Helping address the complexity of issues to improve freight logistics systems.

Over the years, countries have focused on improving port performance to enable economic growth. They undertook institutional and regulatory reforms and PPP arrangements that enabled private terminal operators to invest in expanding and modernizing their facilities, improve operational practices, and employ technology solutions to monitor and control terminal activities. While ports are important, countries have come to realize that efficiency gains from improved port performance can be negated if hinterland logistics systems are inefficient and traffic conditions on port access routes are congested. An inefficient hinterland logistics system may lead carriers and shippers to seek other options even if the port is efficient. Countries and their port systems must therefore take a more holistic approach to ensuring the necessary structural and non-structural conditions are in place for economic competitiveness.

Disruptive events in recent years, from shifting trade policies and new technologies to natural disasters and a global pandemic, have created an uncertain environment, with suppliers focusing on notions of risk, agility, and resiliency and ports and logistics systems intent on accommodating these notions. As industries seek to develop alternative supply chains, even geographically disadvantaged countries can position themselves to compete by offering efficient transport logistics systems that have the effect of reducing their economic distance to markets.

Monument Economics Group’s experts work with multilateral financial institutions, donor organizations, foreign ministries, regulators, port and corridor authorities, terminal operators, logistics service providers, asset owners, and investors to address the complexity of issues associated with improving freight logistics systems. We assist clients to develop and execute strategies for congestion mitigation, improve operational performance, rationalize investment decisions, enhance capacity utilization, devise strategies for improving financial performance, and design institutional and regulatory arrangements to enable freight logistics efficiency, private sector investment, and fair competition.

Monument’s expertise in ports and logistics consulting includes work in the following areas:

  • Institutional & Regulatory Reform
  • Growth Strategy Analysis
  • International Arbitration
  • Master Plan Feasibility Assessments
  • Market Assessments & Demand Forecasting
  • Operational Performance Assessments
  • Technology Assessment
  • Congestion Mitigation Strategy
  • Transaction & Concession Advisory Services
  • Economic Evaluations
  • Institutional & Regulatory Reform

    Port sector reforms over the past four decades have entailed various institutional transformations, from line agencies and port authorities that controlled and managed port operations to the prevailing landlord models. These improved institutional arrangements and the regulations governing fair competition, maintenance of common use areas, and safe operational practices are necessary complements to investment in and efficient operation of port facilities. In more recent years, freight corridor authorities have been established to provide effective governance of corridor operations, safety, and maintenance to ensure reliable access for freight movements.

    Monument’s experts have extensive experience advising governments, multilateral financial institutions, port and corridor authorities, terminal operators, and private investors on needed changes in institutional, organizational, and regulatory arrangements in dozens of countries around the world. Our experts have assisted in designing competition regulatory frameworks, port sector institutional arrangements, operational regulations, organizational structures, and PPP frameworks and advised our clients on related hurdles that may impede government objectives and private sector investment.

    Whether helping establish the port regulator in South Africa, aiding in the implementation of port sector institutional arrangements in Colombia, reviewing Mozambique’s draft port law, or formulating new institutional arrangements in Nicaragua, Egypt, Cape Verde, Egypt, Bulgaria, Oman, Abu Dhabi, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, and Haiti, among many others, our experts have not only incorporated global best practice, but have also been responsible for creating best practice standards in institutional and regulatory arrangements.

    Growth Strategy Analysis

    We advise clients on how to grow their businesses, revenues, and their bottom lines by providing in-depth market, competitor, and customer insights.

    We do this based on market trends analysis and forecasts, operational and organizational performance benchmarking, competitor assessments, tariff and pricing practices, customer requirements analysis, emerging market trends, SWOT analysis and competitive positioning, devising growth strategies and action plans, and assisting in strategy execution.

    Our experts have provided these services to port and corridor authorities, terminal operators, special economic zones, and the Panama Canal.

    International Arbitration

    The expansion and reliance on foreign investment to build and operate port facilities increases the complexity of relationships between countries awarding the concessions and terminal operators. As some contract provisions may leave room for interpretation, or if other concessions in the same port area are awarded under different conditions, relationships among the parties may break down, leading to complaints filed to specialist international arbitration organizations.

    Our experts have prepared technical reports and testified before arbitration tribunals on concession contract matters, including on issues related to pricing practices, competitive behavior, regulatory frameworks, investment obligations, adherence to performance requirements, and global best practices.

    To read more about MEG’s experience and expertise in the area of international arbitration, click here.

    Master Plan Feasibility Assessments

    Experts at Monument have worked with the world’s leading global engineering firms to develop rationalized master plans designed to serve what is necessary for the market. Serving the market relies on technical, operational, market, strategic, financial, and economic considerations.

    We have developed capacity assessment models, performance indicator systems, tariff analysis, market and fleet demand forecasts, and transport logit models to support the rationalization process. The analysis is typically accompanied by an assessment of carrier deployment practices and how they may change relative to what is offered through the master plan.

    Our approach optimizes the capital and operational costs and investment risks. Our experts’ work on Indonesia’s National Port Master Plan, Colombia’s Puerto Bahia Master Plan, Master Plan Feasibility Study and Strategic Plan for Ghana’s Ports of Tema and Takoradi Master Plan, and Puerto Quetzal’s (Guatemala) Master Plan and PSP Strategy illustrate several of many examples of our focus on rationalized approaches to port development.

    Market Assessments & Demand Forecasting

    Monument’s seasoned experts, many having experience as both consultants and industry practitioners, are well-versed on the myriad factors that affect industry outlooks and demand-supply shifts.

    With the aid of regression analysis, we prepare forecasts based on strategic scenarios that consider strategies employed by our client’s customers, disruptive events, trade policy, technology, political economy, and global climate change, among other factors.  Using economic and statistical analyses techniques, tempered with real-world realities and emerging conditions, our forecasts have survived close scrutiny by clients and investment banks.

    The work of our experts has helped secure financing for dozens of large-scale projects, from container terminals in Santos (Brazil), Walvis Bay (Namibia), and Buenaventura (Colombia) to expansion programs for the Suez and Panama Canals, among many other projects.

    Operational Performance Assessments

    Monument devises performance indicators and applies them to assess performance of terminals and freight corridors relative to global standards. For ports, we apply our time accounting system to assess the level of service and productivity for berth, storage, and gate operations. Our experts initially developed the port time accounting system as part of the Regulatory Module of the World Bank’s Port Reform Toolkit, which has since been revised to reflect truck turn time and truck queue time indicators given the impact of circumstances at and outside the gate that hamper terminal efficiency.

    For freight corridors, we apply our freight corridor analysis tool to assess overall corridor performance as well as the performance of the individual links (where freight moves) and nodes (where freight is processed) composed in the transport logistics chain. Our model also estimates the impact on emissions of improved corridor performance as well as the options proposed to improve performance.

    This model has been applied to more than 40 corridors in 32 countries around the world.

    Technology Assessment

    Port and logistics sectors over the years have benefitted from technology advances that can efficiency, productivity, and track-and-trace capabilities. Such technologies can aid countries in improving sector performance and raise their global port and logistics performance standings. Our experts have considered such technologies in the development of an intelligent logistics system (ILS); the ILS concept applies the logic of terminal operating systems to the entire transport logistics chain to improve supply chain transparency, security, and the management of truck and freight flows to mitigate potential congestion and delays on corridors and ports.

    Our experts evaluate the merits of new technologies on client operations and gauge the impact on efficiency, trade flows, and competitiveness of a country’s transport logistics chains. Our experts have assessed the merits and impact of technologies that improve port and transport logistics systems, among them truck entry clearance systems in Moldova and Jordan, truck appointment, street turn, and webcam solutions in Vietnam and Myanmar, and 3D printing on global trade flows.

    Our experienced consultants can also guide clients through the process of implementation to ensure technology matches the client’s needs and provides cost effective benefits to the operations.

    Congestion Mitigation Strategy

    Various countries have implemented measures to restrict freight truck traffic in certain areas to reduce traffic congestion. These measures have the effect of extending truck cycle times and hence can increase the number of trucks required to serve demand.

    Our experts are aware of the various technology and operational solutions available to terminal operators and to local governments to address freight traffic concerns. Importantly, experts at Monument have also been engaged in the improvement of processes and information sharing and reporting with customs, other government authorities, marine terminal operators, and trade community stakeholders to expedite freight processing and clearances from and to marine terminals.

    The work of our experts on the Yangon (Myanmar) Comprehensive Port Development Plan and the Cat Lai Port De-Congestion Strategy in Vietnam epitomizes the novel and practical solutions offered to clients.

    Transaction & Concession Advisory Services

    The world has traveled a 40-year course of port privatization transactions and concession programs. Monument’s experts have provided transaction and concession strategy advice to governments, conducted technical, regulatory, and financial and economic due diligence assessments, prepared information memorandums, draft concession contracts, and bid terms and specifications, and assisted in procurement processes and bid evaluations for many countries around the world.

    Our experts have a long track record of assisting clients in determining the merits of pursuing transactions, assisting them to navigate the path towards bid submission, and conducting due diligence market assessments, competitiveness assessments, and tariff and financial analyses. Monument’s experts have also assisted clients in contract negotiations. Serving as port transaction advisor to Kenya’s Ministry of Treasury and Georgia’s Presidential Port Concession Commission, preparing the national concession strategy for Guatemala and Nicaragua, implementing Colombia’s port privatization program, and conducting investment due diligence assessments for terminal operators, investment banks, and multilateral financial institutions illustrate the insight, expertise, and depth of experience that Monument offers its clients.

    Economic Evaluations

    Monument’s experts conduct economic evaluations to estimate the impact of past or proposed investment, gauge the economic effects of changes in operational practices, determine the effects on the economy of proposed policy and regulatory changes, assess the impact of improved efficiency, and generate estimated economic rates of return of proposed investments. Our evaluations typically incorporate sensitivity analysis to test the reliability of conclusions and evaluate the impact of uncertainty on results and conclusions.

    Our experts have developed a host of economic models designed to address the unique conditions and environment of a project and are familiar with the cost-benefit guidelines of multilateral development institutions and development organizations. Their experience illustrates the diversity of projects undertaken for economic evaluations, from the economic impact assessment of the Panama Canal expansion program and logistics activities, improved port performance on the Costa Rican economy, and the impact of a truck entry control system in the port of Aqaba (Jordan) to the economic evaluation of port investments in Colombia and the assessment of Cape Verde’s port privatization strategy.