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Hamburg Port
Consulting

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In their latest World Investment Report, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) listed over 5,300 current special economic zones (SEZ) in over 140 economies. Out of these, approximately 1,000 have been developed over the last five years. Another 500 new zones are on the drawing board but have yet to be built. Between 90 and 100 million people work globally in SEZs, which are mostly located in the immediate vicinity of seaports, airports or border corridors. In view of such rapid growth, it is obvious that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is particularly visible in the recession of business activities in SEZs.

In the light of urgent change towards sustainable solutions in the maritime sector, port authorities are re-thinking the way of running their business in favour of more environmentally friendly processes. Together with shipping companies they are joining a global effort to meet the adopted IMO strategy to reduce marine greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% until 2030.

With effect from September 1, 2020, responsibilities at HPC will change.

The current Covid-19 situation reminds us to a decade before – the longer a certain trend prevails, the more people tend to rely on historical development to predict future outcomes. In the opinion of the author, the pandemic and resulting worldwide economic downturn is only a further example of this limitation to many forecast projects. These crises have shown that critical junctures and structural changes can alter the current and future situation entirely. Forecasts that have thoroughly been prepared on historical data and expected future developments become obsolete within a relatively short period. So, how to achieve robust forecasts in times like these?

Although logistics experts and politicians are promoting innovative and sustainable means of transportation, globally, trucks are still the backbone of transport logistics. In Europe, about 75% of all cargo transports are still performed by trucks (www.statista.com, 2020). As a consequence, roads and highways are filled with truck queues. In particular, around ports, trucks with container loads are a dominant picture, often leading to reduced traffic flow and congestion. In fact, almost every port experience traffic problems.

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