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Don’t Miss These Five Hidden Opportunities in Global Shipping

Aug 31, 2018 10:36:32 AM / by Fauad Shariff

When it comes to global trade, we often write about China and the United States. But combined, they account for less than a fifth of the world’s $22.99 trillion total export value in 2017.

There’s a wide trading world beyond China and the U.S., and Freight Forwarders need to be aware of the hidden opportunities that may lie in lesser-known locations. Here’s a spotlight on five of the biggest exporters in global trade, and what those countries specialize in.


Middle East

United Arab Emirates

Export value in 2017: $360 billion

The United Arab Emirates is the Middle East’s largest exporter according to the World Trade Organization. Oil remains the UAE’s top export: at nearly $50 billion worth of crude oil exports in 2017, the federation of seven emirates ranks in the top five globally in oil exports. Increases in gold, diamonds, metals, and foodstuff exports helped the UAE jump ahead of Russia, Spain, and Switzerland into the top-15 exporters worldwide.




Export value in 2017: $1.45 trillion

Germany is Europe’s biggest exporter, and the only country besides China and the U.S. to surpass $1 trillion in export value in 2017. Germany’s largest European trade partners include France, The Netherlands, Italy, and the UK. Vehicles made up nearly 20% of German export value in 2017, and the country accounts for just over 20% of all automobile exports worldwide.


South America


Export value in 2017: $218 billion

South America’s largest country is also the region’s biggest exporter and counts China, the U.S., and Germany among its most significant trade partners, exporting raw goods to all three countries. Brazil’s top exports include beans, seeds, seed oils, minerals and fuels, and raw metals.



South Africa

Export value in 2017: $89 billion

South Africa has the highest export value on the African continent. Situated on the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, South Africa’s top exports are gems, precious metals, ore, fuel, and oil. Its top trade partners include China, the U.S., and Germany, while about a quarter of all exports go to other African nations.


Southeast Asia


Export value in 2017: $373 billion

Home to one of the busiest container ports in the world, the island country of Singapore is one the top-15 countries worldwide in export value. Singapore’s top exports are machinery, electrical equipment, computers and computer parts, minerals and oils, and aircraft parts. Their primary export partners are Asian countries like China and Indonesia, as well as the United States.


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Topics: Shipping, Container Shipping, Trade, Singapore, UAE, Ports, South Africa, Germany, Brazil

Written by Fauad Shariff

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