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 - LM Editorial

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

image
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

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.

A new study released recently from global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney promises to provide supply chain managers valuable advice on risk mitigation

The most recent edition of the Shippers Conditions Index (SCI) from FTR showed solid gains for the fourth straight month, with market trends remaining favorable for shippers.

Shippers and other ocean cargo carrier stakeholders should be cheering the announcement made today by The U.S. Coast Guard, as it formally notified the International Maritime Organization through a Declaration of Equivalency that the United States position on SOLAS is that there are multiple methods to submit the combined cargo and container weight (Verified Gross Mass or VGM).

Article Topics

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

About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review. Patrick covers 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. Contact Patrick Burnson

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