HPC is delighted to announce their participation in this new format of the Expo that will take place virtually for the first time for COVID-19 reasons. The fair was initiated by the German foreign chambers of commerce in Latin America as a platform to promote business networking, virtual workshops, and online consultancy on Latin America level. HPC will use this occasion to chat with visitors and discuss current questions about supply chain, port and terminal logistics, hinterland activities and how digitalisation helps overcome current challenges. The Expo Virtual Alemania Latinoamérica will take place from 14 to 17 July 2020.
When face-to-face meetings e.g. during conferences are impossible, creating alternatives for offline networking is vital. Especially, when it comes to a matter of significance as the impact of the corona virus on terminal operations. At least from our perspective. As a partner to the terminal and port sector, we at HPC Hamburg Port Consulting have been looking for an opportunity to provide an intimate environment that allows the open exchange of experiences for terminal operators; and found it in the form of a virtual chat.
About 50 select representatives of terminal operators from 18 countries spanning five continents have attended the HPC Online Exchange Forums, conducted during the past month, actively discussing the measures taken in response to Covid-19. The main focus was on safety, how to protect the workforce and how to organise terminal operation processes and vessel visits to ensure business continuity, as well as how this could affect market developments and growth moving forward.
Have we hit the low point of the Corona crisis, is the economy picking up again, or are things getting worse? Dealing with this uncertainty and responding to these special times with a well thought-out concept is currently the focus of local authorities, cities and states as well as companies and corporations.
In a world which revolves around the needs of global markets and infinite growth on a finite planet, our economies are heavily stricken by the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting into personal tragic fates and a halt in demand and consumption.
These consequences are in the spotlight for good reasons and I do not intend to downplay them, but I cannot help but wonder how large the ecologic footprint will be when we as a society and especially the marine industry, return to business.
The global port industry is already heavily affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. As reported by our customers, there have been numerous blank sailings to and from ports around the world. Terminals are facing significantly reduced export volumes, while import containers are not picked up by the consignee resulting in longer dwell time, congesting the yard capacities.
The anticipation is that the pandemic will continue for some time. Exactly how long is uncertain and equally no one knowns when and how fast the global economy will recover. This means that not just the port handling volumes are likely to be affected by the global downturns, but also the viability of its terminals own clients; the shipping lines as well as shippers, receivers and logistics service providers are likely to be equally affected, leading to a higher risk of payment defaults for the terminals.
Against this background, terminals around the globe are preparing for reduced volumes and revenues. Development projects are re-evaluated or even stopped. Most of our terminal operator clients are reporting that they are either already in the process or planning to set up cost-cutting and rightsizing programs.
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