In contemporary economics and development, world trade has earned revived attention despite being one of the oldest international topics. Early civilization faced, although other means of transport and international relations were involved, the same challenges as modern economies. This first chapter will introduce a short tour of world history. Logistics will remain the main theme throughout this journey.
From early on, trading and supporting services were established on many different locations around the globe. Often cities and trading posts were located near important waterways or routes. Whoever controlled these routes and was able to extend international trade gained considerable wealth. Throughout history mighty empires and various alliances were established and remained prosperous as long as trade was viable, decline was often heralded by the loss of control over important routes. Successful trade relations boosted the power and esteem of ancient societies, cultures, religion and consequently political elites… nowadays the modes of transport have evolved but wealth and trade remain a fairly important topic.