Source: Adapted from Drewry Shipping Consultants.
The footprint of global terminal operators is substantial, with the average terminal size around 45 hectares. However, the figure is biased by a small number of very large terminal facilities, as the most common size is 30 hectares. Port holdings are mainly the outcome of horizontal integration through expansion and mergers, leading to a high level of concentration of the global containerized throughput.
Four major port holdings have substantial global assets of about 45 dedicated port terminals each; APM Terminals (controlled by the Danish maritime shipper Maersk; 47 terminals), Dubai Ports World (DPW; 48 terminals), Hutchison Port Holdings (Hong Kong; 52 terminals), and the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA; 42 terminals). Jointly, they controlled through various equity stakes 189 dedicated maritime container terminals in 2019. Their assets are geographically diversified, with Pacific Asia being the main focus of HPH and PSA, South Asia and the Middle East having DPW well represented, and APM having a portfolio with a strong North American emphasis. They are particularly focused along the world’s main commercial gateways, such as the Pearl River Delta (Hong Kong) and the Rhine / Scheldt Delta (Rotterdam and Antwerp).
Several other port holdings exist, owned by specialized private companies (such as SSA for North America or Eurogate for Europe), by ocean carriers (MSC and Maersk have notable assets), or by financial holdings (Ports America owned by AIG), but their focus is mostly regional.