This is a simple example. Other products like clothing or electronics have more complex global supply chains that contain more links, which makes managing the logistics considerably more challenging.
The above supply chain represents the journey of a single product, but brands typically market product lines that contain multiple items. With multiple brands producing the same type of product, you can begin to imagine the sheer scale and complexity of the supply chains currently in operation around the world.
It is exactly this type of complexity that companies like Damco and Maersk Line are experts in managing. They take care of the logistics details that connect each step of the supply chain, freeing manufacturers and retailers to focus on what they do best.
Trade has always been about more than simply buying and selling goods. From ancient trade routes like the Amber Road in the 16th century BC, the Silk Road that connected Asia to the Mediterranean since 200 BC, to the spice trade at the turn of the 18th century, technologies, religions, philosophies, and cultures have travelled alongside merchandise.
From the mid-19th century, the growth in transport infrastructure, especially rail, improved trade connections and led to a surge in productivity, so much so that by the turn of the 20th century, the ratio of exported goods to total goods was higher than it is today.
Trade in the 20th century was hampered by the First World War. The major trend of the first half of the century was the end of European dominance of global trade, as the USA and Japan took a more prominent role. The discovery and refinement of oil during this period would also prove to be fundamental to the future of world trade.
The Second World War affected trade even harder than the First World War, but by the mid 1950s, the introduction of the shipping container led to an explosion in trade volumes, and laid the foundations for the truly global state of modern trade.
In the 21st century, international supply chains have transformed the global economy by connecting trade, investment, and services. This has been accompanied by the ongoing revolution in information and communication technologies, which has made it possible to manage the complex challenges of coordinating logistics on a global scale.