Bharat Book Bureau

North European containerport demand has expanded rapidly over the past decade, despite some slowdown in the pace in 2001. Growth has been driven primarily by trade expansion, further conversion to containerisation and – most importantly by the continuing push for globalisation. The strongest growth has been in the deep-sea sector and this has placed increasing pressure on infrastructure investment, particularly in the port and intermodal sectors.

Despite this expansion there have been major uncertainties. Questions include:

How confident can we he about medium-term demand projections – is globalisation unstoppable or is there a significant downside in demand forecasting? What will be the effect of slower expansion since end-2000?
The pace of capacity additions – how will greater port demand he reconciled with increasingly vociferous environmental opposition?
Terminal productivity has improved sharply – what does this mean for future greenfield port developments?
What will be the role of transshipment – how important is this in securing front-rank port status?
How will competition from Mediterranean hub ports affect the North European market?
How rapidly will demand increase in Eastern Europe and how can deep-sea north-continent ports develop market share?
Ship sizes are still increasing and will continue to do so – what will be the effect on major river ports?
What will be the role of the principal international stevedoring companies in the European market and how will this affect productivity and pricing?
The related search by the major lines for dedicated terminal capacity is another important issue – how will this develop?
The EU is increasing its role in the port sector – what will be the potential effects on the highly efficient container terminal industry?
This major new study examines these issues, and represents essential and informed evaluation of this strategically vital sector.

The study analyses the historical evolution of demand and recent developments for each port. Future demand is forecast to 2015 for direct deep-sea, direct short-sea and transshipment flows. The port regions and countries covered in the study are:

North Continent West: France, Belgium, Netherlands
North Continent East: North Sea Germany
British Isles: UK and Ireland
Scandinavia: Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland
Other Baltic: Baltic Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Baltic Germany

On the supply side, current investment projects and plans are evaluated. The resultant prospective development of port capacity is quantified to 2010. Prospective demand and supply are compared to 2010, in order to identify potential under-utilisation or capacity shortfalls.

The modal distribution for each major port – including road, rail, barge and transshipment – is assessed, and intermodal development plans are reviewed. The modal alternatives to the Eastern European markets are examined.

Container handling capabilities are also reviewed, and port productivity levels are quantified in terms of berth and crane utilisation levels.

This study examines world containership fleet trends, with particular emphasis on the continuing advance in vessel sizes. The implications for port development are thoroughly examined in light of current port locations and water-depth restrictions. Trends and forecasts for container trade and shipping capacity in the North European trades are also provided.

Table of Contents:


This provides a comprehensive summary and conclusions for the study.


After nearly four decades of expansion, can the containerised trades continue their pattern of rapid growth? This Section seeks to answer this question by analysing factors which could limit expansion. The changing structure of the containerport industry is also considered, covering such issues as increasing vessel size and port depth, dedicated terminals, transshipment, intermodal links, competition from Mediterranean ports, environmental issues, the role of international stevedoring companies and EU directives.

The Section also reviews the broad macroeconomic framework within which trade in containerised goods has expanded, and illustrates the relationship between GDP growth and containerport demand growth for North Europe.


This Section provides an overview of North European containerport demand trends in the global context, and amalgamates the port-range demand forecasts developed in the succeeding Sections. Trends in type of traffic – deep-sea, transshipment and short-sea – are also analysed.

The North European container transshipment market – which overlaps port ranges – is examined in this Section. The driving forces of hub-and-spoke and relay movements are analysed, and transshipment forecasts developed to 2015, according to two cases. These are divided by port ranges, according to their forecast shares of the total North European transshipment market. The effect of relative capacity availability and pricing will be a decisive factor in the location of transshipment operations.

The Section also summarises other port-range analyses and forecasts developed in Sections 46, including:

– modal shares,
– productivity indicators,
– capacity forecasts,
– capacity utilisation forecasts.


The north continent port range is considered in two sectors – the western sector from Le Havre to Amsterdam, and the eastern sector comprising Germany’s North Sea containerports.

Containerport demand trends and forecasts arc presented for each sector, by type of traffic. Import/export container demand is forecast on the basis of its relationship to forecast GDP growth, and added to forecast transshipment from Section 3.

Also reviewed are the modal distribution of container throughput, investment plans and intermodal development for the major ports.

The development of containerport facilities is analysed since 1995, in terms of the number of
quayside container gantry cranes and the length of quayage devoted to container handling. These series are compared with yearly throughput to generate productivity indicators of TEU per berth metre and per gantry crane.

The anticipated supply and demand for container handling is quantified in terms of planned port capacity and forecast throughput to 2010. From these, forecasts of port utilisation are derived, and likely areas of excess capacity or shortfall are identified.


As for the north continent sectors, containerport demand trends and forecasts are presented separately for the UK and Ireland, by type of traffic. Import/export container demand is forecast on the basis of its relationship to forecast GDP growth, and added to forecast transshipment from Section 3.

Modal shares, investment plans, intermodal development, productivity indicators, capacity forecasts and capacity utilisation forecasts are also included.


This Section broadly follows the format of the preceding port-range Sections, covering containerport demand trends by port and forecasts by country, investment plans, intermodal development, productivity indicators, capacity forecasts and capacity utilisation forecasts.

Additionally, the Section identifies the modal alternatives – both by sea and land – for serving the Russian and Polish container-trade markets, and provides estimates of container volumes moved through each routing since 1995.


Global fleet developments are examined in this Section, with particular emphasis on the continuing trend to larger vessels and its implications for port development requirements. Port depth, location and draught capabilities are considered in light of the anticipated requirements of the next generation of large vessels.

The Section also provides analyses and forecasts of container trade and shipping capacity in the arterial and short-sea trades. It concludes with a review of container freight rates on the transatlantic and Europe-Far East trades.

OSC have been monitoring these developments and forecasting demand since the mid-1980s. In recent rears, OSC have been directly involved in several of the key regional port and shipping projects. This experience has been employed in this study to generate a complete revision of trade, port capacity and shipping projections.

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