The prevailing passive economic growth in China, coupled with recent economic slowdowns in North America and Europe, has heavily impacted overall bulk commodity exchanges at a global level. This scenario is on the verge of a steady recovery and 2015 has already seen the global seaborne trade volume surpassing 10 billion t. In its recently published report 'Bulk Terminals Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment, 2016 - 2026', Future Market Insights projects the global bulk terminals market to register a 3.2% CAGR through 2026 and exceed 20 billion t in volume by 2026.
Operators in the US, Europe, and Japan are increasingly turning to natural gas as an efficient alternative to conventional fuel. Furthermore, Qatar, Norway, and Australia have significantly amplified their natural gas exports. Preferred usage of LNG is likely to have a favourable impact on the demand for liquid bulk terminals, serving vitally for oil and natural gas storage and trade activities. Several terminals in the Americas, APAC, and Europe are expected to start full scale operations in the next few years. This, in addition to the rising trade of grain and minor bulks, will shape up the global market for bulk terminals in the next decade.
Automation and preference for floating terminals over onshore terminals are the key trends influencing the global bulk terminals market. As the development, operation, and management of terminals involve huge initial capital, a majority of developing regions are progressively adopting the PPP (public-private partnership) module, wherein respective governments handle the land and assets, while terminal operations and responsibilities are tackled by private entities. This trend will sway the global bulk terminals market in a number of developing as well as developed regions.
By bulk type, dry bulk will continue to witness higher adoption than liquid bulk. Iron ore and coal currently account for the highest demand in the dry bulk segment. Although this segment will remain dominant through 2026, its market volume share is expected to see a decline from 62.7% to 62.3% by 2026 end. Major coal consuming countries are increasingly adopting the cleaner energy approach, limiting the rate of coal consumption. Declining import of coal will likely stymie the dry bulk segment growth over the projected period. The liquid bulk segment is expected to witness consistent growth, accounting for almost 38% market value share by 2026.
Future Market Insights' geographical analysis of the global bulk terminals market reaffirms the dominance of APEJ with the maximum bulk volume share during the assessed period. China will stay at the forefront of adoption in APEJ, accounting for a significant revenue share of the market. The APEJ bulk terminals market is projected to exhibit 4% CAGR through 2026. In North America and Latin America, the grain and minor bulk type segments are likely to gain traction during the forecast period. Panama Canal's expansion is likely to elevate the market in Latin America, whereas developments in the Suez Canal can trigger multiple growth opportunities for port operators based in and around Europe and MEA.
Key players are competing for a maritime hub position, leading to frenzied M&A activity. Investments in high capacity equipment remain a pervasive business strategy to gain competitive edge in stevedoring operation. China-based players account for a significant revenue share of the overall market, with China Merchants Port Holdings Co. Ltd. and DaLian Port (PDA) Company Limited posting US$1.41 billion and US$1.06 billion in revenues in 2015. Other notable players in the market include Thessaloniki Port Authority SA., Global Ports Investments PLC., Ports America, Inc. APM Terminals, Euroports Holdings S.à.r.l., Puerto Ventanas S.A., HES International B.V., Yilport Holding Inc, DP World Ltd., Noatum Ports, S.L.U., and Ultramar Group.
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