Ocean shipping slot shortages are likely to develop on some high demand loops from Asia in the run-up to Chinese New Year, according to one leading forwarder executive.
Henriette Hallberg Thygesen, CEO of Damco North Asia, said overall cargo moves at the moment are “quite smooth.”
But she added: “With China’s PMI rising above 50 recently, our view is that demand will pick up but we probably will not see a huge rush pre-Chinese New Year.”
“A mixed picture is portrayed by the lines but we do not expect roll overs (in the coming weeks) across all loops. We do expect some space constraint on high demand loops.”
Although lines are maintaining a firm stance on rate increases and peak-season surcharges, she believes the market will find its equilibrium, given that there is still an imbalance between supply and demand. “The effectiveness of ocean GRI/PSS awaits to be seen,” she said. “We know over 5 percent of the fleet is idle. Some lines have recently redeployed idle vessels to Asia-Europe strings.”
“We believe the load factor will probably not rise significantly given the constant replenishment of tonnage and more importantly, the delivery of new-builds, expected to be at approximately 10 percent of global tonnage in 2013.”
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