European austerity measures in January pulled containerized imports down 5.2 percent year-over-year, the steepest decline since 2009, according to published reports.
European exports rose 11.6 percent year-over-year in the same period, according to Container Trade Statistics (subscription required). Weak demand on the Asia-Europe route, coupled with overcapacity, pushed spot rates down 1.3 percent, according to the World Container Index.
“The austerity programs being implemented by governments are more prevalent in Northern Europe and West Mediterranean, the regions where volumes are down the most,” CTS CEO Rod Riseborough told Bloomberg.
Total container trade shrank 0.74 percent in January compared to the same period a year ago.