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La desserte maritime et terrestre de l’Europe en trafics conteneurisés à l’horizon 2030

Abstract : Throughout the world globalisation exists as an everyday reality. Like many of our contemporaries, we are convinced that we are experiencing a completely new phenomenon. For the economic historian, talking about globalisation in the singular would mean ignoring all the others. It is not the purpose of this essay to deny the vigour of the current globalisation, but to grasp the size of a permanent phenomenon, which is now linked to containerisation. In fact, with the benefit of hindsight and a study of the past, we can understand better the current debates and possible future developments. But the future is largely determined by a certain number of change factors. If it is not possible to predict the final outcome of these changes, nonetheless, we can speculate on the way each might influence the future of the European economy, in general, and on the consequences which can result from the provision of containerised transport throughout Europe. Some of these factors can directly influence the strengths and weaknesses of the existing models; others can have indirect impacts.This thesis is an essay which is aimed at all the practitioners and university specialists interested in maritime trade. It is not a text about certitudes, nor a piece of condensed scholarship; the objective is neither to cover every aspect of maritime transport nor the economic history of Europe. Europe, which only represents 7% of the global land mass, is a peninsula bordered on three sides by the seas and does not have a neat geographical border on the fourth side separating it from the rest of the Eurasian continent. This geographical Europe has rarely coincided with an economic Europe. We must consider that the vast regions of east and south-east Europe were invaded and enslaved by non-European conquerors, and were liberated only after many centuries. In fact Europe has always had a variable geometry, which is normal, because, since ancient times it has been the result of all the different invasions and Eurasian trade. After the discovery of the American continent, Europeans developed commerce on a worldwide scale and imposed their hegemony until 1914. Spices and other oriental products were added to the products from the “East Indies”. This central position, obtained because of a demographic and technical superiority, stems from an economic and centralizing imperialism, challenged at the start of the 20th century and today largely condemned.With enormous transport capacities and very low costs, containerisation has accompanied globalisation for more than fifty years and has totally revolutionised the transport on regular lines of different merchandise. Henceforth, a permanent question about the globalisation of trade and navigation appears in different forms in this thesis; this is that access to the global market of Europe is certainly linked to the performance of European infrastructure but even more to global traffic. The future of Europe is inevitably linked to the Mediterranean and is thwarted by the “price scissors effect” which puts at risk the involvement of southern Mediterranean states in the process of globalisation. Europe has a major role to play in this region, but it does nearly nothing in response to the emergence of Asian and Latin American powers. If we wait for Europe to find its “road to Damascus”, there is a risk that by 2030 it will have lost its central role. On the other hand a reasonable prediction is that there will be a global system of trade and navigation centred on the Indian Ocean and the China seas, while European traffic gradually becomes peripheral to a new global containerised transport circulation.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 4:21:56 PM
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Jean-Claude Sevin. La desserte maritime et terrestre de l’Europe en trafics conteneurisés à l’horizon 2030. Economies et finances. Conservatoire national des arts et metiers - CNAM, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011CNAM0767⟩. ⟨tel-00667937⟩



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