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Drewry sees tightening terminal capacity

The growing demand for port capacity over the next five years will outpace terminal expansion, leading to rapidly rising utilization levels at many ports, especially in the Far East and Southeast Asia.

Drewry sees tightening terminal capacity
11 August 2011 - 21:29

The growing demand for port capacity over the next five years will outpace terminal expansion, leading to rapidly rising utilization levels at many ports, especially in the Far East and Southeast Asia, according to Drewry Maritime Research.

Average utilization levels could exceed 90 percent by 2016 at Far East and Southeast Asia terminals unless more capacity expansion projects are launched soon, Drewry stated in its annual report, “Global Container Terminals Operators, 2011.”

Drewry said Latin America and the Middle East will also face capacity pressures, along with Africa to a lesser extent. But in mature markets such as North America and North Europe, Drewry expects the pressure will be less because demand growth is not expected to be as strong.

Surprisingly, despite current severe congestion in ports in India in particular, average utilization levels in South Asia could fall by 2016 because there are a number of very large expansion projects in the pipeline. Drewry said it remains to be seen whether they will all built on the scale and the timing their developers have projected.

The rapid growth in terminal volumes in China brought a shakeup in Drewry’s rankings of the world’s top 10 terminal operators as ranked by their container throughput in 2010.
While PSA, Hutchison Port Holdings, DP World and APM Terminals maintained their lock on the first four positions, four terminal operators, of which three are China-based, broke into the top 10 list for the first time.

Shanghai International Ports Group joined the list in fifth place, China Merchants Holdings in eighth place, Ports America in ninth place, and Modern Terminals in the tenth position. Their elevation bumped Evergreen, SSA Marine, Eurogate and CMA CGM out of the top 10.

“Several strong companies are mounting serious challenges to enter the big league based on very strong cash positions and the incumbent international operators will need to be ready to face this new competition,” said Neil Davison, Drewry’s senior advisor for ports and the report’s author.
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