Maritime Container Trades in the Mediterranean Area: Pre and Post Crisis Scenarios
F Russo, G Musolino, Mediterranea University of Reggio Calabria, IT
The paper presents a study concerning the current and forecasted container trades in the Mediterranean area at 2015. The expected trajectories of demand and supply of the Med hub ports before the crisis and the the new ones that are emerging today.
After several successive years of double-digit growth, world container trade reduced its increment in 2008 and it declined in 2009 to what it is called the floor level. The decline of container trade was connected to the global financial and economic crisis that showed its initial effects in the last quarter of 2008 and still today there is no consensus among economists on exactly how strong and long it will be.
The container industry (shipping companies, terminal operators, shipowners and shipyards, ?) is working today through this crisis, that determined in the market an eccess of supply (quays and ships). In the last years many ports have invested in new terminals and equipment and shipowners have commissioned a large number of vessels based on the expected container growth. All actors must share a financial stress, so that terminal operators tend to reduce their staff and to re-locate their terminals where labour costs are lower, but interfering the states decisions; port authorities tend to reduce port charges in order to make their ports more attractive; shipping companies are re-negotiating the terms for the supply of new ships in order to limit the effects of the over-supply.
The paper presents a study concerning the current and forecasted container trades in the Mediterranean area at 2015. From the analysis of data and scenarios provided by several international research institutes operating in the field of port and shipping sectors, the study presents a survey on the current container trade and on the services provided in container hub ports belonging to the different regions of the mediterranean area. The above analysis allowed to estimate the trajectories of the expected demand and supply of the Mediterranean hub ports set as expected before the crisis. Then, it was possible to define the new future trajectories from the elements that are occuring today in the container market.
The whole disaggregated elements presented in the paper has been synthesized in few aggregated values. Container trade in the Mediterranean ports should increase between 2006 and 2015 from approximately 34 million of containers to approximately 60 million, according to the trends defined before tha crisis. Considering the global crisis, the increment and decrement factors, we forecast in 46 million the throughput container market.
The Conference of Barcelona of 1995 has also established the institution of the Free Exchange Zone in the Mediterranean area at 2010, that will cause a further increment in the freight exchanges inside mediterranean area. Base and high risk evaluation have been developed.
This work is part of a two-years research project financed by the Italian Ministry of University and Research, which general objective is the definition of guidelines for the competitiveness of Italian transhipment ports of Gioia Tauro, Cagliari and Taranto in the euro-mediterranean context.
Association for European Transport