Dinesh Sharma, senior research manager at Drewry Maritime Advisors, says that global container throughput would rise between 5% and 5.5% a year up to the end of the decade. Speaking at a Ports & Terminals seminar in London, he cited ports in Africa and northern China as registering the strongest growth.
In his outlook, Sharma projected a 2020 global throughput volume of at least 1 billion TEU, up from 623 million TEU in 2013, with Asia accounting for 65% (650 million TEU) and transhipment traffic 32% (320 million TEU) of the total. This, he explained would compare with shares of 56% and 22.5% (140 million TEU), respectively, in 2013.
Within Asia, Sharma argued that China would become increasingly significant over the next seven years, citing that the country’s share of global container-handling activity would rise from 30% in 2013 to 40% in 2014. In 2000, China’s ports processed just 16% of a world total of 235 million TEU, a figure that reveals the spectacular growth that has occurred in the Asian country since it joined the World Trade Organisation in November 2001.
In a further assessment of the future, Sharma said the percentage of empty boxes handled would not change and would remain at about the 20% (200 million TEU) level in 2020.
Other interesting facts presented by the analyst showed that 22,000 TEU-sized ships would be in operation in 2020, the world population of super post panamax cranes would number over 2,000 units, compared with 1,160 units in service in 2013, and that the leading four global terminal operating companies would control an estimated 41% of all containers handled. Source: World Cargo News