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3D Printing May Disrupt Ports and Reduce U.S. Imports from China, Says Fitch Ratings

Latest News Ocean cargo seaports in the U.S. may be most exposed to disruptive effects of 3D printing (3DP) on transportation infrastructure assets over the next 20 years, Fitch Ratings says. 3DP could reduce global trade, including reducing U.S. imports from China by 10%-25%. Short- and medium-term risks are limited due to a still emerging technology uptake. “We expect 3DP to grow significantly over the next 20 years, potentially reaching about 3% of total global manufacturing,” says George Abbatt, Director, Global Infrastructure and Project Finance for Fitch Ratings in London. Analysts also noted that 3DP is less labor intensive than traditional manufacturing and could reduce reliance on lower-wage countries for product assembly, which is a key driver of the U.S.-China bilateral trade imbalance. “In addition, as mass production via 3DP becomes more economically feasible, supply chains could be shortened with more manufacturing carried out locally,” says Abbatt. “Net goods […]

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