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

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
October 31, 2012 - LM Editorial

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 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 high-volume warehouse or distribution center that supports B2B, Omni-channel activities, direct-to-consumer shipments, and the Internet of Things all require a flexible and scalable supply chain in order to function at optimal capacity. The problem is that most of today's supply chains are made up of fragmented silos of information that compromise their ability to compete, be responsive to customer demands or seize new business opportunities.

As customers' demands constantly evolve, transportation and logistics (T&L) operations are being put under growing pressure to offer more efficient delivery services, while not compromising on customer service. Using findings from a research survey conducted among transport and logistics managers around the world, this report explores how a combination of mobile technology implementations for mobile workers, and process re-engineering efforts can elevate operations to the next level.

It's a fact - most best-of-breed WMS providers force you to pay every time you require a system change. Uncover five more dirty secrets many warehouse management systems providers don't want you to know. Download the white paper 5 Dirty Secrets of Warehouse Management Systems to discover these hidden truths and gain valuable information on considerations for evaluating WMS vendors.

Not Sure? The Whitepaper "Stay or Switch" Provides the Research Necessary for You to See How Well Your Provider Stacks Up!

Too many companies invest in ERP systems but do not achieve the business benefits they anticipated. Sometimes, the ERP solution never fits the way your people and processes work.

About the Author

Jeff Berman, 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.

Comments

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