The eastbound trans-Pacific volume even grew 3.8 percent from November to December as the early Chinese New Year in January fed shipping demand out of Asia even after the traditional peak shipping season.
Asia-Europe trade also ticked up 3 percent in December, NYK said in an operational report, the first year-over-year improvement since August. But the sputtering Asia-Europe westbound volume also slipped 2.6 percent from November.
With demand in Europe weakened by the eurozone sovereign debt crisis, NYK’s container volume on the Asia-to-Europe lanes was off 15.2 percent in the fiscal third quarter ending Dec. 31 from the previous quarter.
Trans-Pacific demand hasn’t been much better: Container volume from Asia to the U.S. was off 11.5 percent from the fiscal second quarter to the last three months of the year.