Viewpoints

January 3rd, 2017
Viewpoints

By Thomas Vitsounis The ports sector traditionally isn’t keen on being ‘disrupted’, and the relatively slow development of mobile apps seems to reflect that conservatism. But this year has seen a flurry of announcements of new apps – and that is significant. When it comes to the shipping industry and other parts of the supply chain, I can see some obvious trends, winners and start-ups in the area of apps. In general terms, the use of apps will change the industry and everyone knows that. When it comes to ports themselves,...
December 30th, 2016
Viewpoints

PortEconomics is celebrating the ending of 2016 recapping the articles that have captured the interest of the visitors of our web initiative so far for 2016. Our most popular papers on Viewpoints in 2016 were: 1. The Panama canal expansion: they dug it, will they come? Although the expansion of the Panama Canal is seen as a remarkable engineering achievement, it comes at auspicious times in global trade and shipping. Like many large infrastructure projects, it was built to service a commercial trend that may already have run its...
December 30th, 2016
Viewpoints

PortEconomics is celebrating the ending of 2016 recapping the articles that have captured the interest of the visitors of our web initiative so far for 2016. Our most popular papers on PortGraphics in 2016 were: 1. PortGraphic: top 15 european container ports in 2015 The PortGraphic of PortEconomics co-director Theo Notteboom shows the top 15 container ports in the European Union in 2015 based on container throughput expressed in TEU. It also includes container growth figures compared to 2014 and pre-crisis year 2007. What can we...
December 25th, 2016
Viewpoints

PortEconomics waves goodbye to 2016, with its co-director Theo Notteboom, summarising the nine 'take aways' of the year for European Ports By Theo Notteboom Take away 1.  Volume recovery please The year 2016 will go in history as another year of sluggish cargo volume growth. A few European ports present rather healthy growth figures, but the vast majority faces a very weak or even negative growth. In 2015, the cargo tonnage handled in the entire European port system was still 4.6% below the 2008 volumes. The first estimates for...
December 9th, 2016
Viewpoints

By Peter de Langen The Inland Terminal conference in Basel in November brought together an interesting mix of stakeholders in intermodal logistics. I shared with delegates some of the findings of research on intermodal connections, based on a database developed by Intermodal Links operators often have cargoes for many terminals but often not sufficient scale to serve all these terminals efficiently. The commonly-held belief is that the minimum distances at which intermodal services become economically viable is substantial. Both 200 km...
November 24th, 2016
Viewpoints

By Thanos Pallis Cruise ports in the Mediterranean and its adjoining seas continue to adapt to new levels of demand, hosting bigger cruise vessels and seeking ways to accompany the contribution of cruising to port-cities and local communities with positive experiences for all their users. Celebrating 20 years of MedCruise surveyed the practices applied by MedCruise port members to further advance their cruise businesses. As detailed in the celebratory publication ‘Ports Together’, these strategies are associated extensively with...
November 17th, 2016
Viewpoints

By Peter de Langen It is increasingly understood that ports are spatial clusters of interrelated economic activities, such as chemical plants, energy plants, construction plants (for instance for components of offshore wind installations), warehouses, and terminals as well as a variety of business services Huge synergies arise from the co-location of such interrelated companies in ports areas. Many of these benefits arise ‘spontaneously’, for example, the Siemens plant for blades in the port of Hull will use port facilities for receiving...
November 13th, 2016
Viewpoints

By Peter de Langen Should port development differ between metropolitan and non-metropolitan areas? Some of the largest ports in the world are located in metropolitan areas, and quite often in central locations - think Barcelona, New York and Amsterdam – while others are located outside cities, such as Le Havre, Charleston, Richard’s Bay and Algeciras. The pressure on land use is often high in metropolitan ports, with retail, housing or leisure, among others, clambering for use of the land. From a public interest and policy...
November 9th, 2016
Viewpoints

By Jan Hoffman The UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 2016 has been launched this week. This year, we have placed a special focus on “Challenges and Opportunities for Developing Countries”. Here are a few selected personal picks: Demand We have a new geography of trade, which can be depicted quite nicely with our data on seaborne trade. Developing countries are no longer just the suppliers of high volume/ low value raw materials, but instead now also import large volumes of oil, iron ore, coal et al, participating in global...
November 4th, 2016
Viewpoints

By Jonas Mendes Constante and Alexandre Sánchez Pérez Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. At least that is what people say. The truth is that a perfect storm is stepping over the port and shipping industry. On the one side, oil price collapse, trade/GDP multiplier below one, decrease of the emerging economies growth, supply overcapacity and some other external factors are putting pressure on the shipping companies’ results. On the other side, the advances in robotics and 3D printing could move part of the...
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