Middle East, and by extension
a significant increase in shipping traffic.
McWilliams, chief executive at the CEBR and author of the report, said:
“Although trade down telephone wires is the fastest growing element in
international trade, globalisation means that we will also become much more
dependent on shipping. This will create a need to invest in port facilities and
to ensure security in the sea lanes.”
addition to the increase in traffic, the report also predicts that the balance
between long haul and short haul transport will shift. The report says: “The
focus of Britain’s trade will shift from ‘short haul’ origins and destinations
across the [English] Channel to ‘long haul’ origins and destinations in the
Middle East, Asia and elsewhere around the world.”
2005 and 2010 the gross tonnage going through the port of Belfast, as an
example, increased by more than 25 per cent to around 25 million tonnes.
increasing shift towards emerging markets around the world is supported by the
forecast that by 2020 the BRIC countries - Brazil, Russia, India and China -
will have increased their share of the global economic output from a quarter to