Maritime Research

Container Terminal Capacity and Performance Benchmarks 2014

Spotlight Report

October 2014

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Terminal capacity and performance

Capacity and performance are two related concepts and both are examined by Drewry in this market leading report.


A terminal’s performance is a key aspect of assessing how well they are run, which is especially important when you consider the infrastructure investment made. Through Drewry’s benchmarks and further analysis on actual performance, you quickly discover how a terminal is performing against specific criteria.

Also covered is a dedicated section on Terminal Automation. Besides identifying and describing existing and planned automation projects and technologies, the actual performance of automated terminals is ranked against industry norms.

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Fast facts...

  • Terminal capacity, performance and KPI’s 
  • Quay-line benchmarks
  • Ship-to-shore crane benchmarks
  • Yard benchmarks
  • Terminal automation

Terminal capacity, performance and KPI’s

As a starting point, to the analysis that follows, Drewry distinguishes between capacity and performance as they are distinct concepts that can easily be misused. From here you will understand the structure and methodology of the analysis.

Included in this chapter:

  • Matrix of theoretical container terminal capacity and equipment requirements
  • Annual moves benchmarks for different equipment types
  • Definition and measurement for:
    • crane and berth moves per hour
    • berth occupancy ratio, yard occupancy ratio
    • dwell times for imports, equipment availability
    • truck receiving & delivery time
    • terminal area & quay-line usage.



Quay-line benchmarks

The length of the quay can be seen as the prime determinant of overall terminal capacity, whilst a number of components such as quay moves per hour, number of cranes, crane spacing also need to be factored in. Within this chapter you get:

  • Quay-line capacity benchmarks
  • Quay-line performance by world region, 2011-2013
  • Typical features affecting performance at large and small terminals
  • Quay-line performance by terminal size, traffic type & operator type 2011-2013


Ship-to-shore crane benchmarks

As the primary machine used for ship-to-shore moves, its capacity is vital. So to understand this in details Drewry looks into what determines this capacity, namely availability, utilisation, moves per hour. Data included:

  • Example quay crane capacity calculation (moves Vs teu)
  • Gantry crane performance by world region 2011-2013
  • Teu per gantry crane by world region 2013
  • Gantry crane performance by terminal size, traffic type, operator type 2011-2013
  • Change in gantry crane performance by world region 2011-2013


Yard benchmarks

There are two measurements used for yard capacity, total number of teu slots in a yard & total number of teu that can be handled in a year. This capacity and performance levels are also then affect by factors such as equipment type, container dwell times and software systems.

  • Use of single yard ground slot with various dwell times
  • Operational area required and teu capacity per hectare for different yard equipment types
  • Type of yard equipment deployed at container terminals globally 2013
  • Yard performance by - world region, terminal size, traffic, terminal, operator type 2011-2013


Terminal Automation

The broad concept of automation covers both equipment and IT software. So to start the chapter Drewry discusses these aspects and moves onto existing and planned automation projects.

  • Global existing and planned fully and semi-automated container terminals, covering - country, port, operator/owner, yard stack system, horizontal transport system, fully or semi-automated, status, 2013 throughput
  • Performance of automated terminals vs world average 2013


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