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Productivity falls at world’s top 30 container ports, says survey


CONTAINER shipping lines are incurring hundreds of millions of dollars in fuel costs by not putting enough focus on berth productivity, says a IHS Markit study.

The survey calculates port productivity as the number of container moves per port call divided by the total hours from when vessels arrive at port limits to the point of departure from the berth. 

Productivity levels at the world's top 30 container ports have demonstrated worrying levels of decline, according to the latest port productivity analysis by Newark-based IHS Markit. 

Relative port productivity among the top 30 ports decreased 7.5 per cent between the first half of 2014 and the same period in 2016, as indicated by port call information supplied by 74 per cent of the world's cellular fleet operators. 

"With the exception of a few bright spots, the picture overall is not a good one," said Andy Lane of CTI Consultancy.

The study was a bi-annual analysis of data from IHS Markit Maritime & Trade, a project initiated by Newark's Journal of Commerce, which was acquired by IHS Markit in 2014. 

"Most of the declines were experienced in 2015, and we saw a slight rebound in the first half of 2016, but it was not enough to recover port efficiency back to 2014 levels." 

"The reason for the poor productivity performance across regions is largely attributed to apathy and lack of recognition as to the potential value of achieving productivity improvements," the study said. 

Key findings include:

Mediterranean suffered the biggest declines, a 23 per cent fall in port productivity. Second worse were Mideast and Indian ports, posting a 16 per cent decline in berth productivity.

East Asia posted a nine per cent decline, mainly driven by a big increase in steam-in time from 5.3 to 6.8 hours, as well as a four per cent fall in berth productivity.

Good gains were made in North America with steam-in time from 3.9 to 1.8 hours was offset by a berth productivity decrease of 13 per cent, leaving port productivity at eight per cent, below its 2014 performance.

In southeast Asia, a more modest three per cent decrease in port productivity occurred, with a six per cent berth productivity gain wiped out by an increase of steam-in times from 5.6 to 7.5 hours.

Only north Europe improved port productivity, rising seven per cent, achieved solely by reduced steam-in times from 6.9 to 4.9 hours. 

Source: Schednet

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