Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Maritime transport sails stormy seas against political and structural headwinds
Shaky outlook for seaborne trade as uncertainty over world economy remains
Environmental sustainability agenda steers maritime industry towards cleaner fuel sources
World maritime trade lost momentum in 2018, with volumes expanding at 2.7%, below the historical averages of 3.0% and 4.1% recorded in 2017.
Total volumes are estimated to have reached 11 billion tons, an all-time high, according to UNCTAD records. UNCTAD is projecting 2.6% growth in 2019 and an annual average growth rate of 3.4% for the period 2019–2024. However, the outlook remains challenging, given the heightened uncertainty regarding trade policy and wide-ranging downside risks clouding the horizon.
Said UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi: ‘The dip in maritime trade growth is a result of several trends including a weakening multilateral trading system and growing protectionism. It is a warning that national policies can have a negative impact on the maritime trade and development aspirations of all.’
In 2018, world merchandise trade growth decelerated at an unexpected rate, and tariffs on trade between China and the United States of America escalated amid mounting trade tensions and a proliferation of national trade-restrictive measures.
Apart from trade policy crosscurrents, geopolitics and sanctions, environmental concerns, fuel economics and tensions involving the Strait of Hormuz – a strategic maritime chokepoint – were in the headlines.
Other forces at work continued to slowly reshape the maritime transport landscape. A new normal, contrasting with the historical perspective, appears to be taking hold. This trend is characterized by overall moderate growth in the global economy and trade, a supply chain restructuring in favour of more regionalized trade flows, a continued rebalancing of the Chinese economy, a larger role of technology and services in value chains and logistics, intensified and more frequent natural disasters and climate-related disruptions, and an accelerated environmental sustainability agenda with an increased awareness of the impact of global warming.
A transition to the new normal calls for an improved understanding of the main issues at stake, better planning, and flexible and forward-looking-policies that can effectively anticipate change and enable appropriate response measures that take into account the heterogenous nature of developing countries as a group and their varied local conditions and needs.
A copy of the UNCTAD Review of Maritime Transport 2019 is available here:
On 5 August IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim said:
‘I express my deepest condolences and sincerest sympathies to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Lebanon following the catastrophic explosions in the port of Beirut yesterday.
‘The port provides a vital artery bringing food, medicines and supplies to the country and its destruction will have devastating consequences.
‘The United Nations is assisting the immediate response to the incident. The International Maritime Organization stands ready to assist in any way we can.’
We at IHMA join IMO in sending our deepest condolences to the people of Lebanon at this difficult time
International Container Terminal Services, Inc (ICTSI) has signed the concession contract with the Port Autonome de Kribi (PAK) for the development, operation and maintenance of the Kribi Multipurpose Terminal (KMT) in Cameroon.
With the signing of the contract, KMT, a subsidiary of ICTSI, is now the official concessionaire of the multipurpose terminal for the next 25 years.
At the signing ceremony in the Southern region of Cameroon, Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI Senior Vice President and Regional Head for Europe, Middle East and Africa, thanked the Government of Cameroon and PAK for placing their trust in ICTSI. “ICTSI is very proud to partner with Cameroon and the Port of Kribi in the operation and development of the Kribi Multipurpose Terminal,” he said.
KMT is a newly built deep-water port located 150 kilometres south of Douala. Phase 1 consists of 265 + 63 metres of berth and a 10-hectare yard. Phase 2 will include an additional 350 metres of berth and 23 hectares of yard. Kribi port is surrounded by the Kribi Industrial Area, a 262 square-kilometre zone destined to accommodate new industrial and logistical developments supporting the growing Cameroonian economy.