Navigating the Future of Global Trade and Supply Chains

In this episode of The Freight Buyers’ Club, host Mike King delves into the current state of global trade amidst geopolitical tensions and disruptions with renowned economist, historian, and journalist, Marc Levinson. They explore the long-term implications for importers, exporters, carriers, and the entire transport ecosystem.

From the impact of recent events on supply chains to the shifting dynamics of globalization, in this episode, produced with the support of Dimerco Express Group, Marc shares valuable insights into the future of trade and logistics.

Mike and Marc also discuss the regionalization of supply chains, the delicate balance between efficiency and risk management, and how to best navigate the complex landscape of global trade in an ever-changing world.

Episode in more detail:

A fractured trading environment (02.18)

Deaton and the merits of globalisation (04.45)

Has trade growth peaked? (09.31)

Products<Services (12.59)

Technology implications for trade volumes (16.12)

Do we have the right ships and freighters? (18.37)

Container lines as integrators (21.24)

Competitive advantage and geopolitics (24.54)

Sourcing diversification (26.00)

Trade and security policy (29.13)

A new cold war? (32.41)

SMEs and protectionism (35.05)

Net zero or ground zero (38.12)

About Marc Levinson

Marc is an economist, historian, and journalist with a long track record of writing and speaking about economic and business issues. His book The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger, which explains how a seemingly simple innovation made globalization possible, received many awards. The Great A&P and the Struggle for Small Business in America, which explores the fascinating history of government efforts to crack down on chain stores to protect mom-and-pop retailers, won praise across the ideological spectrum and was published in a second edition in 2019.

His 2016 book, An Extraordinary Time, is an unusual take on the miserable decade of the 1970s, showing how the sudden end of the postwar boom led voters in many countries to choose leaders who promised to cut government down to size — Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Helmut Kohl, and others. But they couldn’t bring back the good times, because rapid productivity growth, the critical ingredient in higher living standards, is something political leaders can’t deliver.

His most recent project, Outside the Box, presents an unorthodox history of globalization. It shows that the international economic relationships we’ve known since the late 1980s, based on intricate long-distance value chains, are only a stage in the process of globalization — a stage that was waning long before Trump, Brexit, and COVID-19. But he contends that globalization is far from over; rather, it is moving into a stage in which the flow of ideas and services will be much more important than the flow of boxes filled with goods.

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