The multipurpose shipping market is not expected to recover until the end of 2017, when it is anticipated that there will be more bulk demand for the Handy vessels and therefore more breakbulk cargoes for multipurpose vessels, according to the latest Multipurpose Shipping Market Review and Forecast 2016 report published by global shipping consultancy Drewry.
Shipping rates for vessels transporting commodities such as coal, iron ore and grains racked up impressive gains in the first quarter of 2016 after hitting record lows, but the rally could flatten out into the second half as the macroeconomic outlook remains uncertain, according to IHS Inc.
Last week, the Rolls-Royce led Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA) project presented its first findings at a conference in Helsinki, expressing high hopes for vessel automation in commercial service -- and predicting that it will arrive soon.
Import cargo volume at the nation's major retail container ports has begun its annual climb toward summer levels but is expected to be largely flat when compared with last year's record high numbers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.
The American Association of Port Authorities suggested that its member ports intend to spend over $150bn in combined infrastructure investments by 2020 - contrasted with a "best-case" government investment in port-related freight infrastructure of only $25bn over the same period.
If Britain votes to leave the European Union, the country's shipping sector faces years of disruption as trade agreements get reworked and currency volatility leads to higher costs at a time when the industry is battling its worst global downturn.
U.S. import volumes, measured in TEUs, have rebounded at West Coast ports so far this year. Imports through the port of Los Angeles increased 36 percent January through February of 2016 and 30 percent through the port of Long Beach, compared with the same time period in 2015, according to findings from Datamyne, which provides web-based international market intelligence.
Tankers are currently the most profitable vessels in shipping with the cost to charter them remaining high by comparison with other ship types. These freight rates are expected to stay steady for the next 18 months despite a delivery boom of new tankers scheduled for late 2016, according to Devlin McStay, data analyst with IHS Maritime & Trade.