Viewpoints

September 22nd, 2016
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By Theo Notteboom China is home to the largest port system in the world, certainly in terms of cargo volumes. Chinese ports are subject to a unique port governance framework which differs from the traditional landlord port system found in most key ports around the world. Port governance in China is the theme of a recent academic port study had been developed by PortEconomics member Theo Notteboom together with Yang Zhongzhen. The study is now available online and will be part of a special issue of the academic journal 'Research in...
September 10th, 2016
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By Jean-Paul Rodrigue For many years, the shipping industry has been in a situation of overcapacity, which was depressing rates and impairing the profitability of shipping lines. To make matters worse, almost every major shipping line was ordering larger containerships, caught in a vicious circle of trying to boost profitability with economies of scale. Capacity was growing faster than demand. In such as setting, there were discussion and rumors within the industry about which major shipping company would fold first in an environment...
September 4th, 2016
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By Jan Hoffman Chief, Trade Facilitation Section at UNCTAD (Linkedin) Containerships have never been bigger than today, container freight rates have never been lower, and never has so much container carrying capacity been idle. Not a trilemma, but three sides of the same coin. And after several years of calmness at the M&A front, we have new mergers among liner companies. In March 2016, the idle container ship fleet stands at 1.6 million TEU, and a shipper may pay less than 200 US$ to have his twenty foot container...
August 29th, 2016
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By Francesco Parola After 22 years from the introduction of the landlord system (1994 Port Reform), the Italian Government approved a new reform law that is going to further reshape the organization of the whole port architecture at national level. The current 24 Port Authorities (PAs), together with other 33 minor ports, are going to be substituted by 15 Port System Authorities. In line with the rationale of the Law, PSAs inherit the duties and the power of traditional PAs, with a broader geographical scope. Existing PAs, indeed,...
August 22nd, 2016
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By Peter de Langen Cruises are increasingly relevant in port development so taking a look at pricing can be insightful, writes Peter de Langen. In Spain, dues charged by the port authority for cruise ships, expressed per passenger, vary from about €1 to about €6, depending on the port and ship capacity. These costs seem below the costs for the infrastructure and facilities. As a comparison, average ‘airside’ revenues of the Spanish airport company (AENA) are more than €9 per passenger. I acknowledge that this comparison...
August 11th, 2016
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By Thanos Pallis August 11, 2016 is a historic day for Greek ports: This is the first day that Port of Piraeus, the major commercial port of the country operates under the ownership of COSCO-China Pacific Ltd. Given (a) the long-term commitment of the Chinese government to gain this right in this very specific way (i.e. via a buy of the ‘master concession’ by state controled corporation) and develop Piraeus, (b) that the company (and the specific management team) operates since 2009 the major container terminal of the port in a most...
July 15th, 2016
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By Α.Α. Pallis and A.Α. Papachristou Mediterranean cruise ports have gone a long way in measuring the perspectives of their users. Our PortGraphic details a survey of 71 cruise ports in the Med and its adjoining seas, the second biggest cruise region of the world. The PortGraphic reveals that the measurement of users’ satisfaction has turn to a standard practice for most cruise ports. Eight out of 10 cruise ports conduct regular users’ satisfaction surveys. 56% of them receive feedback from the passengers, 71% from the cruise...
July 14th, 2016
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Providers of large-scale transport infrastructure are under increasing pressure to regulate the behavior of their users, in particular towards sustainable development objectives related to the environment. Just like airport managing companies apply environmental factors such as noise emission parameters of aircraft into their airline pricing schemes, port authorities have been applying various schemes to provide green incentives to their users, mainly shipping lines, to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations. The main driver for...
July 1st, 2016
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UK ports handle about 14% of the total EU port throughput while the country's share in total EU population and EU GDP amounts to 12.8% and 17.6% respectively. UK ports are particularly important in the Ro-Ro business as a result of the many cross-channel ferries, services to Ireland and within the UK, and Ro-Ro lines to the rest of Europe. The UK's share in liquid bulk cargo amounts to 15.6%. Just over 9% of total EU container throughput passes via UK ports. The announced Brexit will thus have a very visible impact on EU port throughput...
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