By 2017 it is hoped that more than 800 million TEUs will be moved worldwide.
In the last decade the port industry has seen significant changes, showing strong growth and global expansion.
Behind this is China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 and the subsequent boom in volumes due to outsourcing and the global economic rise, the global financial crisis of 2008 led to the first decline in container traffic in 2009, then there was a dramatic increase in the size of container ships and the emergence of Asian ports, especially those in China, involving major players on the world stage.
These are just some of the components that have changed the face of the global port industry.
The consulting firm Drewry has presented these trends in its latest edition of the Global Container Terminal Operators Annual Review & Forecast, which summarizes the past 10 years and the evolution of the global port industry.
Some of the major changes that the port industry has had in the last decade are the increase in container traffic through the ports, which has more than doubled since 2002, while the share by Chinese ports has reached 30%.
Almost a third of TEUs handled globally correspond to Chinese ports and as for all TEU volume handled, over 75% are by global port operators, significantly higher compared with the 58% that these large firms handled in 2002. In reality, the figure currently stands at less than 45%.
Another change is reflected in the sizes of the ships. In 2002 the largest ship in service stood at 7,000 TEUs while today there are many ships of 15,000 TEUs and the industry is approaching those of 18,000 TEUs.
While some things change, others remain unchanged.
The report shows that the major players in the industry 10 years ago remain largely the same today. Taking the total movement of TEUs, Hutchinson Ports is still in the lead, while PSA and APM Terminals exchanged second and third places.
Fourth is DP World, taking the place of the former P&O Ports, which was acquired by DP World in 2006.
A new participant stepped into fifth place in 2011, Cosco Group, reflecting the growing importance that the Chinese have gained in the global port industry.
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