With the holiday season over, import cargo volume at the nation's major retail container ports is expected to slowly decline through the first quarter of the year, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
Despite its history of political unrest and military juntas, the nation of Thailand is emerging as a major Southeast Asian logistics hub that could be worth nearly $100bn in revenue over the next few years, according to a December 2015 study released by worldwide consultants Frost & Sullivan.
European shipping and offshore interests are pursuing business in Iran with news this week that MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company has resumed vessel operations to Iran, after services were suspended in 2012 in response to trade sanctions.
Further widening of the supply-demand imbalance at the trade route level and insufficient measures to reduce ship capacity will lead to an acceleration of freight rate reductions and industry-wide losses in 2016, according to the latest Container Forecaster report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.
Ocean freight rates for cargo moving under contracts on the major East-West trade routes saw another reduction in the last quarter of 2015, according to Drewry's Benchmarking Club, a closed user group of multinational retailers and manufacturers who closely monitor their contract freight rates.
Containership reliability was broadly unchanged in November as the average on-time performance across all trades slipped by just 0.8 percentage points against October to 77.2 percent, according to Carrier Performance Insight, the online schedule reliability tool provided by Drewry Supply Chain Advisors.