b'Southeast Asian ports hopeful of post-pandemic surge in breakbulk demandSOUTHEAST ASIAN PORTS HOPEFUL OF POST-PANDEMIC SURGE IN BREAKBULK DEMANDASEAN ports are growing, and breakbulk is a big contributor.By Manik Mehta, AJOTNovember 23, 2022 | Published originally in AJOT Issue #747N ow that the lockdowns and restrictions linked with theAC Energy, are expected to deliver a combined capacity of pandemic are being gradually relaxed or even phased out440 megawatts once fully operational. As turbine and project in many parts of the world, Southeast Asian ports are hopingsizes grow, we expect an increase in demand for all types of that this will give a strong impetus to cargo traffic, including themultipurpose vessels and general cargo ships, predicts Oscar breakbulk segment.Guzman, Filipino analyst who closely monitors energy trends in Indeed, many in Southeast Asia discern a propensitySoutheast Asia. towards breakbulk, heavy lift cargo, etc., as costs of containerOvercoming Bottlenecksshipments have soared exacerbated by supply chain disruptions that have caused considerable distress to both shippers andBut many also see challenges facing breakbulk operators in their importers.the region. Though significant improvements have been made, For some of us shipping to the U.S., the chaos and longthere are still major bottlenecks in inland transport infrastructure delays in shipment clearances at some American ports gavein Southeast Asia, as firms frequently need to build their us sleepless nights and there was a general feeling that weown connecting solutions which can raise the overall costs.have to look for alternatives that would ensure smooth trading,Handling breakbulk cargo in these countries requires specific said Mark Nguyen whose company organized shipments fromresources. The inland logistics challenges can often be an area Vietnam to the West Coast last year.that is overlooked. Energy Sector Growth ASEAN representatives are aware that the 10 member nation grouping has considerable work to do to raise and Experts predict that growth in Southeast Asias energyupgrade its infrastructure which will benefit breakbulk and sector will drive breakbulk demand with operators relying onproject cargo service providers. Infrastructure development heavy lift services and complex logistics, as the maritimewill drive growth in all cargo segments transported between dedicated Wallem Ship Agency has been saying. Demand forSoutheast Asia and China which has emerged as the ASEAN wind turbines is expected to remain strong, even though someregions biggest trading partner.bottlenecks in traffic would continue to push freight rates in theUneven level of infrastructure is noticeable between ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region. individual ASEAN member states; an example of this uneven After the pandemic downturn, Southeast Asia appears to belevel of infrastructure development can be seen in Indonesia on the path to becoming one of the worlds fastest recoveringand Malaysia. Indonesia has about 10 times the population of regionsMalaysias GDP, for example, rose 14.2% in the July- Malaysia, but only one-tenth of the infrastructure; Indonesia has September 2022 period from a year ago, according to Banka lot of catching up to do.Logistics experts say that Indonesia Negara Malaysia- and some pundits predict that Southeast Asiawill need to ship large volumes of equipment and this, in the is well positioned to drive growth in the cargo sector. final analysis, means that it will be relying heavily on breakbulk Southeast Asia has major energy sector-related projectsservices. that are either in the pipeline or already completed; these areIndonesia has already been importing large volumes expected to benefit the breakbulk segment.These projectsof capital equipment, goods, and big bulk materials forone example is Singaporean developer Sunseaps floatinginfrastructure programs, according to ASEAN shipping experts.solar farm and energy storage facility on the Indonesian islandThis trend is also visible in other neighboring countries such as of Batam - are considered to be crucial for generating strongVietnam, Malaysia, and Cambodia. demand for breakbulk handling.The ASEAN member countries also need to further The Philippine conglomerate Ayala is building five windstrengthen cooperation with each other in port matters. This farms in Vietnam. The projects, to be developed by its subsidiaryaspect was underscored during the 41st Working Committee 22'