European economy continues to impact ocean volumes, says Global Port Tracker report

A confluence of ongoing events, including the debt crisis hitting exports, domestic sales and consumer confidence and imports, which have added to declining trade volumes, has led to a recession being formally declared in the European Union, according to the most recent edition of the Global Port Tracker report.

By ·

A confluence of ongoing events, including the debt crisis hitting exports, domestic sales and consumer confidence and imports, which have added to declining trade volumes, has led to a recession being formally declared in the European Union, according to the most recent edition of the Global Port Tracker report from Hackett Associates and the Bremen Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics.

Ports surveyed in this report include the six major container reports in North Europe: le Havre, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Bremen/Bremerhaven, and Hamburg.

“Last month eurozone consumer and business confidence fell for the fourth straight month, weakening significantly in France, Germany, Finland, and Austria,” said Ben Hackett, president of Hackett Associates, in the report.

These comments are not surprising, considering how long the European economy has been in decline, coupled with the fact that in last month’s report Hackett explained that the consumer confidence index as measured by the EU Commission continues to decline. The index, he said, is now dangerously low compared to its long term trend, with the exception of the 2009 recession.

The Global Port Tracker report noted that total European imports are projected to drop 2 percent to 21.19 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent containers) in 2012, and exports expected to increase 3.3 percent to 16.69 million TEU.

And the total handled volume forecast for 2012, according to the report is 39.97 million TEU, which is a 0.2 percent annual improvement. Outgoing loaded containers are projected to decrease by 4 percent over the next six months compared to a 0.1 percent gain over the same timeframe for the previous year. What’s more, the report is calling for only two of the next four quarters currently forecasted to post growth annually for both incoming and outgoing containers. For the six North Range ports, the report said that incoming volumes are expected to drop 0.6 percent in 2012 to 16.4 million TEU.

“On the European side, things have slowed down dramatically,” Hackett told LM in a recent interview. “There is a lack of confidence [as noted in economic metrics] and GDP is down and sales are weak. It is clear that there is a slowdown. And nothing has really been done to solve the key issues like the Euro crisis and sovereign debt crisis, so the next 12 months are going to be critical.”

Should the situation in Europe continue to worsen, it could have a trickle down effect on the United States economy, too, in the form of lower consumer confidence, Hackett explained. This would likely lead to a higher personal savings rate in the U.S. with the after effect being lower trade levels, with the warning signs on the economy intact. 


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Refining TMS Integration Outside the Four Walls of the Warehouse
How shippers can use a modern transportation management system (TMS) to successfully integrate across the supply chain ecosystem and create a truly digital network.
Download Today!
From the October 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its key LTLs to lower transport costs, reduce its carbon footprint and improve service to its 565 store locations.
Q4 2017 Rail/Intermodal Roundtable: Improvements apparent; work remains
LM Viewpoint: Collaboration, Now more than ever
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
EDITORS' PICKS
SalonCentric: One Beautiful Network
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its...
26th Annual Study of Logistics and Transportation Trends: Transportation at Digital Speed
While a majority of companies strongly agree that transportation is a strategically important...

34th Annual Quest for Quality Awards: Winners Revealed
Which carriers, third-party logistics providers, and North American ports have crossed the service...
2017 Salary Survey: Fresh Voices Express Optimism
Our “33rd Annual Salary Survey” reflects more diversity entering the logistics management...