There are three main flows of sea borne cargo: trans-Pacific, trans-Atlantic and Europe-Far East. The trans-Pacific route is by far the largest flow. At 11 million TEU (“twenty foot equivalent units”) a year, it is almost twice the volume of Europe-Far East trade and three times the size of trans-Atlantic traffic. During the 1990s, during America’s boom years, the trade of all the routes grew enormously and this led to more and larger ships being built. The container fleet grew by 12% in 2001. Until then, a container ship commonly carried 600 TEU, during the 1990s ships were being build that could carry up to 8000 TEU. However after the 1990s there was a dramatic fall off in trade. Trans-Pacific trade, for example, fell to 50% of its 1990s high.
This down turn is being handled by the shipping alliances which manage the global trade. These large organizations are responsible for maintaining the fleets and seeing that the flow of goods is uninterrupted. This is a job that governments feel that the regular and reliable flow of trade is so important that in many cases the shipping alliances are exempt from anti-trust and monopoly laws. Their response has been to cut services, rest some of the older ships and share the burden amongst themselves.
“The Trans-Pacific trade route…” complete the sentence by choosing one or more options.
a) has nearly double the amount of trade as that of the Europe-Far East trade route.
b) had its container fleet increase by 12%.
c) sparked the boom years of the 1990s.
d) usually carried around 600 TEU.