World trade by all modes of transportation will grow 8.5 percent in 2010, rebounding strongly from a deep dive during the global economic crisis, according to the latest forecast from IHS Global Insight's World Trade Service. Total world trade is expected to grow 7.8 percent in 2011.
Carriers are beginning to respond to an upturn in cargo volumes by increasing capacity, according to the First Quarter Trends in World Economy and Trade report from the IHS Global Insight World Trade Service.
Trade volumes on the Far East to Europe routes are forecast to rise 8.0 percent in 2010. The export trade from Europe to Asia grew in 2009 and is expected to grow in 2010. Trans-Pacific eastbound trade - from Asia to North America - began to recover in the third quarter 2009, though the downturn in 2009 was 18 percent, and is forecast to grow 10 percent in 2010. Solid growth is forecast for westbound trade after two years of decline. Eastbound trans-Atlantic trade from North America to Europe is forecast to return to 2007 levels by 2013. However, westbound trans-Atlantic traffic will not recover to 2007 levels until 2015.
Major container shipping operators recorded huge losses in 2009. However, in February and March 2010, the number of container ships in layup diminished and stood at 1.2 million TEUs, or 9.1 percent of the container fleet on March 1, the lowest level since July 2009. Additional capacity is expected to be taken back into service in the near future as new services are opened and vessels reduce their cruising speed.
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