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Global Operators Cash-In On Port Potential

Global terminal operators are cashing-in on “good opportunities” for port and terminal investment, according to WSP UK technical director Johan-Paul Verschuure.

Speaking exclusively to Port Strategy at TOC Europe, Mr Verschuure said that up until a few years ago, financial interests and shipping lines were successfully buying into the ports and terminals market. But financial players have been “quite quiet” this year, while lines are now more constrained in their operations so have “less funds to go around”.

He noted that global terminal operators — especially those connected to Asian shipping lines — have been “very active in the market so far this year”. As well as a pick up in Asian investment, developers are focused on Africa and South America.

Mr Verschuure also spoke about the importance of creating global port portfolios. He noted the continuation of consolidation among shipping lines and the shipping sector drivers placing pressure on terminal operators, namely bigger vessels, oversupply and pressure on shipping lines’ profitability.

“Shipping lines are trying to push terminal operators to help them out, either by lowering tariffs or increasing service levels,” he commented.

Terminal operators “can also up their game by creating global port portfolios, by exporting their prospectuses in the port industry [and] by creating global brands to counteract the global alliance-shaping”, Mr Verschuure explained. “A clear understanding by the terminal operator of its position in the supply chain and dynamics of the transportation costs to the hinterland, are crucial in withstanding the pressures from the shipping lines.”
Source: Port Strategy

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