While underlying growth has been constant the business is notoriously cyclical, driven by demand and supply imbalances along with macroeconomic cycles. The economic crisis has brought this home, with trade collapsing in many regions, freight rates reducing to new lows and capacity being mothballed as supply far exceeds current demand. Costs are also having to be substantially reduced across the sector, though there is a real need to do so in a manner that ensures that businesses will be sustainable in the medium to longer term.
Shipping and ports are capital intensive by nature, ship and port capacities must be developed in a way that balances investments with revenues and ensures high yields and utilisation. This calls for optimal timing of investments with the risk of price erosion through economic cycles. Ultimately it is customers who decide which of the competing shipping companies and ports will grow and prosper.
PA has supported our clients in both the shipping and ports business across a wide range of business, commercial and systems issues. We have modelled the future global sea market to inform strategic investment decisions; helped design and deploy new customer service management systems; worked to optimise the operational efficiency of port assets; developed management systems to maximise yields; and designed customer e-business services and infrastructures.