The last year has seen a sea change in global economic fortunes. Clearly, the supply-chain industry is not immune. But looking forward, analysts continue to predict solid growth in both the percentage of cargo that is containerized and in throughput. This is a testament to the power of the containerization movement and the uniquely robust nature of the port operating business.
Despite the strong possibility of a global recession, port capacity is still very much a concern, for the short and the long term. Drewry’s forecast 8.9 percent annualized growth in container volume from 2007 to 2013, with just a 5 percent increase in capacity over the same period, based on confirmed infrastructure investments. The highest levels of economic growth are expected in the emerging economies such as those of South Asia, Africa, the Far East and the Middle East, which will likely lead the world out of the recession.
The pinch of recession is compounded by new threats to global security and the environment, to which attention cannot be deferred. Our approach to security is much the same as our approach to business: We are in it for the long term and, as such, do not make far-reaching decisions with respect to the implementation of new technologies and equipment without being absolutely sure the plan is feasible and adds to both the efficiency and security of the entire operation.
Port operators have the fortune and privilege of being a growth-facilitating industry: By doing what we do best, port operators grease the wheels of international commerce, making it easier for economies to rebound from difficult times.