The Economist – Page 9

  • News

    Is there a danger of diseconomies of scale?


    Economic theory and practice tells us that economies of scale have the potential to increase both consumer and producer welfare. Yet there are limits to the advantages that they can bring. 

  • Continued hinterland business will be crucial to Hamburg's capacity growth plans

    Lesson in the importance of hinterland competition


    There is not a day that passes without a senior industry executive warning of the dangers of congestion and lack of terminal capacity. I have come to the conclusion that this is usually tied to the acquisition of subsidised state funding and\or permissions from state authorities to go ahead with ...

  • News

    Empty congestion: what in the World is going on?


    Let me start with an apology. I just cannot get away from the subject of port congestion. The most recent problems have been caused by weather, labour relations (or rather the lack of them) and empty containers. There are also voices blaming the constant growth in containers coming from Asia.

  • News

    More trouble at the transhipment "mill"


    More labour trouble in Gioia Tauro to the extent that Contship Italia, the transhipment terminal''s operator, has issued threats about exiting the terminal. The visible cause of the problems is the newly formed union Sindacato dei Lavoratori (SdL) which claims to represent 350 of the terminal''s 650 workers and which ...

  • economist_march.JPG

    A dose of collective amnesia


    The flurry of activity at shipyards, as new orders come in for ever larger containerships, appears to have no end in sight.Combine this with the increasing size of terminal operators and the need for new mega ports to cater for the China (and Indian) cargoes and we see the results ...

  • dollars.JPG

    Is the great equity bubble about to burst?


    Private equity firms and other non-public shareholder groups such as Dubai Ports World (DPW), have entered the global ports and terminals marketplace to drive up values in the industry. Perhaps the initial driving force was DPW when it entered the Indian market outbidding its rivals.

  • News

    The challenge of globalisation


    There''s little debate that the changing circumstances of globalisation have, and will continue to, affect world trade. Prices for goods and services are dropping while quality is on the rise.

  • chart1.JPG

    Hinterland headaches in North Europe


    A number of studies have been completed, and most likely some are still in progress, that have addressed the issue of the origin and destination of cargo from the "natural hinterland of the major European ports". In theory this should not be a hard task to achieve, but in practice ...

  • News

    What's in a number?


    We are really creatures of habit. Take numbers for instance.We have a blind urge to compare one number with the next. For example, how does that compare with what the competition is saying, or what they said last time, or what are we saying or better still, what was that ...

  • News

    Indian port development: another China?


    Much has been said about the strong growth in India and we regularly read about double digit increases in container traffic flows from Indian ports. Bulk cargoes, particularly iron ore, have grown at significant rates as well. Yet, looking at the numbers in terms of economic growth, we have not ...

  • News

    Highways of the Sea: Fact or Fiction


    Much has been written about the " Autoroute de la Mer" and considerable money has been spent by the European Commission and various national governments studying the viability of shifting truck traffic from the land highways to the maritime routes, particularly in the Mediterranean between Italy, France and Spain, but ...

  • News

    What do you know about hard numbers?


    One of the interesting facts about our maritime industry, comprising not only the carriers and the hinterland transportation providers, but also the ports and terminals is that no one really has any reliable hard numbers about what is going on. Strange, isn''t it?

  • News

    The DPW Debacle: On the Edge of a Precipice


    As one follows the unfolding political fallout of the DPW takeover of P& O and the repercussions in the US one wonders if we are living in a sane world or are we about to fall over the precipice of xenophobia and religious discrimination.

  • News

    Time to reflect on the broader economic future for 2006


    The global economy has once again surprised pessimists by its tremendous staying power, replacing past concerns that global growth might falter with inflationary worries, fuelled by high and rising oil prices. We see growth slowing marginally this year, compared to last, but if the almighty consumer does not lose heart ...

  • News

    Congestion? What congestion?


    Does anyone still remember the panic about US West Coast port congestion and that this evil was going to be with us for years to come? And do you remember thinking that the PierPass scheme which penalises daytime truck traffic to the ports was a whimsical gasp of desperation?

  • News

    Liner market concentration presages omens for ports


    The global ports industry is going to face the repercussions of a major shift in the market power of the dominant 5-10 carriers that will lead to an urgent need for the industry to evaluate its future strategy.

  • News

    Katrina - The shame of it all


    Ben Hackett laments the tardiness of the US Administration and its agencies

  • News

    Port security: real or imagined?


    Ben Hackett fears something else to lie awake at night and worry about

  • News

    The Inland Mystery


    Ben Hackett is exasperated by the absence of invaluable statistical data to tell us what is actually happening to all those containers

  • News

    East Coast Option


    Ben Hackett considers whether the looming import peak in the US will benefit the all-water route via Suez to the East Coast