Reasons include the arrival of new players that are making money, according to latest league table in this year's "Annual Review of Global Container Terminal Operators".
For example, Cosco Pacific, China Shipping Terminal Development and Terminal Investment Limited (TIL) have been increasing rapidly, said the report, adding that the newcomers have ambitions to expand internationally.
One new player is Hong Kong's China Merchants Holdings International which has been joined by Gulftainer, Bollore and Yildirim. Others, such as GPI, SAAM Ports, Ultramar and Ports America, are also expanding, or are seeking to acquire new holdings.
"Secondly, the big players are these days as happy to dispose of mature assets as they are to acquire new ones," the report said, and have adopted a portfolio management approach.
"In the last few years, DP World and PSA have sold assets (or stakes in assets) in locations such as Hong Kong, Australia and the UK. At the same time, there is a clear focus on growth opportunities in emerging markets by global/international terminal operators.
"Third, several major shipping lines have been selling stakes in terminals to raise cash, while retaining majority control in most cases. Buyers have tended to be financial or emerging players,"