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December 11th, 2017
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By Theo Notteboom The very recent merger between the port of Ghent in Belgium and Zeeland Seaports in the Netherlands has an impact of the position of the Rhine-Scheldt Delta port system in Europe. The Delta now counts no less than 4 of the 10 largest ports in Europe in terms of total port throughput in metric tons The Delta now counts no less than 4 of the 10 largest ports in Europe in terms of total port throughput in metric tons. The new North Sea Port handled 62 million tons in 2016. The Delta ports together handled 885 million tons...
December 4th, 2017
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By Theo Notteboom A look at the changing container port volume 'skyline' in Europe. The movie shows the evolution of the TEU volumes between 1985 and 2016. You can see the sheer size of north European container ports (Rotterdam, Antwerp, Hamburg, etc.), the recent rise of new container hubs (Piraeus, Gdansk, Sines, etc.), the emergence of Mediterranean transhipment hubs in the mid-1990s (Algeciras, Gioia Tauro, Marsaxlokk, etc.) and the impact of the financial-economic crisis on port volumes in 2009. ...
November 28th, 2017
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By Peter de Langen In May 2016 a lease agreement was signed between Feadship, a leading builder of mega-yachts, and Port of Amsterdam (PoA). Yet, Amsterdam’s vision document, officially launched a year earlier in June 2015 did not mention mega-yachts as a potentially relevant market segment. The lease agreement was interesting as the activity does not generate substantial cargo volumes and thus is not well aligned with PoA’s traditional business model in which revenues from ships have a central place. This example...
November 7th, 2017
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By Peter de Langen This year saw positive news for the two large new port development projects in North West Europe: JadeWeserPort and London Gateway Both ports, sometimes cited as unsuccessful port development projects, are on a slower development path than initially foreseen but now seem to have developed the critical mass for further growth. And they have managed to grow in complicated market environments. This is in sharp contrast to a previous ‘newcomer’, Zeebrugge, that also managed to attract substantial volumes - over...
September 13th, 2017
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By Peter de Langen Port development often has an important geopolitical dimension This dimension came to the fore recently with the news of the new agreement struck between China Merchants Port Holdings Company and the government of Sri Lanka on the Hambantota port development project in a remote part of Sri Lanka. The project was financed with a Chinese government loan, but so far has not attracted sufficient business to be profitable. This was not completely unexpected: the local cargo base is very small and thus the business...
July 31st, 2017
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Celebrating 25 years since the establishment of the Association, the International Association of Maritime Economists (IAME) Annual Conference organised a special opening session to discuss the future of maritime and port economics. PortEconomics co-director Thanos Pallis presented a call for a more measured pace port studies development and dissemination. PortEconomics invites its readers to follow the link in order to download the call – and, not least, to apply the concept: Pallis A.A. (2017): Slow port studies. IAME 2017, Kyoto,...
June 29th, 2017
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By Jean-Paul Rodrigue The expansion of the Panama Canal in 2016 has been hailed as a remarkable achievement and a game changer for the shipping industry, particularly for the North American East Coast and the Caribbean. It would be accompanied with higher levels of port activity and therefore the need to invest and upgrade port infrastructure, including dredging. However, the expectations of higher container volumes transiting through the region have so far not materialized and actually the throughput of key East Coast ports has on...
June 23rd, 2017
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By Jean-Paul Rodrigue In June 14th, the Maersk-MSC-CMA-CGM-Amazon-Alibaba-Citibank-Allianz (MMCCAACA) shipping line announced the introduction of its latest ship class, the Mariana-Max. The 350,000 to 400,000 TEUs ships (depending on the load configuration) will service selected Pacific routes, over which it will replace the To-The-Max ship class of 200,000 TEUs. According to MMCCAACA executives, Mariana-Max ships will create value for their customers by reducing shipping costs per TEU by a factor of 20% (from 5 cents per TEU to 4 cents...
June 6th, 2017
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The throughput of containerized cargo in the ports of Latin America and the Caribbean fell 0.9% in 2016, according to data released today by ECLAC. This regional average continues the negative trend of deceleration that has been observed in the last few years and represents the biggest loss since the 2009 crisis. Data confirms two trends seen in the region in recent years: an overall steepening of the deceleration of foreign trade in container terminals and a high degree of heterogeneity in this activity’s growth rates within the...
May 30th, 2017
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The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (ASD), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement have emphasized the need for all economic sectors, including maritime transport to monitor and measure performance and track progress towards the achievement of relevant economic, social and environmental targets. Indicators measuring the performance of the maritime transport sector with multidimensional metrics spanning a range of factors (e.g. efficiency, cost-effectiveness, productivity, profitability, connectivity,...
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