Portopia issued a report regarding European Port Authorities’ objectives, where it detects three different answers on how port authorities would best describe themselves and presents their economic and non-economic goals. These goals aim in retaining a balance between the economic, social and environmental effects of the port activities.
In particular, Portopia refers that :
- The vast majority of port authorities answer that they see themselves as mission-driven entities, where cost recovery and profit are a must.
- Some port authorities classify themselves as non-economic public bodies, run with general interest objectives.
- A third and last group of port authorities consider themselves as profit-maximising companies.
On the one hand, the top three economic objectives stated are:
- Financial sustainability of the port
- Maximisation of added value
- Maximisation of port throughput
Corporate-like objectives, such as profit maximisation for the port authority or for its shareholders, aren’t pursued by many ports and only a few port authorities seem to have strictly economic objectives.
On the other hand, port authorities pursue several objectives that contribute to the general interest of society:
- Facilitating trade and business. Ensuring that companies using the port to receive imports or ship exports remain highly competitive is one of the most important objectives of freight ports.
- Ensuring that port activity is sustainable in the long run. Consequently, the balance between the economic, social and environmental effects of the port activities is important for port authorities.
- Social and economic growth of the region. Port authorities play a key role in the stimulation of growth of the regional economy. Their contribution can be measured in terms of added value, wages, local and national taxes paid, jobs, etc.
- Developing maritime and hinterland connectivity. It’s important for ports to link goods to consumers and companies in the hinterland to global markets.
Moreover, Portopia cites the sixth edition of the ESPO Fact-Finding Report ‘Trends in EU Ports Governance 2016’, published in June 2016 and aiming to monitor port governance and organisation in Europe and its evolution over time. 86 port authorities from 19 EU Member States, Norway and Iceland completed the questionnaire. Together, they represent more than 200 ports and more than 57% of the overall volume of cargo handled in the European Union.
Further details may be found in the full report herebelow:
Finally, Portopia notes that PORTOPIA platform will bring an important value added for ports in terms of governance models. In fact, some of the fields of the ESPO Fact-Finding Report are going to be transferred to the platform, allowing ports to compare geographical ranges, EU averages and evolutions over time in terms of governance model across Europe.
Source & Image credit: Portopia