• Created by: Hodgicus
  • Created on: 26-02-17 18:04

Introduction to Globalisation

Globalisation is the process by which businesses or other organisations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale. Another definition defines globalisation as the growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide through increasing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services, fewer national capital flows and more rapid and widespread diffusion of technology. Improvements in transportation has had a huge impact on globalisation. Planes allow fairly quick access to any country in the world and container ships can carry huge loads of goods at one given time, with these goods later being dispatched to their destinations by lorries. The revolution in communication and transport has made for the connection, both in person or of information, a lot quicker than in the past.

History of Globalisation

Globalisation is thought of as a recent phenomenon that is driven by inventions like planes or the Internet. However, globalisation has been taking place for centuries; it is just that the pace of this process has accelerated in recent years. The silk road and spice trade routes owned by the Ottoman Empire in 1453 is seen as one of the earliest examples of globalisation. These routes spanned from Europe all the way to East Asia, moving silk and other products from as early as the 2nd century BC. The invention of steamships and railroads expanded the process of globalisation, and humans have engaged in cultural exchange and international trade for centuries. Some of the forerunners in globalisation were the British and Dutch when the Dutch East India Company and the British East India Company started trading with India and then China. These trade relations have slowly been translated into globalisation or free trade. It could also be argued that the slave trade or triangular trade was another driver in globalisation. A more recent example of globalisation is the British underwater telegraph cable system from 1900 where a message took 2-3 days to be relayed between England and Australia as opposed to 8-12 weeks by boat.


Containerisation is a system of standardised transport that uses a common sized steel container to transport goods. Containers are placed on top of one another and can be easily transferred between different modes of transport, mainly from container ships to lorries and trains. This makes transport and the trading of goods cheaper and more effective. The container was invented in 1956 by Malcolm Maclean, an American truck businessman. International standards for container sizes were established between 1968 and 1970. The widespread adoption of containers enabled an improvement in trade and contributed to the process of globalisation. About 90% of non-bulk goods are carried in containers. 27% of containers originate from China, the world's largest exporter of manufactured goods. Containerisation led to a significant reduction in the cost of freight transportation by eliminating the need for repeated handling of individual pieces of cargo, and also improved reliability, reduced cargo theft, and cut inventory costs by shortening transit time.

A Shrinking World

Globalisation is the


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