Profiting From Global Trade's Expansion
If I had to guess, I would say most people don’t think about the shipping industry until this time of year.
But Christmas is only days away, and packages need to get from A to B. Black Friday shoppers drove record sales this year, and that’s projected to continue up to the holiday. The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday sales this year will rise between 3.6% and 5.2% from last year. Volume is so intense that UPS has had to place shipping limits on some retailers. The post office, UPS, FedEx, and Amazon have delivery trucks on the road all day every day to get packages where they need to go.
That’s a long-winded way of saying that more trucks on the road for longer hours means more fuel is being burned. That extra fuel being burned is contributing to the problem of climate change that countries have spent the past few decades trying to fight. The unfortunate reality is that the economy and the environment have often been at odds with each other. The good news is that some aspects of that are on the verge of changing over the next decade.
A new technology looks to change the shipping industry for the better. It will become safer as we come to rely on it even more.
Not Just a Local Phenomenon
It could be said that the shipping industry is one of the most important in the entire world. Everything from food to clothing to medical equipment travels over land, sea, and air to get to its destination. It’s an industry that employs millions of people worldwide and is worth trillions of dollars. As it grows, those numbers will continue to climb and the industry will be forced to face a growing number of challenges.
The industry’s contribution to climate change is probably the most immediate of those challenges.
As it stands right now, the transportation industry as a whole contributes something like 20% of all greenhouse gases. That number is going to climb as the industry continues growing, which is why countries all over are coming up with ways to fix the problem now. Trucks, ships, and planes all rely on fossil fuels, but alternative fuels have been gaining more attention in the past few years. What are largely experimental methods now will become mainstream as the phasing out of fossil fuels picks up speed.
When you look at the different methods, it’s easy to think that battery-powered vehicles will be the front-runners of alternative fuel. After all, Tesla’s products are everywhere, Elon Musk is always in the news for better or worse, and the infrastructure is already in place.
But what you don’t often hear about batteries are the downsides that come with them. Among other things, batteries can take hours to charge, and larger vehicles require so many that they add more weight. That’s especially a problem for the shipping industry, where extra weight eats into revenue.
It makes sense, then, that the shipping industry has taken on a different alternative fuel that could power it in the future.
An increasing number of trucks, ships, and even planes have been turning to hydrogen fuel cells as the technology of choice. It doesn’t have the weight problem that comes with batteries, and fuel cells can be charged in minutes instead of hours. So commercial vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells experience less downtime, meaning they make their owners more money.
That and the fact that fuel cells typically provide better ranges than lithium-ion batteries means that batteries have serious competition as the world moves away from fossil fuels. One area where fuel cells are at a disadvantage is infrastructure. As it stands right now, it’s much easier to find a place to recharge batteries than fuel cells. That can change, but it will take time.
Likewise, batteries are more common in privately owned vehicles, while fuel cells see wider-spread use in commercial vehicles.
With that in mind, it’s not far-fetched to think the two technologies can coexist instead of one "winning" over the other. Still, fuel cells are an emerging technology that will see wider use over the next few years. As global trade expands, shipping companies are going to need efficient ways to move products while keeping costs and emissions down.
And when it comes to fuel cells, there’s one company in particular set to take off and provide that critical technology.
Tomorrow’s Technology, Here Today
Like with any new technology, innovation comes from up-and-comers rather than companies that have existed for decades. The companies that have been around for years buy up the smaller ones, making the owners and anyone invested in them rich.
Hydrogen fuel cell technology will need to scale. But that can only happen when a small company specializing in the technology gets bought out. One company in particular has fuel cell technology that outclasses anything its competition has created.
The details are in Jimmy Mengel’s newest report. He explains how this company is poised to take over the market and reward investors with the kinds of gains most only dream about.
If you act now, you can get in before the masses do and the company is bought out as fuel cells become more common. Don’t wait. This technology will be everywhere sooner than you think.
Keep your eyes open,
Contributing Editor, Outsider Club
Ryan is an associate editor and regular contributor to Outsider Club. Since 2014, his articles have offered commentary on technology and geopolitics to help readers make sense of the constantly changing landscape and how it affects their investments.
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