One Hundred Ports 2017
If 2015 was a stark awakening for the container port industry that the golden years were coming to a close, then last year revealed tepid growth as the new reality. The days of 5%-6% annualised throughput growth are long gone, let alone the regular double-digit growth of the not so distant past. Following on from mere 1% growth the previous year, the 2017 edition of Lloyd’s List’s One Hundred Container Ports shows that the elite box facilities achieved accumulative growth of just 2% in 2016.
China and its colossus ports were still the main driver of growth last year, highlighting once more its intrinsic link to the wider fortunes of an industry dependent on its export trade.
Elsewhere, Europe maintained its moderate growth trend, while in North America, the Mediterranean and the Middle East growth was largely fragmented. Throughput levels in southeast Asia fared rather better as new manufacturing bases drove outward trade, yet in Latin America the economic frailties of key trading nations put paid to port progress.
Significant growth opportunities were indeed few and far between, but some ports did manage to improve markedly on their 2015 performance. For others, 2016 will be a year to forget as volumes fell by the wayside.
Global box terminal growth maintains moderate incline as China remains chief driver
As carriers amalgamate into a handful of very powerful players, should ports and terminals also consider merging in order to create scale and improve productivity?
The upswing in global box demand in the first half of 2017 will prove short-lived
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