Kingston is number one Caribbean box port
Containerization International 2006 has ranked Jamaica's Kingston Container Terminal (KCT) as the number one facility among the Caribbean's top 23 container terminals.
These rankings have been based on total container throughput in TEUs per year.
Reports have pointed out how the region's top three container ports are being managed by global operators instead of Caribbean-based ports or companies.
One report said that this is “reflective of the infiltration of globalization.”
A shipping superintendent Portworld spoke to however praised the benefits of privatization and said that having major players would mean “more funding, more calls, more connectivity and ultimately more efficiency.”
KCT is run by Maersk's APM Terminals BV. while the second best Caribbean container facility, Freeport Container Port in the Bahamas, is being run by Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH).
Third-ranked Port of Spain in Trinidad is being managed by the UK's Portia Management Services Ltd. and sixth-placed Caucedo Container Port in the Dominican Republic is run by DP World.
A report from the Drewry Shipping Consultants had calculated that only four companies handle some 30% of total worldwide container traffic.
These four companies are PSA, APM Terminals, HPH and DP World.
Calculated in reference to equity per TEU, given PSA's acquisition of 20% of Hutchison, PSA topped the league with 41.2 million TEUs (old figures, PSA handled 58.85 million TEUs in 2007) or 9.3% of the global total.
In second place was APM Terminals with 32.4 million TEUs or 7.4%, followed by Hutchison with 30.8 million TEUs or 7%.
DP World was in fourth place with a 5.9% share.
Statistics show the four biggest operators are pulling away from their smaller rivals, with facilities owned by fifth-placed Evergreen only handling 8.1 million TEUs, representing a market share of 1.8%.
According to the Drewry report, however, local terminal operators are often just as efficient as their global rivals.
It said that however performance was measured – throughput per quay metre, TEU per ship-to-shore gantry or TEU per hectare - global operators were “no better or worse than local operators.”
“The research shows that it is frequently the case that a well-run local terminal operator can perform at the same level as a global operator located in the same region,” said Neil Davidson, director of research for ports at Drewry.