23 nov 2017

Jolke Helbing, Director at Ocean Shipping Consultants, a company of Royal HaskoningDHV, will explore the topic of ‘Comparisons of potential future scenarios for the development of inland markets across Europe’ at the Intermodal Europe 2017 conference taking place later this month.


Speaking ahead of the event Jolke said: “Typically ports are well-connected and containers can move with ease. Yet this consolidation of trade volume at sea and in the ports is generally not replicated in the port hinterlands. Congestion or efficiency is a significant problem, with infrastructure unable to cope with increasing trade volumes. This is having an impact on the flow of trade between locations, and on the competitiveness of individual ports.”

As vessel sizes continue to increase, this compounds the issue, placing even greater demands on existing port infrastructure and connecting trade corridors.

With ports vying for market share, they must ensure that there is sufficient infrastructure available for shipping lines, that they are competitive on cost, and that containers can be moved onto the next mode of transport efficiently.

The current industry standard is that (port) operators undertake a thorough analysis of the hinterland connectivity on the basis of in-depth knowledge of the market, experience and a qualitative assessment of how changes in the hinterland environment can affect the market share that they can access. This analysis is based on parameters which are constantly in flux, and incredibly complex. This makes it challenging to bring fact-based quantitative assessments to the decision-making table.

To address this challenge, Ocean Shipping Consultants is developing a platform (rhumb.nl) that provides the insight required to help ports understand their markets, competitiveness, and how this may change in the future - including factors such as cost, infrastructure and economic content.

Ocean Shipping Consultants’ initial time and cost-based research shows that with new infrastructure after 2025 in the Rhine-Alpine corridor and the Scan-Med corridor, Mediterranean ports could have an opportunity to increase their markets shares to close to or in excess of 50 per cent when considering imports from Asia.

Jolke continues, “We can map multimodal trades across continents, calculate market shares of the different nodes in the networks and simulate the effect of changing cost, infrastructure and connections, and regional economics. Our ambition is that this platform will help (port) operators, authorities and other stakeholders make key business decisions in an interactive digital environment based on measurable facts instead of qualitative judgement.”

With over 25 years of experience in the maritime sector including 21 years spent working in various roles and countries for the A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, Jolke joined OSC in 2015 as a Director. His consultancy focus has mainly been on strategic business plans for container ports, related commercial market due diligence, market studies and M&A preparations within the port industry.

Jolke’s presentation takes place on Tuesday 28 November 2017 during the annual Intermodal Europe conference which is held at the RAI Amsterdam Convention Centre from the 28-30 November 2017.