Viewpoints

March 28th, 2017
Viewpoints

By Peter de Langen The term ‘physical internet’ has emerged in recent years as a metaphor for the future of freight transport. While the metaphor possibly obscures more than it enlightens, it nevertheless makes sense to explore the implications for ocean shipping. The physical internet analogy sees the transportation of physical goods organised in the same way as that of the ‘transport’ of information across the internet. When we send an email, the message is broken up in various parts, each of which is sent via a different route...
February 28th, 2017
Viewpoints

By Thanos Pallis Cruise activities in the Mediterranean and its adjoining seas experienced remarkable growth in 2016. Annual statistics from the MedCruise association reveal that member ports handled a total of 27.4 million cruise passenger movements and 13,500 cruise calls last year, a significant rise from 2001, when they welcomed 8.6 million passengers and 10,100 cruise visits. MedCruise ports have upgraded their cruise terminal infrastructure to meet this demand for more berthing capacity and to accommodate bigger ships. Providing...
February 9th, 2017
Viewpoints

By Peter de Langen In fully private markets, the ‘invisible hand’ ensures the survival of the fittest. Under these markets, private organisations can generally be said to be efficient, whether they are globally operating multinationals such as aircraft manufacturers or internet search engines or small to medium enterprises such as restaurants. If they survive we can assume that they are efficient, such is the nature of a private market. The same cannot be said of government-owned organisations, as these are not subject to the same...
January 9th, 2017
Viewpoints

By Thomas Vitsounis We are living in difficult times and if another shipping line goes bankrupt in a few months’ time, people can’t escape from that. Also, with consolidation happening more and more, these dangers and risk profiles will be increased for terminal operators. However, once a port realises a crisis could be coming up, it’s a case of being well prepared to micro-manage the effects of the crisis and make the right decisions. Here, technology is coming into play. With more information in hand and more sophisticated...
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...
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