“In the future, transport will be global, and there will be lots of it. Indications are that transport needs will rise dramatically”.
But due to the focus of global warming – the freight structure will change in future. The transport sector use large resources of oil, which produces a huge amount of CO2 pollution.
During the past 10 years, we have seen production move from domestic production to international production, mostly produced in far east, with long distance freight.
If we look at a Danish manufacture of shoes, we see:
The shoelaces from England, leather from Germany and the soles from Italy are transported to sewing factories in Asia. The shoe will then be transported to the manufacturer in Denmark, sold, transported to Holland and put on a vessel to USA. A journey of 62.600 km.
With the focus on CO2 pollution, due to transport, the distance has to be shorter to get a more “green” product.
In future the “worldwide” trade becomes more “near international” where factories are built near the consumers. Parts of the product will still be made in the cheapest country, but it will be more “in the near region”.
Whenever the zones get larger or smaller it will change the freight infrastructure of terminal handling:
The infrastructure will go from Large Hubs to a multi-path solution model, called “hub and spoke”. In this model, the smaller terminals serve as both collectors and distributors.
The large hubs have typical conveyor systems with sorters and fully automatic operation.
The Hubs covers a large district with long distance transportation.
The hubs are located in large buildings with lots of technical equipment – very difficult to move to another place, as the demands of freight changes, due to new production areas.
Hub and spokes
Smaller terminals have non sophisticated equipment and mobile pallet lifters.
The buildings are small warehouses with plain floors, a building you easily find all over the world. Your technical equipment can easily be moved from one location to another, typically over a weekend – very easy to move to another place, as the demands of freight changes, due to new production areas.
Still growth of freight
The amount of freight will continue to increase, but the distance of transportation will decrease.
We can look at World Shipping Councils prediction of increased freight:
1993 – 2002 2003 – 2020
Domestic 20 % 70 %
International 85 %