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Q3 IAPH Tracker report reveals larger vessel and higher call sizes do not go hand-in-hand with higher terminal productivity in all regions

IAPH World Ports Tracker Risk and Resilience 3 min read

Survey data also confirms shortage of trucks and truck drivers in some regions, bulk cargo growth, overall improved hinterland connectivity, some increases in inland warehouse utilisation, and a record cruise season expected for the main regions

The third edition of the IAPH World Ports Tracker has been published this week. For the first time, it combines S&P Global container terminal performance data for the third quarter of the year with survey responses from the world ports community on the same period.

These include four new dashboards to reflect the comprehensive analysis being provided by IAPH Risk and Resilience Technical Committee authors professor Theo Notteboom and professor Thanos Pallis. Theo and Thanos analyse year-on-year data as well as historic versus present data based on pre-pandemic figures. They also create highly useful interpretations of forecast data from survey respondents.

Among the highlights in this report are the significant rise in global cruise and ferry vessel calls, the shortage of trucks and truck drivers in several regions of the world, and the confirmation (and quantification) that larger vessel and higher call sizes do not go hand-in-hand with higher terminal productivity in all regions. The full report, which is available to responding IAPH members, includes breakdowns by cargo segment (container, dry bulk, tankers/gas carriers and general cargo), cruise and passenger as well as regional analyses.

Dashboard 1 : Except for container traffic, ports around the world are, on average, slightly more optimistic than three months ago about the expected traffic evolution in the next twelve months.

Dashboard 2 : The index-based evolution of the vessel calls per region reveals that in Q3 2022 and on a year-on-year basis, three regions show double-digit growth in the number of container vessel arrivals compared with the calls of Q3 2021, i.e., Africa, North East Asia, and South East Asia. In all other parts of the world, container vessel calls saw only minor changes in Q3 2022. The strongest declines are observed in Northern Europe (-13%), the Mediterranean (-3.8%) and North America (-3.7%).

Professor Theo Notteboom commented : “On a year-on-year basis, port productivity in Q3 2022 increased in three world regions. Two are in Asia, North East Asia (+9.4%) and South East Asia (+4.9%) respectively. The third one is Africa (+16.4%). However, in all world regions, ports are confronted with a new challenge. This is the increase in the number of containers they handle per vessel call.”

Dashboard 3 : Compared to Q2 2022, the share of ports facing delays in trucking and rail is down for container traffic and up for bulk/breakbulk flows, while the inland transport situation for barges has improved for all cargo types. Availability of truckers is a major issue in some regions (e.g. Sub Saharan Africa, Central & South America for bulk/breakbulk). The survey results show 34% of ports reporting an increase or major increase in the utilisation of warehousing and distribution facilities for containerized goods, with 16% reporting capacity shortages. Ports reporting moderate to severe truck driver shortages are widespread.

Dashboard 4 : a significantly higher share of ports (i.e., 73% in November 2022 vs. 64% in June 2022) foresees growth in cruise passenger movements in the next twelve months. Professor Thanos Pallis commented : With the resumption of cruise activities in the post-pandemic period in progress, the number of cruise vessel calls in the vast majority of world cruise ports continues to increase. Some ports are forecasting the largest cruise season on record in terms of vessel calls scheduled and passengers visiting the port and the destination. Expectations of growth in the number of cruise passengers visiting the respective ports are even higher than those referring to cruise ships calls.”

A summary of the full report will be made available to IAPH regular and associate members in the January - February edition of the IAPH members’ magazine Ports & Harbors. The next edition for Q4 2022 data is expected in March 2023.

News story contact :

Victor Shieh, Communications Director - IAPH : victor.shieh@iaphworldports.org

About IAPH

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has developed into a global alliance of 169 port authorities, including many of the world’s largest port operators as well as 134 port-related businesses. Comprised of 87 different nationalities across the world’s continents, member ports handle approximately one third of the world’s sea-borne trade and well over 60% of the world container traffic. With its NGO consultative status recognized by the IMO, ECOSOC, ILO, UNCTAD, UNEP, and WCO, IAPH leads global port industry initiatives on decarbonization and energy transition, risk and resilience management, and accelerating digitalization in the maritime transport chain. Its World Ports Sustainability Program has grown into the reference database of best practices of ports applying the UN Sustainable Development Goals and integrating them into their businesses.

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