According to MANA, Drewry’s latest Global Container Terminal Operators Annual Review report shows that container terminal operators are rapidly changing their strategies in the face of a ‘perfect storm’ creating pressure on profit margins and rates of return due to:
• Significant softening of demand growth
• Higher opex and capex costs due to bigger ships
• Increased business risks from larger liner alliances
This year, 24 companies qualify as global/international terminal operators in the Drewry analyses, as listed in the above table. The nature of the list is already changing due to major M&A activity.
In particular, Cosco and China Shipping have merged, CMA CGM has acquired APL and APM Terminals has bought Grup TCB – all moves that at least in part can be seen as terminal operators mirroring the coming together of shipping lines in alliances.