top of page
  • Writer's pictureTharindu Ameresekere

Global Container Ports Performance in 2023: A Year of Recovery and Challenges

Global container ports experienced a much-needed respite in 2023 as the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic began to subside, allowing supply chains to stabilize and trade volumes to normalize after several turbulent years. However, even in what could be considered a relatively normal year, port operations worldwide faced significant challenges, including labor disputes, extreme weather events, and geopolitical tensions, such as attacks on vessels near Yemen.

Credit: Aries Nha

Despite these hurdles, more than 100 ports managed to improve their efficiency rankings from the previous year, as highlighted in a new report by the World Bank and S&P Global Market Intelligence. The Container Port Performance Index, which assessed over 400 cargo hubs based on the time vessels spent in port, revealed notable improvements and shifts in the global rankings.

The top two positions remained unchanged for a second consecutive year, with China's Yangshan Port securing the first spot and Oman's Port of Salalah following closely in second place. Colombia's Cartagena made significant strides, climbing to third place, while Morocco's Tanger-Med maintained its fourth position, and Malaysia's Tanjung Pelepas rounded out the top five.

Among the noteworthy highlights of the report:

- The highest-ranking US port was South Carolina’s Charleston, which placed at No. 53.

- Spain’s Algeciras emerged as the top-ranked European gateway, positioned at 12th.

- Visakhapatnam Port in India managed to break into the top 20.

- In contrast, the busiest ports in the US, Long Beach and Los Angeles, found themselves near the bottom of the rankings.

The report underscored the increased focus on the resilience and efficiency of maritime gateways, a silver lining of the pandemic's widespread disruption. Nicolas Peltier-Thiberge of the World Bank and Jenny Paurys of S&P Global emphasized the critical nature of this focus, noting that any friction in port operations can have tangible impacts on consumer choices, prices, and overall economic development.

In conclusion, while 2023 offered a breather for global container ports, the year also highlighted the ongoing need for resilience and efficiency in the face of persistent challenges. The improvements in port performance and the shifts in global rankings underscore the dynamic nature of global trade and the critical role that efficient maritime gateways play in the world economy.

7 views0 comments


bottom of page