PROF. DR. anus PEETERS PRESIDENT- ExECUTIVE DIRECTOR, POLICY RESEARCH CORPORATION N. V. The "Strategies for Global and Regional Ports" confirms that container shipping in the wider Caribbean is in for tumultuous development in the years to come. One of the driving forces behind the momentous changes expected in the provision of maritime liner services in the region, is the growing reliance by major container carriers on multi-layered transhipment concepts and hub ports. Given its favourable location at the junction of North-South and East- West trades, the Caribbean region is increasingly becoming a crucial factor in the service pattern of major carriers. As a result, global terminal operating companies such as Hutchison Port Holdings and Stevedoring Services of America, are already tapping the potential for developing port activity that was, until recently, dormant. In anticipation of the new shipping patterns to emerge in the coming months and years, major political decisions with respect to shipping and port development need to be taken by Caribbean Governments. Many of these decisions will be made under pressure of well- meaning lobbies, but which do not always have the necessary insight into liner shipping developments. The Netherlands Antilles is one of those nations whose ports are at a crossroads and may either become regional hub ports or turn into feeder ports. In view of the changes in the Caribbean maritime geography, the Ministry of Traffic and Transport of the Netherlands Antilles commissioned Policy Research Corporation N.