Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!


Global Port Tracker report points to worsening European economic climate

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
June 06, 2012

The tenuous economic situation in Europe is having a more significant impact than previous estimates suggested, 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.

While the report did not provide specific TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent) metrics, it did state that total ocean imports to Europe are expected to increase by 2.3 percent in 2012, with a 2.8 percent gain in North Europe and a 1.3 percent gain projected in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region, which the report said is “substantially weaker tan 2011.” From the fourth quarter of 2011 to the first quarter of this year, the report said that import growth was essentially flat but down 2 percent annually compared to same period the prior year, while exports were up 6 percent annually and down 1 percent on a quarterly basis.

On the export side, the report said that it forecasts total exports to increase by 4.7 percent in 2012 and by 6.7 percent in Northern Europe, with a 0.5 percent dip in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region.

Hackett Associates President Ben Hackett told LM that these projections portend a very weak European Peak Season.

“There are already reports out there saying that many ocean carriers are delaying or suspending their Peak Season surcharges,” he said. “That is not a good sign. It means shipments are expected to substantially weaken.”

And in his analysis of the report, Hackett said that the risk to trade due to the economic situation in Europe could be exacerbated by the partial collapse of the Euro that could lead to a recession and potentially take years to get out of unless new economic policies can be introduced that generate trade, which, he said, is hard to do with a high level of sovereign debt and an unstable banking system. He added that with the overcapacity situation regarding vessels still in effect as more vessels come on line, ocean carriers are likely to see operating losses through 2014 at this point.

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. 

About the Author

Jeff Berman headshot
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. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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!

Recent Entries

The dark side of the “Amazon effect” and larger impact made by the explosive growth in e-commerce may soon be seen when organized labor prepares of a massive air cargo strike.

During this webcast our panelist offer logistics and supply chain professionals a “reality check” when it comes to our current state of understanding, adoption, and utilization of the technological tools that are available to improve our operations.

The index ISM uses to measure non-manufacturing growth—known as the NMI—was 55.7 in April (a level of 50 or higher indicates growth), which was up 1.2 percent compared to March, with economic activity in the non-manufacturing sector growing for the 75th consecutive month.

Total gross first quarter revenue for XPO was up 404.4 percent annually to $3.5 billion, with net revenue up 510.5 percent to $1.6 billion. While gross and net revenue were up, the company reported a net loss of $23.2 million, or $0.21 per diluted share and an adjusted net loss attributable to common shareholders of $9.3 million or $0.08 per share.

Regardless of capacity, pricing, or the economy, trucking industry regulations are never far from the freight transportation limelight. That is especially evident when it comes to the federally mandated hours-of-service (HOS) regulations. As usual, the current state of HOS remains somewhat fluid. And the reason for that has to do with legislation coming from the Senate Transportation Appropriations legislation that is currently being considered by the Senate.

Article Topics

News · Ocean · Ocean Cargo · TEU · Global Port Tracker · All topics

Comments

Post a comment
Commenting is not available in this channel entry.


© Copyright 2016 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA