The international ports industry will take until 2013 before recovering from the devastating effects of last year's global recession, according to the International Association of Ports and Harbours (IAPH), All Africa reported.
IAPH president Gichiri Ndua said that last year's 12 percent dip in world container trade reversed gains made over the past half a century in the ports industry.
"Ports should re-engineer operations with a view to raising productivity while at the same time containing their costs," said Ndua, who is also the Kenya Ports Authority managing director.
They should, he added, take advantage of the drop in container trade to refine, redevelop and implement their long-term plans.
He said that on the eve of the recession ports were overwhelmed by container volumes leading to heavy congestion, and urged port management worldwide to seize the opportunity to expand facilities.
Ndua believes that modern freight ships whose construction is motivated by economies of scale and can haul a consignment of over 14,000 TEUs, will overcome effects of the recession.