LONDON: The Global Container Port traffic growth rate continues to exceed 6% and terminal M&A offers the best potential to thrive in the current container ports and terminal market.
Drewry confirmed that Global Container Port throughput has been accelerating since 2016. In Q12018 Global container port throughput was up 6.2% compared to 6.3% in Q42017.
During Q32017 it was up 6% while growing at 4.9 % during Q22017. However, Drewry analyst Neil Davidson warned terminal industry returns are declining, while trade wars and sanctions are creating potential future problems.
EBITDA margins are being maintained by the industry amongst softening of demand growth, higher opex and capex due to bigger ships, increased business risks from larger liner alliances and carriers pressuring for lower prices.
Mr Davidson said lower returns were not just a result of larger alliances, but the industry is turning to solutions including hybrid terminal operation and more joint venture agreements.
Mr Davidson said that “if this continues to be an issue the US will become more isolated in trade” and there will be greater reticence to trade with the Country. He added that we may see a “weakening of trade”.