NEA: Northern European Seaports Efficient Route for Container Transport
Research conducted by the independent research agency, NEA indicates that the northern seaports offer the most efficient route for container transport into a large part of the central European hinterland. Wednesday, 26.Oct.2011, 09:24 (GMT+3)
Research conducted by the independent research agency, NEA indicates that the northern seaports offer the most efficient route for container transport into a large part of the central European hinterland. Seven ports located in the North of Europe have four times the container throughput of the principal eleven ports competing along the Southern coastline of Europe. The analysis concludes that the distribution patterns underlying these shares is efficient, and is explained by a persistent combination of economic and geographical factors. The analysis was carried out on behalf of the Ports of Antwerp, Rotterdam and Hamburg.
Five main factors determine the efficiency of the current situation:
First, cargo generation and attraction rates are higher in the Northern Continent. The distribution of economic activity suggests a natural split of 70% within the Northern half.
Secondly, Europeâs physical geography strengthens the position of the Northern ports. The Alps and the Rhine waterways form a natural barrier and a natural corridor respectively, extending the catchment area of the Northern ports towards Switzerland and Austria.
These two factors, volume and terrain, have assisted in the development of high capacity, low cost intermodal corridors being developed from the Northern range.
Thirdly, scale economies in the maritime networks linked to the North European ports extend their competitive hinterlands further to the South. Deployment of large container vessels is lowering costs between Northern ports and the Far East. Clustering of activity, scale economies and deep water at the North European main-ports permits the use of ships with the lowest unit costs available.
Fourthly, the ability of the Northern main ports to combine transhipment and hinterland functions contributes further to the scale effect.
Finally, from an environmental perspective, large container ships are less polluting in terms of CO2 per tonne kilometre. This advantage counts throughout the full 20,000 kilometre journey between China and Western Europe.