MarketLine Blog

Posts about Transportation

Alphabet X-Wing: Project Wing intensifies competition in a crowded drone delivery market

MarketLine

Project Wing aims to develop technology which makes the tracking and delivery of goods cheaper, faster and more sustainable than ever before. The project has developed an unmanned aerial vehicle with the ability to deliver packages to homes autonomously. This particular drone delivery service has a number of benefits associated with it in comparison alternative to traditional postal delivery. Transport times are quicker and are possible through bypassing traffic congestion reduces delivery times and helps reduce the volume of traffic on the roads. With less traffic and zero emissions, drone… Read more

African ports are driving economic growth: Expanding the port network will bring big benefits

MarketLine

According to SAP, 90% of imports and exports to and from Africa are transported by sea, and with the global middle-class population predicted to balloon to five billion people in just over a decade, expectations are African ports will take on greater economic significance. Problems, therefore, must be solved. Durban in South Africa is one of the more egregious examples of ports failing: the port is highly expensive and suffers from crippling congestion in the surrounding areas, causing it to only operate at 75% of the efficiency expected of an… Read more

e-rikshaws: Three-wheelers power India’s EV revolution

MarketLine

Electric vehicle (EV) revolution is gaining stronger ground in India and the country has surpassed China in terms of the number of EVs in use currently. The revolution, however, is not spearheaded by electric cars but by an electric alternative to pedal-driven rickshaws. The Indian nation is home to about 1.5 million battery-powered, three-wheeled rickshaws. This means a fleet bigger than the total number of electric passenger cars sold in China since 2011. Previous attempts to boost electric-car production in India have flopped, mainly due to the lack of clear… Read more

Vincent Bolloré charged in France

MarketLine

The arrest of French billionaire Vincent Bolloré, head of one of the largest companies operating in Africa, Bolloré Logistics, is unlikely to hurt the operations of the company recently valued at EUR12.9bn ($15.4bn). Insufficient logistical infrastructure has long held back economic growth for many countries situated on the world’s poorest continent. The French company has been important to developing critical infrastructure that has been driving growth of late. Odds are investigations in France will not significantly damage the company in Africa. Vincent Bolloré has already gained vocal support from Guinean… Read more

UK Rail Service: Fed up consumers overwhelmingly back train re-nationalization after another price hike

MarketLine

In the first week of 2018, UK rail passengers were made aware of another price hike that hit both season tickets and single ticket fares. The cost rose by 3.4% on average nationally in a country where fares are already close to the worst in Europe, levels of service equally bad and bailouts of failing operators protecting train companies. This has effectively exacerbated the already low levels of confidence in the crucial public transport service causing users to speculate whether only complete nationalization and restructuring of the service might get… Read more

Monarch Airlines: Management not to blame for collapse of UK’s longest-serving airline

MarketLine

In the early hours of Monday October 2, 2017, KPMG announced that it had entered the office of Monarch Airlines and the company had officially entered administration. In the following hours the Civil Aviation Authority chartered 30 planes from across Europe to repatriate some 110,000 British citizens and customers who were then stranded abroad with no return flights. Cancellations of every flight from October 2 and onwards have affected some 300,000 bookings and likely close to a million individuals, and Monarch’s departure from the short-haul flight market will almost certainly… Read more

Siemens Alstom merger: Deal necessary to compete against China state-backed CRRC

MarketLine

The merger between Siemens and Alstom will create a company able to compete against the largest train companies in the world. Previous talks between Siemens and Canada based Bombardier failed but showed the mood in the market was towards consolidation. A merger between two leading European companies is necessary if Europe is to remain relevant. The Chinese CRRC is armed with massive resources and is pressing ahead with highly advanced technology. The importance of the ability of Europe to compete was underlined by the decision of the French government sold… Read more

Melting ice opens up Arctic shipping route for longer periods

MarketLine

As the melting of ice in the Arctic region intensifies due to increased human activity in the Arctic region, the possibility of using the region for marine transportation purposes also increases. Whereas in the past vessels would have to be escorted by heavy ice breakers, the complete disappearance of or reduction in size of ice has resulted in customized transportation vessels that can also act as moderate ice breakers to emerge. These customized vessels require no escort and have been able to cover vast distances in the Arctic region in… Read more

World’s largest airport under construction in Istanbul

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Turkey, and Istanbul in particular, has seen a strong rise in the number of passengers using air travel in recent years. This has been most evident in the case of Ataturk Airport which as the hub of the country’s national airline company Turkish Airlines, has seen its capacity limit pushed to breaking point. With the 2016 terrorist attack at the airport also showing its security vulnerabilities, the city authorities as well as the national government were therefore very keen on building a new airport which could deal with the strong… Read more

UK airline industry: The threat of the permanent side-effects of Brexit

MarketLine

The future of the UK airline industry is likely to be worse after Brexit even after the end of uncertainty, as the free movement of EU citizens is likely to be over. This automatically means that the prosperous international segment of the UK industry will be severely hit by restrictive regulation regarding new limiting open skies agreements and border controls. The termination of open skies agreements will jeopardize the growth of the UK airlines industry, the revenues of which are greatly dependent on UK-EU traffic. Extensively, the UK airline industry… Read more

Nicaraguan Canal project loses momentum: Expansions to Panama and Suez Canal reduce need for a second canal in Central America

MarketLine

The idea behind the Nicaraguan Canal dates back centuries, but has always been beaten back by the Panama Canal, initially by the latter’s construction, and secondly by its expansion, which has made the construction of the Nicaraguan Canal less desirable. Whilst the Nicaraguan government has declared the importance of the construction of the canal for the nation’s economy the Hong Kong Nicaragua Canal Development Group (HKND), which is in charge of the construction of the canal, has yet to initiate this construction five years after the project’s announcement. A number… Read more

China’s OBOR project: Threatening the Singaporean transportation sector

MarketLine

Singapore’s location at the southern tip of the Strait of Malacca has allowed the country to position itself as one of the world’s major transportation hubs. Through this Strait travels practically all trade between the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and therefore trade going in and out of countries such as Japan and China will more likely than not pass through Singapore, especially if headed towards Europe, the Middle East and Africa. To emphasize its importance, almost half of all Chinese oil imports pass through Singapore, and the figure is even… Read more

Baltic nations agriculture and transportation sectors suffer due to Russian sanctions

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Western sanctions on Russia due to the events that unfolded in Crimea in 2014 resulted in Russia only days later reciprocating and introducing its own sanctions on the EU and the US. Whilst the EU sanctions have focused on oil companies and Russian banks, Russian sanctions on the EU have focused on the agricultural sector. This has been bad news for players in the agricultural and transportation sectors in the Baltic nations. Russia has historically been a key export market for Baltic exporters and the two have a long history… Read more

The Sky is the Limit: How Uber’s dominance of a market allows it to chase next-gen dreams

MarketLine

Uber released financial data to Bloomberg on April 14, 2017, something it is in no way obliged to do. The image it presented was one of rapid growth and expansion, skyrocketing revenues and incredible levels of spending. One would hope to see this level of performance; private investment in the company has grown consistently since its launch in 2009 as UberCab, generating nearly $10bn from investment firms since then, and it has managed to spend more than $8bn investing in its own growth. Private investment growth will need to continue… Read more

The New Silk Road: China’s Belt and Road plan the biggest infrastructure program ever

MarketLine

The Belt and Road initiative is China’s attempt to resurrect the Silk Road, the ancient path linking Europe and Asia. This modern version of the plan wants to unite multiple regions with a monumentally large infrastructure program that could consume close to $1tn by the time it is complete. Comprising roads, port projects, pipelines, trains, shipping lanes and economic zones, the plan stretches from the South Pacific Ocean to Central Europe. The aim on the surface is to boost trading and reinvigorate multiple economic regions. However when the plan is… Read more

Airline Industry: Heading to value differentiation

MarketLine

Price differentiation of an airline company has been implemented so far on the means of absorbing the consumers’ willingness to pay for the same service, an economy class with frills. In this way, not much price differentiation existed on the value of services as the distinction made was only between economy and business class. This distinction of services was too steep to keep out many consumers that would be available to pay for the price of a ticket with no frills and lower quality of services. The surging penetration of… Read more

Iran Transport: Accelerating forward to the future

MarketLine

Iran is a growing hub for transportation, acting as a critical connection point between India and Russia/ Europe. Until recently, the Suez Canal served as the quickest transport route between India and Russia however with Iran undergoing rail infrastructure upgrades and also building part of the North-South corridor, Iran is set to become a key part of the ongoing development of transport links using the rail network. The North-South corridor has the potential to cut the transport time by around 50% and is sure to disrupt the naval transportation market…. Read more

LiDAR self-driving technology. A case of calculated theft?

MarketLine

Google and Uber started off as friends with Google parent Alphabet investing $258m in Uber in 2013. They then became competitors, as Uber started experimenting with its fleet of self-driving cars in 2016. Finally, in 2017, both companies ended as adversaries in court, engaging in a bitter legal fight to control the future of transportation. The suit details the lengths Waymo goes to in order to protect its trade secrets, including purchasing LiDAR components from numerous vendors and completing assembly in-house to prevent any single vendor from knowing everything about… Read more

No restructuring plan can save Hanjin

MarketLine

At the present time the primary difficulty with the ship freight industry is one of oversupply, and the gulf between capacity and demand is growing still further. Market conditions are reigning in even the most competitive companies: Maersk, the Danish conglomerate and a leading company in the sector, is cutting jobs and has cancelled an order for six of the huge Triple-E super tankers. In such an environment, Hanjin cannot hope to survive – the demand simply does not exist for such a company anymore. No matter the quality of… Read more

Uber & Didi Chuxing: Uber gives app in China

MarketLine

Uber’s once seemingly irresistible march to world domination has suffered a setback as it agreed to merge its business operations in China with local competitor Didi Chuxing. Uber had been employing the practices that served it well elsewhere, by engaging in subsidizing of rides and drivers’ income to gain market share. However, in China a domestic ride sharing incumbent made from the merger of Didi and Kuadi in February 2015 (later renamed Didi Chuxing) could match Uber’s financial power, as it drew backing from Chinese internet companies and Apple. The… Read more

Self-driving to the future

MarketLine

The line between the auto and tech industries is rapidly blurring, with the pursuit of autonomous driving and a shift from car ownership towards car sharing and ride sharing. China is widely viewed as the next frontier for growth and many market players are looking to establish a foothold in this country, which requires significant investment. To keep up with changing market trends, most major auto makers are investing in their own driverless-car technology, which is less costly if done in cooperation with high-tech companies, like Google or Apple. The… Read more