Global Port Tracker report calls for minimal growth in 2012

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
February 02, 2012 - LM Editorial

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 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

Having introduced into the California State Senate a new bill designed to give an exemption from sales and use tax for port terminal operators purchasing zero or “near zero-emission” equipment, Lara is trying to advance two agendas.

The notions of “green shoots” or “cautious optimism” in gauging the current state of the economy does not specifically exhibit what is really happening, when assessing how things are actually going, it seems. That was made clear by Bob Costello, chief economist at the American Trucking Associations, at last week’s NASSTRAC (National Shippers Strategic Transportation Council) Shippers Conference and Transportation Expo in Orlando, Fla. last week.

With a 6.8 cent gain to $2.266 per gallon, this week’s average diesel price is at its highest level since the week of December 28, when it was at $2.237 per gallon.

Manufacturing activity in April remained on the right side of growth for the second straight month, following six months of contraction, according to the April edition of the Manufacturing Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM).

Some 22 centuries after the original Silk Road smoothed the path of Chinese silk merchants to Europe, a new effort is beginning to build a new 21st century highway between Europe and the burgeoning economy of China, now the world’s fastest-growing market.

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