The Netherlands: Efficient Ports Drive Global Trade, Says UN Report
The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) released its annual Review of Maritime Transport report for 2011 in December, observing that the share of developing countries’ GDP in overall global economic output has jumped from 17% in 1980 to over 28% by 2010, with the growth trend projected to continue.
The report also noted that developing countries’ share of global trade also increased from approximately 30% to more than 40% from 2008 through 2010 alone. Global seaborne trade, which represents 90% of world trade, reached 8.4 billion metric tons in 2010, and is carried by a global fleet of 103,392 commercial vessels as of the first of this year.
The UNCTAD Report cites the improved efficiency and reduced costs of modern port operations which have contributed significantly to the increase in global trade and overall economic output, but notes that lower costs are not uniformly enjoyed.
“What these figures and trends tell us, very emphatically, is that the future of the shipping industry is heavily weighted toward developing markets in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East, and to a certain extent Central Europe, and that aggressive infrastructure investment is required right now to keep up with the pace of that projected growth” stated APM Terminals CEO Kim Fejfer, adding, “to that end APM Terminals has committed to approximately $3 billion USD in new infrastructure development and existing facility expansion in 2011”.
The most recent investment announced was for the new TEC2 deep-water terminal at the Port of Lázaro Cárdenas on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, which represents a commitment of $900 million USD over the 32-year concession contract term. Other projects finalized in the past year included a $749 million USD investment for a new deep-water terminal at the Port of Callao, in Peru; and $992 million USD for a new terminal in Moin, Costa Rica, as well as $100 million USD to be invested over the next five years to modernize the Port of Poti, Georgia on the Black Sea, and $120 million USD each at the Port of Monrovia, Liberia and Apapa, Nigeria. Approximately half of APM Terminals’ current container volume is in facilities in economically emerging areas.
“Our capabilities within port development and operation can bring efficient port capacity to new markets benefiting customers, government authorities and communities” added Fejfer.
About APM Terminals
– providing the port and inland infrastructure to lift global trade
APM Terminals’ Global Terminal Network of ports and inland services provide the necessary infrastructure and support for the increasing growth of international trade, 90% of which travels by sea. International commerce is an economic growth engine, creating jobs, lifting economies and helping to improve people’s lives around the world.
Dredging Today Staff, January 19, 2012; Images: APM Terminals