Portopia Gives EU Ports Mixed Marks

 13 Nov 2017 11.27am

An EU-funded research consortium has wrapped up projects measuring European port performance, including a throughput tool and market analysis.

Through the Portopia project, European Seaports Organisation (EPSO) has created a digitalised ‘Rapid Exchange System’ for reporting port throughput and traffic.

The British Ports Association’s Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne, said the tool showed port performance benchmarking was possible in a competitive port environment, but that greater participation was needed.

A detailed study of European port efficiency and capacity was also presented in Portopia consortium’s 2017 EU Port Industry Performance Report.

The report claimed port authorities are actively influencing shipping to become ‘green’ through a range of options including fee reduction and specific possibilities such as OPS.

It also rated various aspects of the European container market, including lower scores for container storage cost and port to hinterland interfaces, and higher scores for efficiency of unloading operations.

Gaps were identified for the efficiency of container clearness procedures.

Read a related paper by Portopia participant Fraunhofer on Seaports are faced with the challenge to cope with environmental copmpliance and trade challenges.

In an analysis of European seaports, Rotterdam came out on top of a table of the top 15 ports.

The top alliance in terms of vessel slot capacity was 2M, followed by Ocean Alliance.


In its regional analysis of European port throughput, it noted that, since the drop in throughput that followed the global financial crisis in 2009, the years 2014 and 2015 showed a modest growth of 1.9% and 1.4% respectively.

Southern European ports were on the rise and regional transshipment hubs saw a growth of 12% and 1.2 million TEU in the 2007-2016 timeframe.

The top trade partners in 2016 are for export, the United States with 21% (18% in 2014), China 10% (same as in 2014), followed by Switzerland, Turkey, Russia, Japan, and Norway

Newcomer ports from North Africa were putting pressure on the Mediterranian ports thanks to releative cost advantages.

Portopia project partners included Fraunhofer and academic partners include Marintek, Eindhoven University of Technology Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Erasmus School of Economics, University of the Aegean, Polytechnic University of Catalonia, University of Antwerp, and Italian Excellence Center on Integrated Logistics.

Read more: EPSO in a coalition of thirty European transport bodies has asked the EU for renewed infrastructure funding.

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