Trade and traffic forecasting

Atrade and traffic forecast is often the first step in a port feasibility study. It provides input to the port design and layout phase and to the financial and economic cost benefit analysis. The trade and traffic forecast defines potential cargo and/or passenger volumes and the related maritime traffic and as such defines size and layout of the infrastructural facilities and revenue generation. A trade and traffic forecast requires an analysis of economic developments in the hinterland of a port, assessing production and consumption, and demand and supply, of commodities in general terms as well as in specific economic sectors that generate maritime cargo. It requires an analysis of shipping patterns and of maritime and hinterland transport routes, as well as an assessment of port competition. As such, the trade and traffic forecast will provide insight in the effects of economic dynamics on potential cargo and traffic flows in a port.

Financial and economic cost benefit analysis

Cost Benefit Analysis (CBA) is a useful tool to assess the financial and economic implications of maritime infrastructure projects. In the ports and maritime sector, infrastructure such as breakwaters, basins, access channels and quays usually require large investments. These investments can often only partly be recovered from the revenues that can be generated from these facilities. However, maritime infrastructure offers vital connections to the worldwide trade network that are important for the development of national economies. As such, maritime infrastructure is often seen as a public good. The result is that in port development projects public and private sector participants each have their own objectives and that they have to cooperate to reach these objectives.

A financial and economic CBA systematically quantifies the costs and benefits of a maritime infrastructure development project for the major stakeholders. This is a useful tool to assess how costs, benefits and project risks should be divided between project participants; and between private and public sector participants. The financial CBA takes the perspective of the project and analyses to what extent the project is attractive to private investors. The economic CBA, also referred to as socio-economic CBA, takes a wider perspective, often that of the national economy. It includes and quantifies as much as possible the external costs and benefits of the project. The economic CBA study helps decision makers decide whether a contribution from public funds is justified.

Experience in maritime economics

Port Consultants Rotterdam has in-house expertise covering maritime economics in the form of experts that have a long track record of performing these services in port projects worldwide. Port Consultants Rotterdam also has access to a network of sector specific experts that can provide specialized input where needed.

If you want to know more about what Port Consultants Rotterdam can mean for your port or terminal or if you have any other enquiries, please contact us!

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