ESPO reveals $85 million needed for port investments

ESPO study reveals $85 million needed for port investments

The European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) has launched the results of the ESPO Port Investment Study 2024 during its annual Conference in Paris.

The study offers a unique and comprehensive analysis of the investment pipeline and challenges of European ports. Prepared by Dr. Peter de Langen in cooperation with ESPO, it delves into the changing role of European ports, their evolving investment needs, and the barriers they encounter in turning investment projects into a reality.

The study is based on an analysis of the investment needs of 84 port managing bodies, reflecting the geographical spread and functional diversity of Europe’s ports.                                      

This study reveals that the investment needs of European port managing bodies amount to €80 billion ($85.6 million) for the next 10 years, up to 2034.

A second key finding is that investments in sustainability and energy transition are becoming the second most important investment category for port authorities.

From being multimodal hubs in the supply chain linking the sea with the hinterland, ports are developing into hubs and facilitators of sustainable energies, clusters of industry and circular economy, as well as important pillars of geo-political and geo-economic resilience, according to ESPO.

The study shows that next to investments in developing basic port infrastructure and keeping it state-of-the-art, port managing bodies are investing more to take up strategic and social responsibilities and achieve Europe’s ambitions. This often implies projects with a high societal value, yet slow, low and risky returns on investment. 

In light of the study’s findings, ESPO calls upon policymakers to recognise the strategic importance of European ports and to provide a robust support framework that addresses the investment challenges they face.

READ: ESPO encourages cooperation in the deployment of onshore power supply

“This updated Port Investments Study clearly shows that the changing and wider role of ports today comes with new and wider responsibilities and investment needs,” said ESPO Secretary General Isabelle Ryckbost. 

“It often means investment with a less predictable return on investment. As stated in our memorandum for the European elections, ports are ready to engage and be part of the solution. To live up to the tasks and responsibilities that are assigned to them in the new geopolitical and geo-economic context, ports need support.”

A recent study from Economist Impact and DP World has revealed that European businesses are deploying innovation and technology in supply chains to counter a shifting geopolitical and trade landscape.

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