Subscribe to our free, weekly email newsletter!

Ocean cargo carriers remain in doldrums

The end of the current container shipping downturn is still not in sight, said analysts at the Paris-based consultancy, Alphaliner
By Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
May 01, 2012

The end of the current container shipping downturn is still not in sight, said analysts at the Paris-based consultancy, Alphaliner.

In its latest report (“The Unbearable Weight of Idling”) analysts noted that even improving market segments have not earned enough to reverse the trend.

Carriers have started to reactivate their idled fleets for the summer peak shipping season, resulting in a sharp fall in the idle containership fleet, down from 913,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in mid-March to 620,000 TEUs at the end of April.

Furthermore, said analysts, new service launches in the next three months are expected to bring the idle fleet below 350,000 TEU by July.

“The reduction of the idle fleet provides some relief for the charter market, which has suffered from depressed rates for most of the last three years,” said Stephen Fletcher, Alphaliner’s commercial director.”However,
the containership fleet will not return to full employment anytime soon, since the structural over-supply situation is expected to push idle figures up again by the end of the year.”

The present downturn is unprecedented in both duration and intensity. According to historical containership idling data compiled by Alphaliner, the containership fleet has enjoyed close to full employment prior to 2009.

The impact of previous downturns has been much milder than the current dip. Their effect was usually felt for less than twelve months, with modest unemployment
levels. The last downturn in 2002 lasted for about ten months while vessel unemployment peaked at only 3.2 percent of the fleet.

About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Executive Editor

Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at .(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 NRF is calling for 2015 holiday sales to see a 3.7 percent annual gain to $630.5 billion, which comfortably outpaces the ten-year average of 2.5 percent.

On the heels of announcing it plans to acquire freight transportation and logistics services provider Con-way Inc. for $3 billion, XPO Logistics may be considering selling off Con-way Truckload, the company’s truckload arm.

The International Air Cargo Association (TIACA) has called on world leaders meeting at the United Nations this week to work together to find solutions to the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe

More than 20 U.S. port authority officials and their key staff, representing seaports from all four U.S. coasts, will gather on October 8 to meet with Congressional leadership to discuss the upcoming surface transportation bill and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ navigation budget.

Companies used to compete on price and service. The future of supply chain, according to Steve Melnyk, is culture. In fact, innovators like Apple, Google, and Unilever are already leading because of their cultures. Your company can too.

Article Topics

News · Ocean Freight · Global · Ocean Cargo · All topics


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

© Copyright 2015 Peerless Media LLC, a division of EH Publishing, Inc • 111 Speen Street, Ste 200, Framingham, MA 01701 USA