Big Growth in Mediterranean Transhipment Business Observed

MarineLink.com
Monday, February 24, 2014
Transhipment volumes: Image courtesy of Drewry Maritime Research

Virtually all large Mediterranean transhipment hub ports recorded double digit growth in 2013, well above regional and global growth levels, notes the latest edition of Drewry's Container Insight Weekly.

Once all full year data is collated, global container port traffic is likely to have grown by around 3.3% whilst that for the regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea will probably have grown by between 3 and 6%. Transhipment volumes at key Mediterranean hubs surged by an average of over 8%, however, more than twice the global figure, with certain ports showing even more extraordinary growth rates.

Clearly such growth is well beyond organic market growth and whilst there has been recovery in feeder volumes to and from the Black Sea and North Africa for Central Mediterranean hubs, for West Mediterranean hubs much of the growth must be due to increased relay transhipment activity. Carriers have been rationalising their service networks and replacing direct services to and from the likes of West Africa with transhipment from ever larger east-west mother vessels passing through the Mediterranean. In addition, 2013 saw Maersk Line, for example, linking the Mediterranean with the east coast of North America by relaying Med cargo onto its Middle East-east coast North America service.

Linked to this is the significance of critical mass for hub ports. Of the eight ports handling more than one million teu p.a. of transhipment traffic, all but one (Valencia) recorded growth, and all of the growing ports saw volumes increase by more than the market average. Several saw double digit transhipment volume growth (Piraeus, Tanger Med, Gioia Tauro and Ambarli) with Tanger Med topping the list through a near 40% increase. It seems as if increasing vessel sizes and carrier alliances is favouring mega-hubs once again, the last time being before 2006, when the level of hub port efficiency became unacceptable to ocean carriers, prompting the introduction of more direct services.

This was a marked contrast to the sub-one million teu p.a. hubs, most of which were in negative territory in 2013, with the only significant winners being Cagliari and Sines (the latter is not actually in the Mediterranean, but performs a similar role to West Med hubs). Clearly the smaller hubs are suffering from lack of scale, changes in alliance make-ups, as well as specific weaknesses in some cases (e.g. vessel size/draft restrictions in Damietta).

Interestingly, shipping line ownership does not always appear to guarantee activity, as witnessed by the marked decline in Evergreen’s Taranto volumes which have fallen from a peak of over 800,000 teu in 2006 to less than 200,000 teu in 2013. The line’s increasing co-operation with other carriers has clearly resulted in displacement of volumes to other hubs such as Piraeus. On the other hand, the three ports which achieved the highest growth in estimated transhipment traffic in 2013 – Sines (76%), Tanger Med (38%) and Piraeus (19%) – all have direct or indirect links with major carriers. Sines is backed by MSC (through TIL), Tanger Med has CMA CGM (and reportedly an MSC affiliate) and Piraeus has Cosco through ownership of the port’s main terminal by Cosco Pacific.

The geographical spread of transhipment activity within the Med is also significant. The Central Med and West Med sub-regions showed the strongest growth in 2013 with 12.3% and 10.2% respectively, whereas the East Med sub-region saw a decline of nearly 5%. Within the East Med sub-region though it is significant that East Port Said saw 9% growth whereas all the other (much smaller) East Med hub ports saw a decline. East Port Said is home to APM Terminals’ Suez Canal Container Terminal which is by far the largest East Med hub port with over 60% of the sub-region’s volumes.

Drewry's view

Bigger east-west ships and larger alliances are likely to continue to allow key transhipment hub ports in the Mediterranean to outperform underlying organic market growth by serving regions well beyond the Med through relay. The large hubs with critical mass are likely to continue to be the main beneficiaries whilst the smaller hubs will find it harder to compete unless they can find a niche – or a large carrier to back them.  

Source: Drewry Maritime Research: Drewry's Container Insight Weekly

 

 

 

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

Nordic American Offshore Declares Dividend

Nordic American Offshore Ltd. today announced that its board of directors has declared a dividend of $0.45 per common share for the third quarter 2014. This is the same as for the second quarter 2014.

Bollore Africa Logistics Sees Profit Plunge in H1

First half 2014 profit at shipping company Bollore Africa Logistics plunged to 5.89 billion CFA francs ($11.48 million) from 9.45 billion CFA francs in the same period last year,

Ocean Rig, Petrobras Agree to $1.1b Drill Ships Lease

Cyprus-based Ocean Rig UDW Inc said on Monday that it signed a $1.1 billion three-year contract with Brazil's state-run oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, to

Ports

Cargill: 50,000T of Sugar Affected by Brazil Fire

Approximately 50,000 tonnes of sugar were stored in a warehouse affected by fire in the Teag terminal in Brazil on Monday, Cargill Inc said in a statement. The terminal,

GAO: Ending Crude Export Ban Could Ease 'Price at the Pump'

As the energy profile of the U.S. continues to improve and evolve daily, fresh debate in favor of exporting oil and gas products -- which would have a significant impact on the U.

'New Tango' Brings More Post-Panamax Ships to Charleston

New service expands Port of Charleston's capacity to serve North-South trade The SC Ports Authority today received the first ship call of a new consolidated

Container Ships

CMA CGM Acquires 7,000 Reefer Containers

The CMA CGM Group announced it has acquired more than 7,000 of last generation 40’ High Cube Reefer containers including 6,000 low consumption engines. The CMA

'New Tango' Brings More Post-Panamax Ships to Charleston

New service expands Port of Charleston's capacity to serve North-South trade The SC Ports Authority today received the first ship call of a new consolidated

Video: E-Class Edith Mærsk on the Thames

The largest ship ever to enter the Thames arrived at DP World London Gateway, the U.K.’s new deepwater container port. The 397-meter-long, 56-meter-wide Edith Mærsk

Logistics

Missouri River Basin is Booming

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Missouri River Basin Water Management Division is maintaining above normal releases at the four lower dams on the Missouri River.

Bollore Africa Logistics Sees Profit Plunge in H1

First half 2014 profit at shipping company Bollore Africa Logistics plunged to 5.89 billion CFA francs ($11.48 million) from 9.45 billion CFA francs in the same period last year,

GAO: Ending Crude Export Ban Could Ease 'Price at the Pump'

As the energy profile of the U.S. continues to improve and evolve daily, fresh debate in favor of exporting oil and gas products -- which would have a significant impact on the U.

Consulting

Vice Presidents Rejig at Caterpillar Inc

Following the previous announcement regarding two group presidents’ retirements and new responsibilities for another group president, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT)

Northrop Grumman Sponsors Maritime RobotX Challenge

Northrop Grumman Corporation is expanding its support for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education across the globe by sponsoring the Maritime RobotX Challenge in Singapore, Oct.

COWI NA Merges its Marine Companies

Ben C. Gerwick, Inc. and Ocean and Coastal Consultants, Inc. merger creates new player in the North American marine engineering market COWI North America, Inc.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2501 sec (4 req/sec)