Long-term prospects for the northern European container trades are “strong” despite short-term macro-economic uncertainty in the eurozone, according to a new report from a UK-based consultancy.
North European Containerport Markets to 2025 by Ocean Shipping Consultants found that container traffic throughput at northern European ports had bounced back strongly after the global financial crisis, with demand climbing 22 percent from 2009 to reach 57.9 million 20-foot-equivalent units last year.
OSC predicts total container port demand at North European gateway ports will — depending on general economic conditions — increase by 41-59 percent over 2011-20 to total between 60.1 million TEUs and 67.8 million TEUs at the end of period. Further gateway growth is then expected of 16-21 percent through 2025, when throughput will reach as much as 81.9 million TEUs.
Transshipment demand of 43-68 percent is expected over 2011-20, with throughput totaling 21.6-25.4 million TEUs, climbing a further 15-20 percent to 24.8-30.6 million TEUs in 2025.
Total box demand at North European container ports of 41-61 percent is forecast over 2011-20, with further growth of 15-20 percent anticipated in the period to 2025, when volumes will be in the range of 94.3-112.5 million TEUs.
To meet the demand forecasts and remain competitive globally, the consultant said, ports and legislators need to take action to improve facilities for larger vessels, make more effort to meet demand for more transshipment traffic and support investment in intermodal facilities that could help stem the rapid increase in inland transport costs.
“Though the outlook in the short term remains uncertain, due primarily to macro-economic issues in the euro-zone, long-term prospects are strong, and demand growth will be positive in the forecast period,” OSC said.
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