Latest, publicly-available IAPH World Ports Tracker : no investment delays and over a third of respondents will invest in non-fossil fuel energy production

UNCTAD Liner Shipping Connectivity Index reports improvements in several regions while S&P Global Container Port Performance Program offers a mixed bag of results

The latest IAPH World Ports Tracker report has been published and has been made available for public use, this time summarising results from the second half of 2023 as reported by IAPH members during the first quarter of 2024.

The 110 page report, co-authored by Professor Theo Notteboom and Professor Thanos Pallis, contains regional breakdowns as well as micro-analyses of latest data from IAPH member port respondees, the S&P Global Port Performance Program and the UNCTAD Liner Shipping Connectivity Index.

The summary highlights of the report with the once-yearly questions conclude that :

  • The survey did not identify delays or cancellations of port investments in any particular region of the world
  • About 39% of responding container ports point to major container terminal capacity expansion or upgrades becoming operational in 2024
  • 41% of the ports stated that they intend to devote more land to logistics and distribution activities
  • 38% of ports intend or plan to expand land use to accommodate non-fossil energy production

Professor Theo Notteboom commented : “When asked the special questions on the impact of the Red Sea crisis, 63% of ports reported no noticeable delays in vessel arrivals, 28% pointed to minor delays (a few days), and only 9% faced major delays with ships being delayed by a week or more. This was also reflected in feedback from world ports during in the recent IAPH Harbor Cafés – the majority were not impacted, while the ones which were had taken significant hits in terms of congestion.”

The main highlights of the Tracker report comparing current with historical data are :

  • Ports around the world are, on average, more optimistic than half a year ago about the expected traffic evolution in the next twelve months. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the vast majority of ports expect healthy growth
  • The situation for container transport fluidity by rail and barge slightly deteriorated, while the share of ports facing delays in trucking in Q4 2023 saw a further decline at the single-digit level with several regions reporting no problems at all
  • The shortage of truck drivers at world ports themselves remains quite high at 38% of all respondents
  • 13% of the responding ports realised a growth of more than 10% in container vessel calls, with liquid bulk and dry bulk ports recording in Q4 2023 percentage growth by 7% and 10% respectively
  • On a year-on-year basis, port productivity in Q4 2023 only increased in North America, North Asia and South East Asia
  • UNCTAD’s Liner Shipping Connectivity Index (LSCI) increased in seven of the ten best-connected countries. LSCI continues to rise faster in South Korea, Japan, and China. The countries topping the list continue to increase the gap with the rest
  • The number of cruise vessel calls in most world cruise ports continued to increase in 2022 and early 2023, reaching a level of activity approaching the pre-pandemic period in late 2023

Professor Thanos Pallis , who is back from the recent CLIA Europe Cruise Week in Genoa, commented: “The industry-wide estimation is that the positive trend of cruise activities in 2022 and 2023 will continue in 2024, though at a slower pace due to the ironing out of rapid restart effects after the pandemic. Despite the positive forecasts, about 23% of responding ports expect fewer cruise calls in the next twelve months – the return of cruise operations continues to generate a rethink of the itinerary programs of cruise lines or even the deployment of some cruise vessels in different regions than before.”

IAPH Managing Director Patrick Verhoeven commented : “we are again grateful for the engagement and efforts of our members in providing us with their insights and views which Theo and Thanos have yet again used in combination with first class industry data to produce this report. The content and structure of our next report will be discussed at our upcoming Technical Committee days next week in London, where we expect to further improve on its content and relevance.”

To read your own copy of the report, click here

If you have any suggestions, comments or feedback on the report, please send them to the news story publisher :

IAPH Communications Director :

For IAPH members interested in participating in person or online at the IAPH Technical Committee Days in London, 25 – 27 March, please email Takeshi Suzuki (

About IAPH

Founded in 1955, the International Association of Ports and Harbors (IAPH) has developed into a global alliance of 180 port authorities as well as 150 port-related businesses. Comprised of 84 different nationalities across the world’s continents, member ports handle approximately one third of the world’s sea-borne trade and well over 60% of the world container traffic. IAPH leads global port industry initiatives on decarbonisation and energy transition, risk and resilience management, and accelerating digitalisation in the maritime transport chain. The IAPH’s World Ports Sustainability Program has grown into the reference database of best practices of ports applying the UN Sustainable Development Goals and integrating them into their businesses.