PortEconomics member Jean-Paul Rodrigue provides evidence of the cyclic behavior of containerization through an analysis of long, medium and short waves of container ports. His guest lecture at the USC Price Sol Prize School of Public Policy has been recorded and provides valuable information about the box.
The container, like any technical innovation, has a functional (within transport chains) and geographical diffusion potential where a phase of maturity is eventually reached. Evidence from the global container port system suggests five main successive waves of containerization with a shift of the momentum from advanced economies to developing economies, but also within specific regions.
These waves are illustrative of major macroeconomic, technological and sometimes political shifts within the global economy. Containerization has therefore a cyclic behavior and that inflection points are eventually reached, marking the end of the diffusion of containerization in a specific port or port range. Future expectations about the growth of containerization thus need to be assessed within an economic cycle perspective instead of the rather linear perspectives.
Learn all, and many more about the box, watching Jean-Paul’s lecture – but don’t forget to ackwnoledge when using the concepts:
The analysis is based on the port study: David Guerrero, Jean-Paul Rodrigue (2014). The waves of containerization: shifts in global maritime transportation, Journal of Transport Geography, Volume 34, January 2014, Pages 151-164