Global Port Tracker sees good signs ahead for North Europe in 2014
December 09, 2013 - LM Editorial
The thesis of “better things to come in 2014” in North Europe remained intact, according to the most recent edition of the North Europe Global Port Tracker report produced by maritime consultancy Hackett Associates and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics.
In its previous two reports, the Global Port Tracker cited how the end of this year should be solid and lead to a sharp rebound in North America in 2014, explaining that after two years of negative growth, 2014 could be a turnaround year, due to things like Chinese New Year import growth, export growth spurred on by expansion in the Chinese and Japanese economies, and solid growth in the U.S. that could lead to increased export activity out of Northern Europe.
Ports surveyed in North Europe Global Port Tracker report include the six major container reports in North Europe: le Havre, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Bremen/Bremerhaven, and Hamburg.
For 2013, the report is calling for imports to be down 0.9 percent annually to 15.9 million TEU (Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units), with exports expected to be flat at 17.4 million TEU, with total moves expected to be down 2.1 percent over the next six months compared to a 4.2 percent decline for the same timeframe a year ago. And total incoming loaded containers are expected to fall by 2.7 percent over the next six months compared to 4.8 percent for the same time last year.
In its 2013 international trade forecast, the Global Port Tracker report is calling for a 3 percent increase in imports to Europe at 21.4 million TEU, with North Europe imports expected to be up 1.6 percent to 13.6 million TEU, and the Mediterranean-Black Sea region is expected to be up 5.5 percent to 7.8 million TEU. For exports, the report is calling for all of Europe to be down 2.1 percent at 17.3 million TEU, and North Europe is expected to rise 0.8 percent to 10.9 million TEU, and the Mediterranean-Black Sea region up 4.4 percent to 6.4 million TEU.
Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett recently noted that there could be a “benign circle of growth” over the next two years, while caution needs to be exercised with European confidence still “shaky,” coupled, with purchasing managers behind reluctant to concede the worst part of the economic downturn in Europe is over.
Even with some hesitance in Europe, Hackett said that it looks like a positive change is coming, with the modest expectations reflecting just how dire the European economy has been in recent years.
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