"The increased demand for point-to-point service requires the use of transshipment hubs to coordinate feeder services to and from countries and ports with low-volume throughput," said Mike Lee, Consultant, Transportation & Logistics, Asia Pacific at Frost & Sullivan.
He added that there has been a universal shift from transporting bulk or loose goods to transportation by containers due to the benefits offered by containerization such as safety, cost, speed, and convenience. "This is expected to drive growth in the container ports market in the short to medium term, especially from India where the level of containerization remains low," Lee said.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan Strategic Insights on Asia Pacific Container Ports Market, finds that the Asia Pacific container ports handled over 264 million TEUs in 2008 and estimates this to reach 378 million TEU in 2015.
However, Lee said that the total container throughput in Asia Pacific is likely to decline approximately eight to 12 percent in 2009 due to the economic crisis. "Intervention by governments in Asia Pacific and increased consumers' confidence are likely to cushion the impact," he added.
Lee also said that the increased focus to tackle terrorism after the September 11 attack led to new initiatives to prevent the threat before it happens. He added that there is an increased initiative to ensure the security of the total supply chain to ensure that further globalization of production can be achieved.
He also noted that the port infrastructure in the region is not adequate to meet the increasing trade demand in the region due to factors such as lack of support for large vessels and poor land-side connectivity.
He said that shipping trade through containerized cargo has taken over traditional mode of transportation due to the numerous benefits that it offers. In 2007, containerized cargo accounted for more than half of the global shipping trade.
Lee said that Asia Pacific countries have also adopted containerizations and several fully mechanized state-of-the-art container terminals are being constructed across the region.
"With Asia Pacific expected to take a lead in global shipping trade, both in intra-Asia trade, as well as with the countries in Europe and America, container traffic from this region is expected to maintain its rapid growth in the near future," he said, adding that Asia's share of containerized exports to world's total exports is expected to reach 64 percent by 2015.
Lee said that currently, China has more than 50 per cent of the total container throughput market share in Asia Pacific while South East Asia contributes 25 per cent of the throughput, mainly as transshipment. "China's share of the container trade in Asia Pacific is expected to increase to 56.1 per cent in 2015 from 53.5 per cent in 2008," he added.