Columbus: Columbus’s travel across the Atlantic Ocean and then across the Pacific Ocean, was sponsored and funded by the Spanish. This was instrumental in increased Spanish activity in trade across the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Gunpowder regimes: The Ming and Qing empires of China, the Ottoman Empire, the Mughals and Russia were powers that utilized the advancements in weaponry and gunpowder.
Maritime travel: Portugal, Spain, France, and England were powers that understood and exploited the maritime travel. France was considered a sea based empire along with Portugal, Spain, and England since they understood and exploited the maritime travel.
Slave Trade: The new European colonies in the Americas relied very heavily on slavery. The slave trade was one of the important factors of the Atlantic Ocean trade.
The Ming dynasty: The Ming emperors were suspicious of foreigners. But they allowed merchants from foreign countries to sell their cotton, pearls, gems and spices in the ports of Quanzhou and Guangzhou. The Chinese government maintained strict control on these ports. These trades benefitted the Chinese as well since they were able to sell their porcelain and silk to the foreign merchants in return. Between 1405 and 1433, Admiral Zheng He led 7 naval voyages in the Indian Ocean to India, the Middle East, and even to Africa. Admiral Zheng He's naval voyages in the Indian Ocean to India, the Middle East, and even to Africa was sponsored by Emperor Yongle. When Emperor Yongle died, Zheng He's voyages were halted in the mid 1430s.