While the latest container trade data suggests container shipping may have entered a real recovery phase, Drewry Shipping Consultants cautions that comparisons with the depth of the recession in 2009 may be misleading.
"Until we see consistent month-on-month improvements on the main trades into this year's peak season period, we cannot seriously suggest the current global recession is over and that the container sector can heave a sigh of relief," it said in its latest quarterly Drewry Container Forecaster.
Headhaul volumes on the core east-west trade lanes have been improving since late 2009, so Drewry has upgraded its forecast for the headhaul trans-Pacific trade this year from 3.5 percent to 5.4 percent. However, the Container Forecaster authors remain cautious as leading indicators continue to send out mixed signals.
Drewry says it's too soon to pronounce the industry recession over because of the large number of post-Panamax vessels due for delivery this year and most importantly because most of the trans-Pacific rate contracts have still to be signed.
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