Following on from the successful IAPH-WPSP COVID-19 Barometer published during the first year of the pandemic, PortEconomics co-directors Theo Notteboom and Thanos Pallis are pleased to present the inaugural report of the World Ports Tracker, an IAPH initiative that aims to track critical aspects of the evolution of the global port industry.
The scope of the World Ports Tracker is to provide ports with a timely understanding of the challenges that emerge regionally and globally. The tracker will rely on a combination of two sources: survey-based results and port performance data. This report introduces this new data tool, elaborating on the non-survey part of the tracker exercise. These are quarterly container port statistics based on S&P Global Port Performance Program data. These statistics focus on four container port metrics, i.e., the number of vessel calls, the evolution of vessel size, the evolution of call size (number of TEUs handled per call), and port moves per hour, aggregated per region. This report covers the period from Q1 of 2019 to Q4 of 2021, thus covering the last pre-pandemic year as well as COVID-19 years 2020 and 2021.
The data analysis is based on an index-based evolution (Q1, 2019 = 100) in nine different port regions. The first section of the report presents the evolution of the respective indexes on a year-on-year basis per region – comparing the calls in Q4 2021 with those of the same quarter of the year before, thereby avoiding any seasonality bias. The second section discusses the trends per region, focusing on both the changes that happened in the most recent quarters of 2021 and the level of volatility that might have occurred in the three years under examination. Starting in the pre-pandemic year 2019, covering the evolution during the pandemic and, most importantly, revealing the trends in the most recent period of all, the analysis captures temporal trends and the most recent trends, enabling container ports to better understand the prospects that are available and the challenges that they might need to address. As mentioned earlier, the report only covers the non-survey part of the tracker exercise.
The first survey data are expected to be collected after the IAPH World Ports Conference in May 2022.
The World Ports Tracker results will feature in issues of the IAPH Ports & Harbors magazine and will be circulated to IAPH membership via more detailed and specialised reports. Download the first issue here.