Container imports at ports in North Europe will shrink by 0.6 percent to 16.40 million 20-foot-equivalent units for the full year as a result of the now-official EU recession, but containerized exports are projected to grow by 3.9 percent to 17.54 million TEUs, according to the latest forecast by North Europe Global Port Tracker.
The report, compiled by Hackett Associates and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics, estimates that total European imports will drop by 2 percent to 21.19 million TEUs. Port Tracker forecast imports will drop by 0.4 percent in North Europe and by 4.5 per cent in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region.
It expects total exports to rise 3.3 percent to 16.69 million TEUs, with a 4.5 percent increase anticipated in North Europe and a 1.4 percent increase projected in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region.
“For the first time in 5 years the balance between exports and imports in the North Range ports has been broken, with imports failing to match exports,” Port Tracker said.
Incoming volumes at the six northern ports — Le Havre, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Bremen/Bremerhaven and Hamburg — are forecast to decrease by 0.6 percent in 2012, falling to 16.4 million TEUs, while outgoing volumes are projected to grow by 3.9 percent to 17.54 million TEUs.
Port Tracker anticipates that the total volume for 2012 will be 39.97 million TEUs, which equates to a 0.2 percent gain over 2011. Outgoing loaded containers are forecast to decrease by 4 percent over the coming six-month period, compared with a 0.1 percent gain over the same period of the previous year. Just two of the four upcoming quarters are expected to post growth over the prior period for both incoming and outgoing containers.