Accounting for more than 90% of the world’s commerce, maritime trade is one of the most cost effective and efficient way of moving large volume of goods around the world.i While ocean trade has been driving global trade over the last few centuries, containerization of cargo is a comparatively recent phenomenon, dating from 1956.

Over the last couple of decades, an increasing trend noted for maritime trade has been the growing share of containerization, fueled by growth in consumer demand from China and other emerging economies. With increasing scale and complexities in modern trade over the years, the world’s major shipping lines, as well as the container port operators, have expanded their global footprint and are building presence across the supply chain to enhance their value proposition.

Global trade in recent years has been impeded by trade tensions, which poses a major risk to maritime trade, causing potential disruption to supply chains. The combination of trade tensions between global economic superpowers such as the US and China and the Covid-19 pandemic has contributed to significant pressure being exerted on the global ports industry. The role of port operators in these challenging times to keep the flow of goods moving is proving to be vital.

Through this publication, based on our research and our experience with clients in the industry, we examine the global and regional port industry outlook, outline the forces we believe will shape its future, explore trends and dig deep into new and emerging growth areas.