Ports and terminals today
Ports and terminals are vital to the global economy. In the United States and China, the world’s two largest economies, the vast majority of imported and exported cargo moves through commercial ports. For coastal states and islands such as those in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean that rely heavily on tourism, in particular the cruise industry, ports are the lifeblood of their economies. The rising demand of emerging markets, such as the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, have led to a significant increase in the use of containers, and to the emergence of large multi-terminal operators adept at designing, financing, constructing, operating and maintaining terminals capable of efficiently moving, storing and repairing huge numbers of containers. In addition, the commodities boom fuelled by this rising demand has contributed to increased investment in bulk cargo terminals (coal, iron ore, grain, etc), owned and operated by multinational agricultural and mining companies and commodities traders seeking to export their raw materials to the growing economies of the world.