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LUSIVE STUDY Ocean Freight: Ports as Inhibitors and Enablers of Global Supply Chain Ecosystems


There is no question that containerised ocean Container ports have developed their
freight is at the heart of the majority of 21st infrastructure to become pivotal points in the
century global supply chain ecosystems. global supply chain ecosystem, with extensive
However, infrastructure, regulatory and land-side capabilities including container yards
operational challenges both within and (CY), advanced handling equipment, container
outside the port frequently result in congestion freight station (CFS) warehouse facilities and
problems that adversely impact cross-border multi-modal transportation linkages.
and multi-modal trade flows, causing delays and
additional costs for all the supply chain stake Although they are often referred to as points
holders. of origin and destination, within a supply chain
ecosystem, ports are a critical point of transit,
The container shipping industry has rather than a final destination. Goods travel
continued to develop and expand across from their origin point of production (typically
multiple dimensions – including traffic volumes, a factory) – transit through various container
Technologies, vessel design, container handling ports – to the point of consumption at their final
equipment and scale of operations. Today over destination, for example a retail store.
90% of all global trade travels on the water -
the majority in containers - so any obstacles or Therefore, in the context of the Container
developments that impede the timely and cost Port – above and beyond pure capacity within
effective movement of millions and millions the port, the network connectivity and overall
of containers could have a profound effect on throughput efficiency are equally important as
the health of the world’s economies. Container critical enablers of the supply chain.
port infrastructure is therefore an essential and
critical component that empowers and enables
global supply chain ecosystems.

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