Marine Link
Monday, January 22, 2018

Global Terminal Operators Remain Dynamic

Maritime Activity Reports, Inc.

September 12, 2012

Drewry Maritime Research’s latest Annual Review of Global Container Terminal Operators report shows that whilst some things have remained the same, others have changed significantly with more change to come.


Measured by equity teu, there is no change in the order and ranking of the top five operators. PSA was again the leading operator in terms of equity teu ahead of Hutchison (HPH), but by a much reduced margin following the divestment by PSA of its interests in HPH’s Hong Kong terminals. There is now a difference of only just over 4 million teu in Drewry’s assessment of PSA and HPH’s equity teu throughput.  DP World and APM Terminals are closely matched in third and fourth spots whilst the COSCO Group’s throughput remains somewhat less than that of the top 4 players.


The big four global operators collectively accounted for 26.5% of world container port throughput, but this was down slightly on the previous year due to the emergence of other large players, both international and local. Notably this included China Shipping Terminal Development which has entered the Drewry league table for the first time with its interests in 15 terminals in China and the US placing it in 7th position. Also of note is the significant volume of Terminal Investment Limited (TIL), topping 12 million teu in 2011 and making it the 6th largest global/international terminal operator. Drewry understands that TIL is not a division of MSC, although clearly it has an important relationship with the line.


The league table remains dynamic as merger and acquisition activity continues in the sector. APM Terminals has just taken a significant stake in Russian operator Global Ports Investments (GPI) for example, in a move which sees APMT extend its global footprint and enter a fast growing market. This US$860m deal will positively influence APMT’s ranking next year. Meanwhile speculation continues about the possibility of the terminal portfolios of certain major shipping lines being sold – notably CMA CGM’s Terminal Link.


Drewry’s Neil Davidson, Senior Advisor – Ports notes: “After a lull in M&A activity in the sector brought about by the global slowdown in 2009, activity levels are building up again and we expect to see more major deals taking place.
The ownership and ranking of the world’s major terminal operators may be significantly different in a year’s time“.


Top 10 global/international terminal operators’ equity based throughput, 2011 Information in table displayed in order of: Ranking, Operator, Million TEU, % share of world throughput:


  • 1: PSA International, 47.6, 8.1%
  • 2: Hutchison Port Holdings, 43.4, 7.4%
  • 3: DP World, 33.1, 5.6%
  • 4: APM Terminals, 32.0, 5.4%
  • 5: COSCO Group, 15.4, 2.6%
  • 6: Terminal Investment Limited (TIL), 12.1, 2.1% 7:China Shipping Terminal Development, 7.8, 1.3% 8:Evergreen, 6.9, 1.2% 9:Eurogate, 6.6, 1.1% 10:HHLA, 6.4, 1.1% 
Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News