October 18, 2018

Every day, thousands of huge cargo ships criss-cross oceans delivering products to markets all over the globe. But that’s not the only thing these vessels bring to port: they also emit sulfuric gases and fine particles that settle over cities as smog. In order to combat all this toxicity, a couple of years ago the United Nations passed a resolution to reduce the amount of sulfur content in maritime fuels. According to the guidelines, by 2020 shippers must switch to Continue reading

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October 11, 2018

In recent years airlines have grown increasingly stingy with the perks they grant to economy class customers. While passengers not so long ago could check up to two bags, most airlines now charge fliers for placing even one suitcase in the plane’s cargo hold. Many people also can’t make changes to their travel itineraries without incurring fees as high as $500. As a result, many casual travelers have started turning to alternative air carriers like Spirit or WOW. Although these Continue reading

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September 25, 2018

Determining the right price for a product can be one of the trickiest aspects of business. After all, not everyone calculates value in the same way. Where one person sees trash, another person could see treasure. Take an item that could be considered the most boring part of a car: the license plate. To most Americans, this piece of metal amounts to little more than the legal ID for their vehicle. If you happen to live in Delaware, however, the Continue reading

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September 6, 2018

About a century ago, American manufacturers started stacking their goods on wooden pallets that could then be carried off by forklifts. Taking advantage of these two recent inventions allowed factories to transport products in bulk without making a lot of trips. Not much has changed since then: today more than 2 billion pallets circulate around the U.S. carrying everything from car parts to candy.

Despite its staying power, though, the classic wooden pallet certainly comes with its share of disadvantages. Continue reading

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August 30, 2018

With the summer winding down, people across the country are returning from vacation and settling back into their normal routines. And while many Americans would certainly rather be back on the beach than at work or school, many of the world’s most popular tourist destinations seem happy to see their visitors go. According to the United Nations’ World Tourism Organization, international trips increased by 6 percent in the first half of 2018. Although this amount of growth would usually be Continue reading

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August 16, 2018

If you live in a large or mid-sized city, you’ve probably noticed a lot of brightly colored bicycles popping up on sidewalks throughout town. Whether they’re green bikes from Lime or Ofo’s yellow models, these two-wheeled vehicles are available to rent for as little as $1 per ride. Bike-share companies claim that this business model provides cities with a wealth of transportation options that both tourists and locals alike can easily access. For communities that have been absolutely flooded with Continue reading

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July 27, 2018

From smartphones to electric vehicles, many of today’s most innovative products depend on lithium-ion batteries to function. That’s why every year the tech industry upgrades these portable power sources to hold more and more charge. While this allows them to create better products (at least in theory), it also leads companies to discard a lot of technically obsolete batteries that can still collect energy. For instance, the lithium-ion units that power cars and buses can be used for Continue reading

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June 19, 2018

Given that airlines charge thousands of dollars for seats in business class, they try to make the experience as luxurious as possible for their premium passengers. On Etihad Airways, for instance, wealthy fliers can stay in a three-room “residence” that includes a private bathroom and double bed. While other carriers can’t quite match that level of extravagance, they strive to provide passengers with first-class amenities like upscale blankets and fine tableware.

The only problem is that these items don’t remain Continue reading

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Modern factories depend on high-tech concepts such as automation and computer-aided manufacturing in order to operate as efficiently as possible. Despite these advancements, though, even the most state-of-the-art facilities can fall victim to unforeseen setbacks that halt production completely. At Ford, for instance, the automaker announced yesterday that it will temporarily stop making its popular F-150 trucks after a fire at a supplier’s factory damaged critical components.

The incident took place last week at a facility that serves as Ford’s Continue reading

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March 8, 2018

Last year the shipping industry transported more than $4 trillion worth of goods all over the world on huge container vessels. Although these mighty boats are now the backbone of global supply chains, shipping wasn’t always so efficient. This video takes a look at how these metal behemoths revolutionized an ancient industry and the ways they continue to innovate today.

Questions:

  1. How did large container vessels revolutionize the shipping industry?
  2. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using large container Continue reading
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