King Abdullah Port in Saudi Arabia. Photo credit: King Abdullah Port

Yokohama Ranked Top Performing Container Port by IHS Markit and World Bank

Ira Breskin
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May 18, 2021

By Ira Breskin

The Port of Yokohama is the world’s best performing container port, according to the Container Port Productivity Index 2020, released earlier this month by IHS Markit and the World Bank.

Likewise, King Abdullah Port in Saudia Arabia ranked second across two CPPI rankings, based on half-year data collected through June 2020, amidst the global Covid pandemic.

Regionally, Spain’s Algeciras is the highest ranked port in Europe, Lazaro Cardenas in Latin America, and Halifax in Canada and the United States.

CPPI’s goal is to determine the relative performance of the its data set: 351 ports that house the 765 marine terminals that handled cargo provided by the 2,877 vessels.

Moreover, port and container terminal operators can use the recent report’s independently collected and analyzed empirical data, comparing relative performance, to identify port chokepoints and mitigate their impact, CPPI authors said.

Prior to CPPI’s publication, there was “no reliable way to compare operational performance across different ports,” said Richard Humphreys, lead transportation economist at the World Bank.

Operators also can use study data to build a case for ongoing port and terminal decarbonization efforts, said Turloch Mooney, IHS Markit’s associate director, maritime and trade.

In fact, CPPI data represents about 50 percent of the world’s total annual container ship port calls, according to Turloch.

Authors drew CPPI data from a larger, four-year-old IHS Markit database that includes 180,000 ports calls and 240 million container moves per year, Humphreys said during a webinar introducing the index.

CPPI authors analyzed empirical data to generate a relative measure of port and marine terminal performance, a statistical ranking. One of the crucial metrics is the number of port hours/per ship call vs. an average, taking into consideration various vessel size ranges.

To verify vessel arrival and departure times, report authors cross referenced data provided by carriers with AIS (Automatic Identification Ship) reports.

To build a second CPPI administrative ranking, authors used factor analysis: data smoothing that weighed variability amongst observed, correlated performance measures.

In fact, the two rankings yielded reasonably consistent results.

Using these methodological approaches, authors determined a port’s relative performance. They weighted the average across the elapsed time of ship calls and five categories of ships, as determined TEU carrying capacity.

CPPI authors plan to tweak data analysis when preparing CPPI 2021, scheduled for release by year-end, according to the World Bank. It will use 2021 first half data.

Publication of the 114-page CPPI follows more than a decade of discussion and analysis by independent, third-party experts.

IHS Markit is a leading research, analysis and data collection firm. Among the many sectors it covers are international trade and port operations

The World Bank, as part of efforts to foster economic growth of developing economies, collects and analyzes underlying port performance data when it considers financing related infrastructure projects.

CPPI is available gratis from its publishers. Underlying data can be purchased from IHS Markit, a World Bank spokesman said.

Ira Breskin is a senior lecturer at State University of New York Maritime College in the Bronx, NY and author of The Business of Shipping (9th edition, 2018), a primer that explains shipping economics, operations and regulations.

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