The exchange in physical goods, anything from raw materials, to food, to electrical items and luxury products has increased wealth, provided opportunity and improved quality of life around the world. Over 80% of everything we purchase travels by sea and, as a result, over the years shipping channels have been established, road and rail networks have been built, and ports and cities have prospered. The value of international commerce has grown almost tenfold in the past 30 years because more people have access to more products so, to satisfy this demand, we are now transporting more raw materials around the world than we have ever done before. The shipping lanes are full. But change is in the air. After centuries of Western dominance the rules are being rewritten as new trading patterns between Asia, the Middle East and South America evolve. At the same time technology is revolutionising what we make and how we make it. The next decade will see transformational change as these new processes and markets develop.
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