Terminals should brace themselves to feel huge impact from alliances

Frank Kho: “Terminals all around the world must now consider major investments and changes” Frank Kho: “Terminals all around the world must now consider major investments and changes”

The real impact to terminals from consolidation and shipping alliances is yet to come, but when it does arrive it will be huge.

That is according to Frank Kho, VP offering development, Kalmar, who warns that volumes handled at terminals have been going through the roof, despite global trade volumes not growing.

“Terminals are under a great deal of pressure to get a commercial contract from an alliance. There will be winners and losers,” he said.

It’s not just the larger terminals the alliances will affect, smaller ports and terminals should also look to their handling capacity if they want to stand any chance of competing for business.

Mr Kho points the finger at the US west coast. Few of the terminals there he says are large enough to accommodate traffic from an alliance.

“Terminals all around the world must now consider major investments and changes if they want to be part of the container shipping industry's supply chain,” he said.

Mr Kho said that when the huge vessels that are currently being built enter the global market to serve the major trade links, the ships currently serving those routes will be displaced onto other routes.

This cascading effect means that even the smallest terminal will see significant ship size increases so all terminals will face the challenge of bigger ships and bigger volumes in the coming years.

It will be the terminals that are best equipped to handle the huge cargo influx that are fit to handle mega vessels and mega volumes that will survive into the future.

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