Container shipments from Asia to Europe surged 21 percent in May from a year ago, but eastbound traffic declined for the first time in 2010, according to the latest industry figures.
Traffic continued to increase on the trans-Atlantic trade in May but the rate of growth slowed on both legs, the European Liner Affairs Association said.
The total volume of containers across all trades with Europe increased by 16 percent for imports and 7 percent for exports, the Brussels-based ELAA said in its latest monthly report.
Asia-Europe traffic reached 1.127 million 20-foot equivalent units in May, a 1.3-percent increase on April, and 21 percent higher than May 2009.
Shipments from Europe totaled 465,600 TEUs, down 6.3 percent from a year ago and 1.1 percent lower than in April, the ELAA said.
Europe-North America traffic reached 272,400 TEUs, an increase of 15.8 percent on May 2009 but significantly down on the 25.7 percent year-on-year rise recorded in April.
Eastbound shipments from North America to Europe hit 227,200 TEUs, 13.2 percent higher than a year ago, but just short of the 14.8 percent increase in April.
Source: JOC Sailings
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