Logistics managers cautioned about change in future port ratings by Fitch

As reported here recently, Fitch has also cautioned logistics managers about the infrastructure investment not being made by some ports.

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As LM readers know, we make an earnest attempt to rank ports on efficiency and service several times each year. Still, logistics managers must remeain ever vigilant when evaluating ocean cargo gateways for their specific needs. 

Indeed, a handful of U.S. ports could see their ratings change over the next year, according to Fitch Ratings in its latest U.S. Ports Peer Review.

Three of Fitch's rated U.S. ports (Hawaii Department of Transportation Harbor System; Florida's Port Everglades; and North Carolina State Ports Authority) have Positive Rating Outlooks, while a Negative Outlook remains in place for the Alabama State Port Authority.

As reported here recently, Fitch has also cautioned logistics managers about the infrastructure investment not being made by some ports.

Overall, stability remains in the cards for the U.S. ports. The few revisions that Fitch made over the last 12 months were in Hawaii and Florida.

Since its last U.S. Ports Peer Review, Fitch revised the Rating Outlook on Hawaii Department of Transportation to Positive along with Broward County's Port Everglades. Meanwhile, Fitch revised its Outlook for Hillsborough County Port District in Tampa, FL to Stable from Positive.

Ports with the highest Fitch ratings are typically those with a strong underlying market or franchise driving demand, overall stability of cash flow through contractual agreements, or tariff policy and healthy financial metrics.

Conversely, Fitch's weakest rated ports include those serving weaker markets with competition for cargo, less contractual protection for revenues or thinner financial metrics.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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