Skip to main content
Container ship "Evelyn Maersk" is loaded during snowfall at a container terminal in a harbour amid the coronavirus disease pandemic.

How does control of the seas affect global trade and security?


The vast majority of global trade today moves by sea, so control of the world’s oceans has become critical for both commerce and security. In this episode, Brookings Senior Fellow Bruce Jones joins David Dollar to discuss evolutions in sea-based trade, including the growing size of container ships, threat of modern piracy, explosion of data flows, and the transformation of global value chains.

Jones draws on his experience visiting ports around the world and sailing on one of the largest container ships to illustrate the mechanics of sea-based trade. He shares details from his travels in this conversation and his new book, “To Rule the Waves: How Control of the World’s Oceans Shapes the Fate of the Superpowers” (Scribner, 2021).



Get daily updates from Brookings