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Asian ports dominate ranks of world’s most efficient container ports

  • East Asian ports, led by Yokohama in Japan, dominate the Container Port Performance Index
  • The report highlights large efficiency gaps between world’s key container ports
  • The development of high-quality and efficient container port infrastructure is a key contributor to successful, export-led growth strategies

Asian container ports are the most efficient in the world, dominating the Top 50 spots, according to the new global Container Port Performance Index (CPPI) launched by the World Bank and IHS Markit.

The CPPI is a comparable index of global container port performance intended to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement that will benefit stakeholders from shipping lines to national governments to consumers.

East Asian ports dominate the CPPI, led by the Port of Yokohama in Japan, ahead of King Abdullah Port in Saudi Arabia and Qingdao in China, said the report released this month.

Algeciras in Spain is the highest ranked European port, in 10th place. Colombo in Sri Lanka is the top-ranked port in South Asia at 17th place and Mexico’s Lazaro Cardenas leads the Americas at 25th.

Canada’s Halifax is the only other North American port in the Top 50. Djibouti, in 61st place, is the top-ranked African port.

Key port performance metrics such as minutes per container move show large discrepancies in global port efficiency, with top performers such as Yokohama taking just 1.1 minutes on average to load or unload a container in a standard port call. In contrast, the average for equivalent workloads in African ports is more than three times that at 3.6 minutes, said the report.

More than four-fifths of global merchandise trade by volume is carried by sea, and about 35% of total volumes and over 60% of commercial value are shipped in containers.

“The development of high-quality and efficient container port infrastructure is a key contributor to successful, export-led growth strategies both in developing and developed countries,” said Martin Humphreys, lead transport economist at the World Bank. “Efficient ports also ensure business continuity and improve the resilience of the maritime gateways as crucial nodes in the global logistical system.”

“Inefficient port operations have a very direct impact on supplies across the country and their populations. During the COVID-19 pandemic we saw port delays causing shortages of essential goods and higher prices. Over the longer term such bottlenecks can mean slower economic growth, higher costs for importers and exporters and even resulting in less employment,” added Turloch Mooney, associate director of maritime and trade at IHS Markit.

The CPPI is based on total port hours per ship call, defined as the elapsed time between when a ship reaches a port to its departure from the berth, having completed its cargo exchange. Greater or lesser workloads are accounted for by examining the underlying data within ten different call size ranges.

Photo by 妖精書士

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