Strategic Maritime Chokepoints: Perspectives from the Global Shipping and Port Sectors
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Strategic chokepoints are geographic constraints shaping sea routes and the global shipping industry and, therefore, create numerous business opportunities for those industries that support global shipping, including port operations, ship repair, bunkering, and ship brokering and chartering. Global shipping companies do not view maritime chokepoints as strategically important but rather as simply a geographic reality. In contrast, global port operators, bunkerers, ship repairers, and ship brokers and charterers view having a physical presence at maritime chokepoints as a competitive advantage because such waterways create a geographic concentration of global shipping. This chapter examines the importance of Eurasia’s southern maritime avenues through three case studies—the Malacca Straits, the Suez Canal, and the Strait of Gibraltar—and concludes with an analysis of why strategic chokepoints are important to certain maritime industries but not others.