Global Port Tracker report points to worsening European economic climate

By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
June 06, 2012 - LM Editorial

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

Working with research partner, The Economist Intelligence Unit, the IBM Institute for Business Value surveyed 1,023 global procurement executives from 41 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

U.S. Carloads were down 7.8 percent annually at 259,544, and intermodal volume was off 15.7 percent for the week ending February 21 at 213,617 containers and trailers.

The Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Logistics (BTS) reported this week that U.S. trade with its North America Free Trade Agreement partners Canada and Mexico in December 2014 was up 5.4 percent annually at $95.8 billion. This marks the 11th straight month of annual increases, according to BTS officials.

While the volume decline was steep, there was numerous reasons behind it, including terminal congestion, protracted contract negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, and other supply chain-related issues, according to POLA officials.

Truckload rates for the month of January, which measures truckload linehaul rates paid during the month, saw a 7.9 percent annual hike, and intermodal rates dropped 0.3 percent compared to January 2014, which the report pointed out marks the first annual intermodal pricing decline since December 2013.

Article Topics

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

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