2013 Annual Review & Outlook - Maritime

With much of Europe mired in recession, the U.S. economy chugging along slowly and Asia growing at its slowest rate in years, it's looking like another year of slow growth for U.S. containerized imports and exports. But even slow growth is better than what the Asia-Europe trade may be facing. And, with an armada of new, big ships scheduled to enter service this year, ocean carriers will be challenged to sustain the level of rates they achieved in 2012, when they managed supply and demand through a combination of slow-steaming, idling of vessels and consolidation. Shipping in other trades looks more optimistic. The near-sourcing trend that has shifted more manufacturing to Mexico and South America, combined with strong automobile production and new trade agreements, is bolstering the U.S.-Latin America market. And in the Far East, the intra-Asia trade again is likely to post the most rapid growth of any trade, driven by the manufacturing prowess of China and Southeast Asia and a growing, consumer-minded middle class.

Index of all Annual Review & Outlook comments, alphabetical by company

CMA CGM Medea in the Port of Le Havre
28 Jan 2013
The Asia-Europe liner trades will dominate container shipping’s strategic planning through 2013 as ocean carriers confron
Victoria harbor in Hong Kong
25 Jan 2013
That Wan Hai Lines attributed its third quarter profit turnaround to its decision to shift resources from the destitute Asia-Europe market to growing intra-Asia trades is testament to the strong fundamentals underpinning Asia’s regional trade.
22 Jan 2013
When the annual round of contract negotiations between trans-Atlantic shippers and ocean carriers starts up later this wi
19 Jan 2013
It probably was true in the cave man era, and it’s true today — when people move into a new home, they furnish it.
18 Jan 2013
As China goes, so goes the U.S. export trade in wastepaper and scrap metal. Unfortunately for shippers of these two key commodities, the news from China wasn’t very good in 2012.


2012’s container shipping rally produced rising freight rates that brought liner operators back to profitability. But with the market at another ebb, liner companies collectively must keep a cool head and resist the temptation to engage in a price war that would jeopardize a sustainable recovery.