Levels of Transshipment Incidence
Transshipment incidence refers to the share container transshipment
traffic (ship to ship) takes in regard to the total volume handled by a port. This
share can be classified in four levels:
- Gateway or feeder port (low incidence).
Transshipment incidence is less than 10%, which implies that the
majority of the port activities are related to hinterland services.
In the case of a gateway, we are dealing with a large port
servicing an extensive hinterland. A feeder is usually a small
port servicing its hinterland, but having the bulk of its
traffic related to a transshipment hub. New York, Los Angeles
and Felixstowe are examples of gateways having very little
transshipment. Many smaller ports in the Baltic or the Caribbean
are feeder ports that can access global shipping networks
through a transshipment hub.
- Regional gateway (average incidence). With
a transshipment incidence around 25% regional gateways handle a
substantial amount of hinterland traffic, but also act as a low
level transshipment hub for a specific transshipment market.
Antwerp, Rotterdam, Hamburg and Hong Kong are examples of
regional gateways that are at the same time servicing extensive hinterlands but also performing a regional transshipment
function (Baltic and British Isles for Antwerp, Rotterdam and
Hamburg and the Pearl River Delta for Hong Kong).
- Hub port (high incidence). With a
transshipment incidence around 50%, the port takes the function
of a transshipment hub, but is also servicing an hinterland.
Such ports usually became hubs after maritime shipping companies
made the decision to use them as such. In
many cases, the hinterland traffic acts as an anchor to
transshipment traffic. Valencia, Barcelona and Cartagena are
ports that are significant transshipment hubs as well as
servicing their respective hinterlands.
- Pure transshipment hub (very high incidence).
Once a port has more than 90% of its traffic assumed by
transshipment, it is labeled as a pure transshipment hub since
transshipment is an exclusive function.
Ports such as Singapore, Tanjung Pelepas, Colombo and Balboa are
among the world's most prominent pure transshipment hubs. Many
were built for this sole purpose in mind.