Global Port Tracker report calls for minimal growth in 2012

When it comes to economic conditions in Europe, it is not a stretch to say that things are likely to get worse before they get better. That is the consensus of the most recent edition of the Global Port Tracker Report from Hackett Associates and the Bremen Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics.

By ·

When it comes to economic conditions in Europe, it is not a stretch to say that things are likely to get worse before they get better. That is the consensus of 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.

The report stated that total import growth in 2011 was forecast at 3.9 percent for all of Europe (final 2011 numbers are not yet available), with Northern Europe exports estimated to be up 5 percent and the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions looking at 1.8 percent growth. But for 2012, the report is calling for no growth at all.

Looking ahead to the next six months, the report indicated that month-to-month decreases are expected for volumes in half of those months, although annual gains are being forecasted for January and May. And it added that each month’s changes—up or down—is likely to be in the single-digit range, with gains expected in two of the next four quarters annually that are also expected to be in the single-digit range.

In an interview with LM, Hackett Associates President Ben Hackett said that the prospect of no growth in 2012 is not surprising.

“The European governments have pushed so hard on austerity measures that in most countries it is raising unemployment and reducing GDP growth as a result,” he said. “Most GDPs went negative during the fourth quarter of 2011 if not all of them. The first quarter of 2012 is likely to be the same or even worse than the fourth quarter was.”

And issues related to the sovereign debt crisis, especially in Greece, has dried up the amount of credit available in Northern Europe very quickly, as Hackett explained banks are simply not lending and putting reserves away, because they don’t want to lose 70 percent of their loans to Greece and possibly to Portugal.

And between consumers being squeezed by rising unemployment, rising taxes, and tight credit, Hackett noted these factors make it difficult to see any trade growth.

“Because of this, there is still a lot of capacity available on the Asia-Europe trade lane, and the reduction in capacity has not been anywhere near what it has been on the Trans-Pacific,” said Hackett. “This will put pressure on freight rates. It is a case where capacity is not going down quickly enough, and demand is dropping more rapidly, which creates a situation where there really is overcapacity. Even if we see some growth in the second half of 2012, it is not going to be enough to show an annual growth rate.”

The report indicated that loaded outgoing volume for all of 2011 is expected to come in 9.1 percent higher 2011 than 2010 at 16.57 million TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Units), and the total volume handled, including empties, is expected to rise 7.5 percent at 40.05 million TEU, while the equivalent outgoing volume is expected to increase 7.1 percent at 16.80 TEU.


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
New Supply Chain Technology Best Practices
New breakthrough developments, such as drones and driverless vehicles, seem to be everywhere.
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!
Latest Webcast
The State of the Rail/Intermodal Markets
In this webinar our panel will discuss the new service challenges facing rail/intermodal providers and offer practical advice for how shippers can keep efficiency high and costs down.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
SalonCentric: One Beautiful Network
A leading distributor of professional salon products in the U.S. forms unique partnerships with its...
2017 Alliance Awards: Recognizing outstanding supply chain partnerships
In an era where effective supply chain collaboration is both highly valued and elusive, Logistics...

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...