Global Port Tracker report calls for minimal trade growth

The outlook for global trade activity continues to be relatively dim, according to the most recent edition of the Global Port Tracker report from Hackett Associates and the Bremen Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics.

By ·

The outlook for global trade activity continues to be relatively dim, 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.

The report explained that total container volumes for these six ports increased a cumulative 0.6 percent in May, the most recent month for which data is available.

Trade prospects are not improving despite a few short term hopeful signs,” wrote Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett in the report. “We do not share the optimistic views being expressed in the market. The North European market remains in the doldrums with an uptick here and a downturn there. Global growth, according to the IMF will be subdued at 3 per cent, the same as last year which means too much capacity chasing to little cargo.”

He added that the slowdown in China’s growth rate is impacting the export scene as much as the recession in the key European markets has for all intents and purposes negated any hope of a peak season, with growth negative in both directions.

Hackett said in a recent interview that the current situation makes it increasingly likely there will not be a true Peak Season in Europe or the United States.

“U.S. Consumer demand still remains weak at a 1 percent growth rate even though the GDP is slightly above 2 percent,” he said. “The inventory-to-sales ratio has also gone up and is close to pre-recession levels that were last seen around 2006,” he explained. “That is a potential warning sign and it also means there is enough inventory in stores which do not require importers to have a big Peak Season.”

And with current inventory levels ostensibly sufficient Hackett added that is hindering any reason to increase levels.

The report stated that total imports to Europe were up 1.8 percent in May, with North Europe up 0.7 percent and down 17.3 percent annually. Total exports dipped 0.9 percent and were down 4.2 percent in North Europe.

For all of 2013, the report is calling for imports to rise 0.1 percent annually to 16.0 million TEU, and imports are projected to increase 1.5 percent to 17.6 million 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
eBook: Why Multi-Tier Supplier Collaboration is More Important Now
Explore the benefits of supplier collaboration including sharing demand forecasts, faster reactions to demand or capacity changes and well-coordinated product launches.
Download Today!
From the September 2017 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
While Amazon’s recent bid to purchase Whole Foods made mainstream headlines, the e-commerce giant will still need to adhere to time-tested realities. Any way you slice it, the integrated U.S. cold chain requires optimized service from existing ports, 3PLs, cold storage warehousing, transportation providers and high-value vendors.
Improving 3PL Management: Glanbia Adds Muscle to Logistics
Why Retail Supply Chain Transformations Fail - and how to get it right
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
EDITORS' PICKS
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...
LM Exclusive: Major Modes Join E-commerce Mix
While last mile carriers receive much of the attention, the traditional modal heavyweights are in...