The Baltic and International Maritime Council (BIMCO), the world’s largest international shipping association, published its Dry Bulk Terminals Vetting report for 2017, evaluating terminals’ performance from January 2015 to December 2017.
BIMCO started this practice of collecting data and ranking dry bulk terminals according to their performance back in January 2015. The data is gathered from shipowners, or rather ships’ officers who, after each port call, complete and submit a quick survey, answering 36 specific questions divided into the following 5 main categories: mooring and berth arrangements; terminal services; terminal equipment; information exchange between the ship and the terminal; loading and unloading handling.
The report is meant to be annual with the idea to be used by operators, brokers, shipping companies or their agents as guidance for planning calls at terminals around the world. For instance, shipping companies will be able to find out if other ships have experienced damage or difficulties at a particular terminal.
The current edition is the second one and covers 279 terminals in 80 countries. However, for statistical validation, BIMCO analyses only those ports for which at least 5 surveys were received. Therefore, the current report ultimately includes only 27 ports and terminals.
Summarizing the results, TOP-3 dry bulk ports are Santander (Spain), Bilbao (Spain) and Quebec (Canada). These received the best scores in terms of terminal services and cargo loading/unloading operations. In the categories of mooring/berthing arrangements and ship/terminal information exchange, the best 3 ports were Santander, Richards Bay (South Africa) and Santa Marta (Colombia). In terms of terminal equipment, the best ports were Santander, Quebec and Point Comfort (USA).
Such ports as Newcastle, Sydney, Brisbane, Shanghai, Durban, Newark, Hamburg, Liverpool, Saint Petersburg and many others were left outside the scope of the report, as only 1 survey was submitted on each of these. That is why BIMCO acknowledges: “To date there is insufficient data to draw solid statistical conclusions and make substantiated statements on dry bulk terminals and their performance.”
BIMCO invites more ships to submit reports: “More reports will ultimately help to create a better tool for offices in the process of fixing cargoes. It will also enable BIMCO to act whenever poor performances are reported at a dry bulk terminal.”