By Richard Hepworth, Managing Director, Trelleborg Marine Systems
The results of our recent Barometer report indicate an encouraging increase in the capital and operational expenditure of ports over the next 12 months. It’s believed that this will mostly go into improving efficiency and increasing the capacity of port terminals – good news for port operators, contractors, consultants and suppliers alike (not least for ourselves).
Where this investment will be allocated and how best efficiencies can be achieved is the immediate issue but looking further down the line, the industry needs to become much more focused on whole life costs rather than short term savings. Because beyond the budget sheet a far more worrying outcome is emerging as a commoditised marketplace makes way for lower cost, lesser quality suppliers.
Indeed, 2012 may be looking brighter as spend is on the ‘up’ but let’s not put a downer on the forecast by forging partnerships with lower-cost suppliers and traders that are actively misusing PIANC accreditation. Port downtime and efficiencies go hand-in-hand with product quality and if the latter suffers so does the industry as a whole.
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