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PSA again tops global terminal operator throughput standings in 2014

PSA again tops global terminal operator throughput standings in 2014
PSA International once again topped the global league table of container terminal operators in 2014 with throughput of 55.1m teu, an increase of 2.3m teu on 2013, although its global share fell marginally to 8.1%. The ranking of the world’s top five remained unchanged last year, according to an influential report on the container industry.

Drewry Maritime Consultants’ ‘Global Container Terminal Operators Annual Report 2015’, in which data is compiled on an equity teu basis shows that the market share of the top three players fell, but rose for those placed fourth and fifth.

DP World saw the largest rise in throughput of the top five operators, increasing throughput by 3.0m teu to a total of 35.8m teu. It also increased its global share slightly to 5.3%. Total world throughput reached 677.9m teu last year, a rise of 5.5%.

“Overall, all the big players are in the 75-85% average utilisation band across their portfolios,” said Neil Davidson, senior advisor, ports and terminals at Drewry, and author of the report.

The throughput share of each operator is a reflection of a complex combination of factors including not only the growth or decline in volume in each individual terminal, but also the effect of any new terminals added to a portfolio, or any disposals. Also, changes in the shareholding at individual terminals can have a bearing, Davidson said.

“A good example is the large increase in CMHI's equity throughput in 2014 which was largely due to the full-year effect of its acquisition of a stake in the Terminal Link portfolio,” Davidson said.

“DP World's strong equity throughput growth was mainly due to good growth at many of its existing terminals around the world, including of course the 12% growth at Jebel Ali which, as this port represents over 40% of the portfolio's equity throughput. [This] has a strong bearing on the overall result.

By equity teu, the top 5 players accounted for just under 30% of global throughput in 2014. “The 23 companies we categorise as global or international terminal operators accounted for just over 45% of world throughput,” Davidson said.

“However, the concentration-fragmentation of the terminal business really matters most at the local level, [namely] individual regions and specifically individual port markets or ranges. Here there is a wide variety in the degree of concentration-fragmentation, and a wide variety in the extent to which the global or international terminal operators are present.”

Drewry says rising demand and bigger ships are driving a global container port investment boom. By 2019, it expects PSA International to add around 24m teu of capacity, APM Terminals 17m teu, DP World 14m teu, Hutchison Port Holdings 14m teu and Cosco Group 9m teu.