Forecasting Global Maritime Container Demand with Integrated Trade–Transportation Modeling Framework

Global maritime trade has experienced increasing trade value and volume in recent decades. Most trade commodities are transported through seaborne containers. Therefore, the ability to forecast maritime container demand is important to policy makers for keeping their competitive advantage or to plan for infrastructure development. Numerous efforts have been made to forecast container demand, most such studies adopting an economic approach or a transportation model. Few studies have considered the forecasting of maritime container demand from an integrative economic trade–transportation modeling perspective. The study presented in this paper developed a quantitative demand forecasting approach to predict future seaborne container demand in the global context. This integrated forecasting framework uses the transportation-based four-step model coupled with economic and trade theories. Computable general equilibrium models based on economic theories were developed to derive the amount of trade flow between countries. Through the application of transportation mode choice models, the amount of seaborne trade between countries was then estimated. Statistical models with expert opinions were developed to convert commodity value into number of containers. The developed model framework was then used to study the container demand trends in several countries between 2008 and 2018. This case study found that the model framework could simulate global maritime trade and container demand and would be useful for planners in formulating relevant macroeconomic trade and transport policies.


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  • Accession Number: 01607468
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309369831
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 16-2782
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 5 2016 10:13AM