Latest COVID-19 port barometer results
Delegates of the Risk and Resilience Committee were given a ‘sneak preview’ of the latest results of our COVID-19 Port Economic Impact Barometer. Professor Theo Notteboom (Universities of Antwerp, Ghent and Shanghai) introduced the main survey findings, which will be published later this week on the website of the World Ports Sustainability Program. In terms of vessel calls, only minor changes were reported for container vessels and other cargo vessels. Major changes occur at the level of hinterland transport, with significantly more ports reporting delays. This would be mainly caused by the strong growth of imports in North America and Europe. For the same reason, more delays are occurring in rail and barge transport. Two diverging trends can be noticed regarding capacity utilisation of warehousing facilities. For liquid bulk and dry bulk, fewer ports are reporting high capacity use or shortages, and more ports reporting underutilisation. For food and consumer products, more ports are reporting high capacity use or shortages, and less ports reporting underutilisation. Port-related worker availability saw only very small changes compared to last month. This month’s survey included a specific question on how traffic volumes in ports evolved in September/October 2020 compared to the same period in 2019. As the graph below illustrates, around 60% of ports report rather stable volumes for liquid bulk, dry bulk and containers and about one third of ports see a volume drop of more than 5% for the same cargo commodities. 64% of ports see a volume drop in passenger traffic of more than 25%. The next edition of our COVID-19 survey will be issued Monday 7 December.