The North European container port market bounced back strongly from the economic downturn. Total demand reached 57.9m TEU in 2011, representing an increase of 22 per cent since 2009. The eastern Baltic is seeing particularly strong growth. Due to this and other factors, the structure of regional demand is changing:
- Transshipment demand is increasing.
- Deep-sea calling patterns are being altered, with the emergence of direct deep-sea services in the eastern Baltic, and associated scope for transshipment hubbing within the regionm
- Inland transport costs are increasing rapidly and this – together with increasing environmental pressures – is highlighting the need for intermodal transport solutions. Supporting investment programmes are becoming critical, and intermodal contractual commitments are often at the centre of investment planning
- Much larger vessels have entered the Europe-Far East trades, and more are. The pressure on water depth, quay length, port access and the consignment sizes handled by terminals, represent major issues that must be addressed to maintain competitive position
- The container shipping market is in crisis, with severe overcapacity resulting in lines recording huge losses. The position of the lines as customers and as users of North European container terminals is generating considerable uncertainty.
- Though the outlook in the short term remains uncertain, due to macro-economic issues in the euro-zone, long-term prospects are strong, and demand growth will be positive in the forecast period. There will be far-reaching changes in terminal ownership, use and related investments.
- The study considers the forces driving terminal development and the outlook for the period to 2025.
Historical growth in containerport throughput is detailed by port, country and port region. The study provides separate forecasts of gateway and transshipment demand to 2025, based on three economic scenarios. The forecast distribution of transshipment is related to the relative advantages of different ports, carriers’ decisions and capacity availability. Ongoing and planned investment projects are reviewed in detail. Containerport capacity and resulting supply/demand balances are forecast to 2020.