The paradox of the Straits of Malacca and modern container shipping is that despite the potential high volumes, and while terminal operators are always looking for alternatives to the established main ports of Singapore, Port of Tanjung Pelepas (PTP) and Port Klang, most of the major lines have already anchored themselves at one of the three and are unlikely to move without a sufficiently good reason.

The American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA) annual conference coincided with President Trump’s State of the Union address, and the cheers from attendees watching the speech on a big screen TV, following the first day’s presentations, grew louder and louder each time that he used the “I-word” (infrastructure) in his remarks.

The Panama Maritime Authority has released the 2017 statistics of cargo volume handled by ports showing an increase of 10.1% to 6.89m teu, up from 6,27m teu in 2016.

Mexican ports registered a milestone in 2017 as cargo volumes increased by 12.2% passing the mark of 6m teu for the first time in its history.

With the President Trump's administration one year in, the talk has turned back to Infrastructure revival in the US, an important theme in 2016’s campaign season.

It is not a lot of fun, after a long voyage across endless ocean, to be trapped aboard your ship in port, because the authorities will grant no shore leave to the members of the crew.

Dunkerque Port, France’s largest gateway for non-hydrocarbons traffic, achieved throughput of 50.4m tonnes in 2017, an increase of 3% over the previous year.

Could it be second time lucky for China’s new impetus to push through its flagship free trade zone in Shanghai?

Within days of the launch of  2018, China Cosco Shipping launched a number of new projects to upgrade Piraeus to further strengthen the Greek port as Asia’s gateway to Eastern and Central Europe.

Smaller port operators may have a chance to leapfrog into the limelight as global trade patterns change, with gateway ports gaining prominence, and this year could prove to be transformative.

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