The rate of growth in Europe-Asia container traffic is picking up pace, and trans-Atlantic cargoes are growing modestly, according to the latest figures from ocean carriers.
Westbound shipments from Asia to Europe rose nearly 11 percent in January from a year ago to 1.13 million 20-foot equivalent units, according to the European Liner Affairs Association.
January traffic was 2 percent up on December and higher than any month in 2009, the Brussels-based carrier organization said.
That rate of growth was eclipsed by a 35 percent surge in eastbound traffic from Europe to Asia to just short of 419,000 TEUs.
The best performing trade was from the Mediterranean and Black Sea to Asia which recorded a 98 percent increase from January 2009.
The sluggish trans-Atlantic routes also picked up in January with eastbound shipments from North America to Europe rising almost 7 percent to 207,700 TEUs, while westbound traffic grew 4.5 percent to 207,800 TEUs to create an almost perfectly balanced two-way trade.
The Europe-India subcontinent-Middle East trades registered strong year-on-year growth, with eastbound shipments from Europe increasing 20.5 percent to 182,400 TEUs while westbound traffic rose 13 percent to 131,300 TEUs.
But eastbound traffic was down 20 percent from December and westbound shipments were 4 percent lower.
The only trade bucking the trend was the northbound leg from Australasia to Europe which saw January volume shrink 21.4 percent year-on-year to 11,700 TEUs.
Southbound traffic out of Europe rose 12.2 percent to 31,700 TEUs.
Contact Bruce Barnard at firstname.lastname@example.org.