There has been a great achievement in the maritime industry in terms of efficiency. This industry is the back-bone of world with 90% of the trade being moved by the commercial shipping industry. The increased efficiency has resulted in low cost of moving products across the globe. The world-wide sea trade has expanded rapidly over the last 40 years and is now past 6 billion tons per year. With a yearly growth rate of about 0.25.
The governments have reduced their trade regulations over the past years something that has seen a rise in the specialization in various regions across the globe. Asian countries have now majored in manufacturing something which largely depends on container shipment as a form of transport to the designated markets overseas. In the case of the United States, the consumption of petroleum products has risen even though domestic production trend is observed to be going down. With this information, we can easily predict a significant growth in the sea importations with crude oil and liquefied natural gas being the major products. This growing demand for imports by the U.S and the climate which is continuously changing is expected to expand resource exploration in the Arctic region making efficient and environmental protective deep-sea shipping to of a very important to the economy of the United States. (Noble, 2008)
The maritime transportation industry has made significant development in its effectiveness over the past 50 years. There has been a reduction in the cost of shipping heavy loads, something which has resulted in lower cost of the product to the consumers. (Noble, 2008). Technological advancement has seen a rise in new concepts such as container ships and liquefied natural gas carriers something which has changed entirely how products are moved. Other significant areas improved as well are the reduction in the labour force supply demanded in the industry, shipbuilding productivity, the efficiency of operations and the economies of scale brought about using large marine transporters. (Noble, 2008)
The maritime transport industry has several sectors which need to interact effectively for it to deliver overall system efficiency. This component range from carriers to safety apparatus. In addition, it needs a great supply of very skilled labour force the U.S marine transport also has numerous faces ranging from sea sabotage to great river navigation (Noble, 2008)
Even though an expanding effective and efficient maritime industry is of a significance important to the economy of the United States this case analysis focuses on the unemployment rate rising from the increasing automation of the industry and the remedies that may be out in place to maintain the stability of the economy
The push for full automation of the maritime ports if facing a stiff resistance from the shore men whose jobs are at a stake. Companies and the U.S government view automation as a cost-effective measure in addition to increasing efficiency and speed of operations in the ports. This is not the case with trade unions to them automation is just a source of unemployment. The ports in California apparently handle around 40%of the entire U.S container traffic with the number expected to go up the battle for automation seems to be the optimum point. (O'Reilly, 2017)
Significance of the Problem
Over the past decades, there has been an upward trend in the world population growth rate, with technology having the tendency to generate fewer jobs than it erases it seems to be an enemy of economic progress. This according to the trade unions representing the many workers who are losing their jobs annually due to the technological advancements.
The U.S maritime industry is one of the largest in the world and loss in jobs here will affect a large (Okalow, 2013)
Its therefore of a significance, just like the way government agencies are combining forces with the industries to enhance automation they should also work with similar effort to help solve the unemployment factor.
Two Alternative Actions
Industries cannot be relied upon to reduce the unemployment being caused by automation. This is because to the management it’s all about cutting cost with the objective of profit maximization. That leaves the burden of restoring the imbalance caused in the job market by the automation to the U.S national and state’s government.
As unemployment rises the demand for products also drops, this way the private sector is generating less capital as the individuals are having less money to spend, hence they cannot counter the unemployment. The government through increasing its spending can create more jobs. A great percentage of the government work for the government and a million others in projects which are funded by the government. By expanding the investment in public goods such as the infrastructure the government will be able to absorb more jobless citizens. Also, it can invest more in capacity development such as education and research. (Ettlinger, 2011) capacity development will be of great help as the current labour force may get a chance to advance their knowledge and hence be able to match the changes brought about by the automation. The government might also diversify the economy away from reliance on the maritime industry.
As a second remedy, the government can implement policies to slow down the automation process this way giving the economy time to adjust to the disadvantaged of automation something which can be a short term solution.it takes years for people to gain some special skills so if the government can monitor the automation process to match this it may help its citizens especially the ones whose jobs are et the risk of being taken by technology.
As discussed above automation leads to efficiency speed and cost-effectiveness measures. For this purpose, it’s just obvious to see the increased urge to automate most if not all the process in the maritime industry. The challenges its facing the major one being increased loss of jobs is a situation which must just be handled on its own. This is because as competition tightens in the business sector governments and the businesses will have no option but to come up with cost effective techniques to improve their competitiveness. Hence as the government should just step in through fiscal or monetary policies to increase the number of jobs in the market
Automation is here to stay and the best everyone assisted by the government can do is to increase their knowhow to match the developments. Increasing investments in the infrastructure, research, and education combined with economic diversification the maritime industry can as well be left to make use of technology.
Furthermore this automation will in the long run results into affordable products something which will eventually lower the cost of living and hence reduce the effect of the unemployment rate.
Ettlinger, H. B. (2011). Center for American progress. Retrieved from Government spending can create jobs:
Noble, K. M. (2008). Transportation Infrastructure. National Academy of engeneering.
Okalow, S. (2013, April 11). Canadian Business. Retrieved from
O'Reilly, A. (2017). Automation of port terminals threatens thousands of lucrative dock worker jobs. Fox News.