Marine Support Services

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Industry Structure, How Firms Opertate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Quarterly Insight, Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 2,000 marine support services firms in the US include companies that operate ports, harbors, and canals, as well as companies that provide marine cargo handling and storage services. The industry also includes companies providing navigational services, such as piloting or tugboat services, and marine salvaging services.

Dependence on International Trade

Revenue for marine support services is driven by US imports and exports, which in turn depend on global economic conditions and international trade agreements.

Automation of Operations

As cargo volumes increase and ships get larger, marine terminal operators face challenges in quickly loading and unloading cargo to avoid congestion and delays for shippers, truckers and railcar operators.

Industry size & Structure

The average marine support services company operates out of a single location, employs 41-42 workers, and generates $11-12 million annually.

    • The marine support services industry consists of about 2,000 firms employing 84,800 workers and generating around $20.5 billion annually.
    • About 350 commercial ports in the US and its territories handle 2-3 billion gross tons of cargo annually.
    • About 41% of industry establishments provide navigation services, while 13% provide marine cargo handling services and 13% provide port operations services.
    • The top US ports, based on volume of twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) handled include Houston, New York/New Jersey, New Orleans, Long Beach, Port of Virginia, Charleston, Miami, Seattle, and Los Angeles.
    • The industry is concentrated, with the 50 largest firms accounting for 67% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies include Ports America, APM Terminals (headquartered in the Netherlands), and SSA Marine.
                              Industry Forecast
                              Marine Support Services Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Coronavirus Update

                              May 17, 2022 - Lockdowns In China Will Affect Entire Supply Chain
                              • Supply chain experts say that China’s strict Covid-control policy could cause renewed supply-chain disruptions in the US as shuttered factories there cause orders to back up. The effects of lockdowns in southern Chinese megacity Shenzhen — home to the nation’s most-important port after Shanghai — will affect the Los Angeles-area sea-cargo hubs, the busiest container gateway in the US, according to Noel Hacegaba, of the Port of Long Beach. Backups building at other ports in China may be indicate what's to come at Shenzhen, according to Alex Charvalias, of maritime-analytics firm MarineTraffic. The number of container vessels waiting to berth in the eastern city of Qingdao climbed to 22 from 9 in one week, he said, and the queue is also growing at the biggest port in Shanghai, he said. This will affect the US in the next month or so, because fewer vessels will leave for the West Coast, he added.
                              • The cargo volume moving through US ports hit record levels in 2021 as pandemic-related consumer spending continued to fuel imports. Freight volumes moving through the Port of Long Beach increased 15.7% year over year in 2021. The Port of Los Angeles’ freight volumes increased 13% during the period. The backlog of vessels waiting to enter the port complex was at a record high of 109 ships in early January, according to the Marine Exchange of Southern California. Ships cannot unload because the docks are congested with containers that trucks can’t remove due to shortages of drivers and equipment. Warehouses near the ports are near full capacity. Congestion in and around the port complex worsened in January due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases among longshore workers, truck drivers, and warehouse workers. Some shippers are rerouting cargo to other US ports, but those are becoming congested too, according to The Wall Street Journal.
                              • The pandemic has exposed the vulnerability of far-flung, complicated global supply chains. Some manufacturing industry experts suggest that supply chains need to be shorter to be more resilient. Nearly 85% of procurement professionals at North American manufacturing firms are likely or extremely likely to reshore some of their supply chains, according to a June 2021 report released by Thomas, a provider of supplier and product sourcing services. A substantial majority of survey respondents plan to reshore some operations despite challenges in doing so, including price and speed. Demand for marine support services could drop if US manufacturers source more of their supplies from domestic sources or sources closer to home in Canada and/or Mexico.
                              • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued in January a revised outlook for the impact of the pandemic on the world economy, warning that the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, barriers to more widespread vaccine access, supply chain disruptions, and inflation are slowing the global recovery. The IMF estimates that the global economy will expand 4.4% in 2022, 0.5 percentage points lower than the outlook the IMF released in October. The US economy is forecast to grow by 4% in 2022, and China will see a 4.8% rise. Countries that share the euro are expected to experience growth of 3.9%, and Japan’s economy will grow by 3.3%. India’s economy will get a boost of 9% in 2022. The IMF said that it expects inflation to persist for longer than it projected in its October 2021 outlook and that supply chain disruptions and elevated energy prices would continue in 2022. The IMF said that international cooperation is critical to increasing worldwide access to vaccines, tests, and treatments to avoid further pandemic-related economic impact.
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