The port of today is not the port of tomorrow

Global port trends 2030

The Global Port Trends 2030 report aims to provide an outlook of the future port landscape driven by different trends and developments identified in the market.

The future port landscape

The traditional port world is changing, with demographic, technologic, and sustainability drivers affecting its daily business and shaping several important trends. As a port authority, port operator, policy developer or organization active in the port value chain, it is vital to know what changes are most likely to occur and what the outcome will be for the maritime sector. 

Global Port Trends 2030

Port trends to 2030

It is expected that trade routes, the competitive position of stakeholders, ecosystems, and cargo distribution will be different from today’s. Although the exact future of the global ports and shipping industry is still uncertain, the industry’s stakeholders should consider these trends and develop appropriate policies and strategies in order to be prepared. 

We have identified three main drivers behind trends in the industries: demographic, technological, and sustainability drivers. Looking forward, global demographic trends indicate a rising population, but more dispersed growth. In addition our urban centers will keep growing, resulting in an increased pressure on the, already scarce, space. On the technology front it is expected that technological implementation in the maritime sector will keep increasing. Environmentally speaking ports are struggling with efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and improve the environmental performance of the maritime sector. These three drivers generate a number of trends directly impacting the sector, including an increased focus on strategy, tilt to (and from) Asia, new production chains and niche markets, increased protectionism and new trade routes. Even though the future of the global ports and shipping industry is uncertain, four important aspects are expected to change: 

  1. Trade routes will become shorter, supply chain resiliency will increase, and production chains will shift.
  2. Competitive position of ports will shift. Smaller ports can benefit from smaller ships and more frequent sailings.
  3. Ecosystems will gain in importance, combining port, city and all stakeholders. 
  4. Cargo distribution will shift given new technologies and novel cargo groups will arise (e.g. renewables).

Our approach

Whereas other insights often rely on scenario forecasting, we have opted for a more exhaustive overview of drivers, trends and possible outcomes. We have mainly chosen this approach because the port industry’s diverse nature does not allow categorization. We are living in interesting times when it comes to ports management and infrastructure investment. We hope our report provides an anchor to steady the decision making for the decade to come, as it unravels the landscape of the port industry in the next decade. It has certainly helped our own Port Advisory people to focus even more on delivering support and insight into the maritime industry’s executives. 

More information

Do you want to know more? Please contact us via the contact details below.

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