DP World’s container terminals in Mozambique, and Brisbane, Australia, and APM Terminals’ facility in Pecem, Brazil, are among those ranked top of their respective world regions in terms of improved berth productivity in 2015.
Journal of Commerce analysis of global container ship call data found overall berth productivity in 2015 declined 7 percent year-over-year in Latin America, the Mediterranean and northern Europe. Berth productivity in East Asia also declined moderately, but there was some improvement in Africa, Oceania and Southeast Asia.
“Lines and terminals have yet to realize the virtues and benefits of greater efficiency and, if left unchecked, this will continue to have detrimental impacts on the supply chain generally,” said Andy Lane, a partner with Singapore-based CTI Consultancy, which carried out the analysis.
For the first time since JOC launched its Port Productivity database seven years ago, this year’s rankings list terminals in nine global regions in terms of those registering the greatest improvement in berth productivity in 2015. The data covers 130 million container moves in 140,000 port calls at 750 global container terminals. Previous rankings listed ports and terminals by actual berth productivity, based on the average number of container moves per crane, per hour while a vessel is at berth.
With a relative improvement rate of 119 percent, DP World’s operation in Mozambique is ranked No. 1 in Africa, followed by Tanzania International Container Services at Dar es Salaam. APM Terminals’ operation in Pecem, Brazil, topped the Latin America rankings, followed by Tecon Suape Container Terminal in Pernambuco. DP World’s Brisbane facility took the No. 1 spot in Oceania, with New Zealand’s Napier Container Terminals in second place.
In Southeast Asia, Manila’s South Harbour International Container Terminal achieved the greatest improvement, followed by Ham Hai Container Terminal at Haiphong, Vietnam. Korea Express Busan Container Terminal and the Evergreen Tokyo Container Terminal took first and second place in the East Asia region.
In the Middle East and India region, Oman International Container Terminal and Shuaiba Area Container Terminal in Kuwait ranked first and second.
In North America, the Conley Container Terminal in Boston and Deltaport in Vancouver, British Columbia, topped the rankings, though a deep comparative analysis of productivity from 2014 to 2015 wasn’t possible because of the disruptive impact the dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and waterfront management had on port operations on the U.S. West Coast.
The Muuga Harbour Container Terminal in Talinn, Estonia, and Le Havre North Terminals-Quais des Amériques in France ranked first and second in North Europe, while Port Akdeniz in Antalya, Turkey, and Durres Container Terminal in Tirana, Albania, topped the list of Mediterranean terminals.
The analysis found important trends in areas such as vessel size and call size, or moves-per-call. In the case of the latter, the data show that, with the exception of Africa, which showed strong growth in average call-size last year, and to a lesser extent the Middle East and India, calls generally diminished in size in 2015.
This likely was driven by a combination of excess capacity and lower fuel prices, which make it more economical to extend existing services to call at more ports directly, as opposed to higher use of transshipments. Basically the ship takes on the same quantity of containers, but at more ports, “which drives the average call-size downward,” Lane said. “This trend is magnified by ships suffering slightly lower overall utilization levels.”
Very large calls, defined as those involving 3,000 or more container moves, aren’t common, the data show. Such calls are most prevalent in the Middle East and India region and in North America, where they comprise 8 percent and 7 percent of calls, respectively.
Ship exchanges of 2,000 to 3,000 moves per call, common in the industry over the past 10 to 20 years, seem to be enduring. “We are not witnessing any large shifts or trends in this area between 2014 and 2015,” Lane said.
Despite the industry hype around mega-ships, the data show a relatively modest increase in calls by ships capable of carrying 12,000 or more 20-foot-equivalent units. In northern Europe and East Asia, for instance, just 12 percent of calls are by 12,000-TEU ships or larger. Vessels of this size contribute up to 28 percent of total throughput at terminals in these two regions.
Launched in 2009, JOC Port Productivity research and database is intended to be the primary global catalyst and incubator of productivity in container port operations.
Additional data sources are being added to the project this year to enable the provision of high-quality and granular benchmarks for port, berth and operating productivity, berth on arrival and average vessel waiting time, gross crane moves per hour and crane intensity, and average time to start-up and ramp-down berth operations.