The latest Barometer Report from Trelleborg, which discusses the issues impacting ports and terminals around the globe, has revealed the most optimistic outlook on investment since the annual industry survey began in 2010.
93% of port owners and operators are expecting capital expenditure budgets to increase over the next twelve months and 88% are expecting operational expenditure budgets to grow too.
An overwhelming 98% of consultants and contractors also said they expect capital and operational expenditure budgets to increase. So, despite other challenges revealed by the report, the overall picture is optimistic.
Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine operation, says: “Spending these increased budgets strategically is what will really help ports to increase efficiencies. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be happening at the moment. The report revealed that, although optimism is returning, 61% of contractors and consultants feel their clients are concerned by upfront purchase costs, rather than prioritising whole life value.
“This attitude may have been understandable over the past few years, whilst we were suffering the effects of an economic downturn. However, with budgets expected to get a boost, attitudes towards procurement need to change accordingly, so that facilities don’t just waste more money on low quality solutions. More investment means the industry has the opportunity to get to grips with increasing and varied demand.”
The report revealed that ports are under pressure to adapt quickly to increasingly complex demands on infrastructure. Of those surveyed, 40% don’t think current port infrastructure is adequate to keep up with the onward logistics requirements of increased vessel sizes and throughput, whilst 67% are taking a “wait and see” approach to the expected increase in LNG bunkering, following implementation of the 2015 ECA regulations.
This suggests that facilities are already lagging behind the demands placed upon them, but they can ensure they don’t fall further behind by acting now to optimise new investment opportunities.
Get ahead of demand
Hepworth concludes: “As the market continues to strengthen, there’s an opportunity arising for those that can get ahead of demand and invest strategically now. Those that don’t will suffer as new, modern terminals multiply and others quickly upgrade. The response to LNG as a marine fuel is a perfect example of a market that is inert and reactionary, rather than bold and deliberate.”
The Barometer Report is an annual survey undertaken by the Trelleborg Offshore & Construction marine operation, which calls on the views of 200 port owners, operators, consulting engineers and contractors.
To download the Barometer Report 4, visit: http://www.trelleborg.com/en/Marine-Systems/downloads
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