Digital economy

From Ships To Terabits

Ships and planes are giving way to cables when it comes to trade.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Businesses involved in conventional trade, such as ports and shipping firms, are likely to be severely damaged if they fail to embrace digitalization.

  • Facts


    • Global trade made up 26.6 percent of global economic output before 2008, but now only 24.6 percent.
    • In 2014, the global exchange of goods, services, capital and data contributed around an extra $7.8 trillion (€6.9 billion) to global economic output, with data streams contributing $2.8 trillion.
    • Cross-border data flow almost doubled around the globe to 290 terabits per second between 2013 and 2015 alone.
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“Hamburg – Gateway to the World.” So read the advertising brochures extolling this great trading city.

The actual gateway is the port of Hamburg, Europe’s second-largest container port behind Rotterdam, where millions of goods from all around the world are handled each year.

The port has put this northern German city on the map, and made it one of the big winners in globalization. When world trade is humming, then the people in Hamburg are also doing well.

But when things are going rough for globalization, the city feels it too.

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