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Ports association reveals impact of COVID-19 on global port operations

The International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has issued a new report, which gives an overview of the on-going economic impact of the coronavirus on global port operations.

Based on responses from from 104 ports from around the world, the report highlights emerging trends in operations including an increase in high-frequency feeder services to regional ports, while other ports continue to feel the impact of cancelled container line sailings and the suspension of many ro-ro services.HMM in port

Photo courtesy of HMM

Professor Theo Notteboom, one of the report’s co-authors writes that overall, a very fragmented situation for container shipping is becoming evident: some alliances have revamped services, whilst others are keeping cancellations. Some are keeping hi-frequency feeders to major regional ports, whilst a new regional concept for transshipment appears to be emerging.

The report adds that whilst blank sailings continue to affect results for container vessel calls, mainly on trade routes with the Far East, the impact is declining compared to previous weeks.

In regards to other aspects of port operations, IAPH said some improvements had been reported including threequarters of ports saying that they had returned to normal or a return-to-normal operations in cross-border transport by truck, whilst intermodal rail and barge services are seeing fewer delays.

The report also indicates that the situation is also improving in regards to labour availability with only 13 percent of the ports participating in the survey advising that they face shortages of dockworkers, the lowest percentage since the survey began.

The IAPH says that it intends to continue to provide regular snapshots of the key factors impacting port operations.

A copy of this week’s data is available at IAPH-WPSP Port Economic Impact Barometer

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