Winner and Loser Ports of Reshuffled Asia-Europe Networks

Image Courtesy: Port of Felixtowe

The recent reshuffling of alliance networks on Asia-Europe trade, driven by carrier consolidation, has seen some ports omitted and others gaining greater cargo volumes.

While Singapore, Tanjung Pelepas, and Valencia have clearly benefited from the new Asia-Europe alliance networks, Port Klang and Kaohsiung have lost considerable connectivity to Europe, according to SeaIntel.

Furthermore, Yantian, Marsaxlokk, and Laem Chabang are now more connected, while Port Said, and Algeciras have also lost out, the market intelligence provider said.

With respect to port calls on Asia-North Europe, of the North European ports, Rotterdam had the highest number of port calls from vessels originating in Asia. Hamburg had the second highest number of port calls in North Europe. Antwerp crossed Bremerhaven, Le Havre, and Felixstowe in 2016, and is now called more than either of the three.

London Gateway has seen a considerably higher number of port calls in recent months, with an average of 10 port calls compared to just four on average in 2014.

On the Asian side, Shanghai is the most called port in Asia, followed by Singapore, Yantian, and Ningbo, all three of which have a similar number of port calls. Singapore has been seeing a continuous decrease in the number of port calls, from 96 port calls on average in 2014 to just 55 on average in 1H-2017.

Port Klang lost major connectivity after the launch of the new alliances in favour of Tanjung Pelepas and Singapore. Shekou overtook both Nansha and Chiwan in 2016, but after the launch of the new alliances, Chiwan has seen a resurgence and has jumped back ahead of Shekou. Kaohsiung has also lost major connectivity to North Europe. Tianjin/Xingang has seen port calls more than double since 2016 and is now on par with both Busan and Qingdao.

When it comes to port calls on Asia-Mediterranean string, Port Said has seen a drop in the number of port calls in recent years, and more so after the launch of the new alliance networks. Piraeus is the busiest port in the Mediterranean with the highest number of port calls on services that go from Asia to the Mediterranean, but have seen a drop with the new alliance networks, SeaItel said.

Gioia Tauro has seen increased connectivity, especially since the launch of the new alliance networks, moving from an average of 4 port calls per month in 2014 to 13.5 in 1H-2017. Valencia has seen a surge in the number of port calls in the past couple of months, whereas Fos Sur Mer experienced the opposite. The number of port calls in Algeciras have almost halved when comparing the average of 2014 with 1H-2017.

On the Asia side, as with the services from Asia-North Europe, Port Klang has seen a significant decline in the number of port calls.

Similarly, Singapore has also seen an upsurge in the number of port calls since the new alliance networks launched, and is now the most called port in Asia for services destined for the Mediterranean. Shanghai and Ningbo are both close behind Singapore in the number of port calls on Asia-Mediterranean. Shekou is now the second most called port in South China.

Unlike the services from Asia-North Europe which call Qingdao more than Busan, the services going from Asia-Mediterranean favour Busan more than Qingdao.

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