A NEW report by DS Research says the international container terminal sector will add 214 million TEU to total port capacity by the end of 2018, reports London area World CargoNews.
The surprising figure can be found in the report Container Terminal Project Pipeline 2016 published by DS Research, of Klipphausen, near Dresden.
According to the report, the number of projects has increased from last year, but the probability every one will be finally completed "is decreasing due to a persistent weak demand".
The report identifies a project pipeline of nearly 440 single projects scheduled for completion between 2016 and 2021, which would add 405 million TEU of additional capacity worldwide.
A further 210 projects planned for beyond 2021 are identified - but these are mainly in the master planning phase.
The figure of 405 million TEU is very large, and WorldCargo News sought further information. The report's author, Daniel Schaefer, said 80 per cent of the projects have a stated target capacity increase.
For 13 per cent of the projects the capacity increased was calculated from the length of additional quay line being added using performance benchmarks for port types (eg, transshipment, gateway, feeder port), while seven per cent of the 405 million TEU figure was estimated from other information.
"The project pipeline is hugely ambitious in light of the current market conditions, and DS Research notes it compares "to about 684 million TEU global container throughput achieved in 2015," said the World CargoNews report.
Clearly not every project will be completed, and WorldCargo News has already noted that some developments like T4 in Jebel Ali have been slowed down or placed on hold.
However, DS Research's figure of an additional 214 million TEU of new capacity to come on stream by 2018 is for "projects under construction" that are mostly scheduled for completion by the end of 2018.
"We've rated most projects under construction as solid projects," said Mr Schaefer. "All other projects are tentative in the sense that so far no significant amount of money has been invested."
In the past three to four years moderate demand growth was overruled by favourable financial conditions, resulting in overcapacity being built in the container terminal industry, he said.
"The development of demand in 2016 will likely determine at what pace and scope terminal operators will adjust investment spending for 2018 and onwards," he said.
Looking at where the development is happening geographically: "Countries in Europe, North America and the Far East largely comprise a moderate amount of upcoming projects which do not exceed 60 per cent of each country's current container throughput.
"The most ambitious plans for new container terminals are made for the wider Panama Canal region, the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Guinea and India. Here, newly constructed capacity would exceed the container throughput achieved in 2015, in case all planned projects would be completed as announced," said the DS Research press release.
The report is available from the website www.dsresearch.de
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