Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Maritime transport sails stormy seas against political and structural headwinds
Shaky outlook for seaborne trade as uncertainty over world economy remains
Environmental sustainability agenda steers maritime industry towards cleaner fuel sources
World maritime trade lost momentum in 2018, with volumes expanding at 2.7%, below the historical averages of 3.0% and 4.1% recorded in 2017.
Total volumes are estimated to have reached 11 billion tons, an all-time high, according to UNCTAD records. UNCTAD is projecting 2.6% growth in 2019 and an annual average growth rate of 3.4% for the period 2019–2024. However, the outlook remains challenging, given the heightened uncertainty regarding trade policy and wide-ranging downside risks clouding the horizon.
Said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi: ‘The dip in maritime trade growth is a result of several trends including a weakening multilateral trading system and growing protectionism. It is a warning that national policies can have a negative impact on the maritime trade and development aspirations of all.’
In 2018, world merchandise trade growth decelerated at an unexpected rate, and tariffs on trade between China and the United States of America escalated amid mounting trade tensions and a proliferation of national trade-restrictive measures.
Apart from trade policy crosscurrents, geopolitics and sanctions, environmental concerns, fuel economics and tensions involving the Strait of Hormuz – a strategic maritime chokepoint – were in the headlines.
Other forces at work continued to slowly reshape the maritime transport landscape. A new normal, contrasting with the historical perspective, appears to be taking hold. This trend is characterized by overall moderate growth in the global economy and trade, a supply chain restructuring in favour of more regionalized trade flows, a continued rebalancing of the Chinese economy, a larger role of technology and services in value chains and logistics, intensified and more frequent natural disasters and climate-related disruptions, and an accelerated environmental sustainability agenda with an increased awareness of the impact of global warming.
A transition to the new normal calls for an improved understanding of the main issues at stake, better planning, and flexible and forward-looking-policies that can effectively anticipate change and enable appropriate response measures that take into account the heterogenous nature of developing countries as a group and their varied local conditions and needs.
A copy of the UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 2019 is available here:
North Sea Port has indicated that 54% of goods transported to the hinterland are moved by inland waterway shipping. This is the outcome of a study conducted by the port among companies throughout the port area and published on 28 November.
As a multimodal port, North Sea Port will increasingly be focusing on sustainable transport in the future, it is reported.
North Sea Port conducted research into the various transport options used by companies to move goods to the hinterland. This revealed that 54% of goods are transported by means of inland waterway shipping. 30% is loaded into lorries, whilst 9% is transported by rail. Transhipping cargo from one vessel to another accounts for 7%.
Results of this study were explained during North Sea Port’s multimodal event. At an Intermodal Marketplace, shippers and logistics intermediaries were able to find out about the rapidly expanding range of services provided by terminals and shipping companies in the port. These parties offer regular services from North Sea Port with destinations such as Antwerp, Rotterdam, Zeebrugge, Scandinavia, Spain, Italy, Great Britain, China, West Africa and South America by sea (deep-sea and short-sea), rail and inland waterway shipping.
DFDS is now using the new ro-ro ship Hollandia Seaways on the route between North Sea Port Ghent and Gothenburg in Sweden.
On 5 December, DFDS’s largest ship was officially named at the Mercatordok Multimodal Terminal in Ghent, North Sea Port.
The purpose of North Sea Port is to manage, operate and develop the 60 kilometres long cross-border port area from the Dutch port of Vlissingen to Ghent in Flanders. Within this framework, it intends to strengthen the position of the port and industrial complex in the area, both in a national and in an international perspective. North Sea Port employs 250 staff.
Hollandia Seaways can carry 450 trailers, representing a cargo capacity of 6,700 line metres. It has a length overall of 237.4 metres. With an extra floor for trailers, this new ship will immediately catch the eye when in the lock in Terneuzen or on the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal. The vessel is not only larger than the three DFDS ships which currently sail between Ghent and Gothenburg six times a week, it will be by far the largest ship in the entire DFDS fleet. This larger vessel will take the place of one of the three existing ships on the route. As a result, capacity will increase by some 600 trailers per week.