Changes in shipping routes over the years/ decades
See, Clement Zengjie
Date of Issue2017-05-12
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Modern engineering projects have been pivotal in reshaping old shipping routes into the modern ones we know and the impacts have been felt by stakeholders in the shipping industry. As recent engineering projects have been completed in the last decade, the possibility of routes changing in the next few years could occur for the different sectors in shipping. This paper has identified and examined the lessons learnt from past engineering projects, specifically Man-made Canals that have influenced major shipping routes changes and analysed the feasibilities of future engineering projects. Analysis was done on the two major interocean canals, the Suez and the Panama, where both underwent an expansion project recently to increase its capacity on its impact on the shipping industry when first constructed and after their respective expansions. Experts believe the expansion of the canals will increase the volume of the ships passing through due to better economies of scale and opens the possibility of new routes for different cargo sectors. However, the timing of the expansion was questionable as the economic impacts of the expansion was below expectations and it is believed that better forecasting, rather than following trends, could be done by stakeholders in such projects. A major lesson learnt for ship owners is that bigger is not always better when in search of profitability and long term prospects should be considered. Moving on to the future, the research identified two potential future interocean Man-made canals, the Kra Canal and the Nicaragua Canal and evaluated the feasibilities of the projects. Considering the lessons learnt from the past, the consensus amongst the experts with regards to the construction of the projects was that it will be unlikely in the near future but it would be unwise to rule the possibilities out completely in the distant future. The benefits of the two projects are vague and it is weighed down by a staggeringly high construction cost and environmental concerns. Though the impacts of major engineering projects have not been significant in the recent years, the lessons learnt from the past will prove to be vital for the shipping industry to apply towards the future.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University