Container ball in carrier’s court – Drewry

It’s not all doom and gloom in the container shipping industry, despite continuing uncertainty.

According to a recent report by Drewry, whilst the degree of uncertainty is probably the highest it has been in a decade, the industry remains resilient amidst global economic pressure, looming trade wars and ever-increasing cost.

The shipping consultancy has forecast that every region is expected to see container port handling growth this year, although at a slower pace than previously anticipated.

“Moreover, supply growth is expected to be below that of demand through to 2023, which will assist the industry’s ongoing effort to rebalance an over-supplied market,” said Simon Heaney, senior manager of container research at Drewry.

“What gives us confidence of a better tomorrow, is that despite weaker supply-demand fundamentals, carriers last year managed to secure marginally higher rates, proving themselves capable of exerting a greater degree of pricing discipline.”

Drewry found that most shippers accepted that freight rates would rise going forward especially in light of the current challenges in the industry, but they rightly expect any increase to be justified with a credible and trusted mechanism.

In other words, said Heaney, the ball was very much in the carriers’ court.

·         See next Friday’s edition of FTW for our special feature on containers.

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