The Port of Tokyo, the largest in Japan, has increased its market share at the expense of its smaller rivals, according to port data analysis from SeaIntel.
The port’s market share among the country’s top five container ports – the others being Yokohama, Kobe, Nagoya and Osaka – was 28% in 2008 but last year had increased to 33%.
Some sources have suggested that this could be down to the largest ships gravitating towards the largest gateways, with JOC reporting similar trends in the United States, where the California giants of Los Angeles and Long Beach are gaining market share from their west coast rivals such as Oakland, Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver.
JOC wrote that “as ship sizes have grown due to container lines’ efforts to reduce per-container carrying costs, fear that a more limited number of port calls will be a result has been growing among ports and terminals globally.
SeaIntel said that it expected to see greater competition among Japanese ports because “the short distances and well-developed infrastructure provide Japanese shippers with a choice of easy exchangeable ports.”
Instead the country’s container ports, Tokyo’s success apart, “are relatively unsuccessful in stealing market shares from each other, even though the truck distance between the two ports located farthest from each other is only 520 km.”