2013 Annual Review & Outlook - Maritime

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

14,000-TEU APL Temasek container ship
16 Apr 2013
Singapore-based APL appears poised for a turnaround as it takes delivery of new fuel-efficient ships and reorganizes its global network to take advantage of the vessels’ lower slot costs.
Roller coaster under cloudy skies
20 Mar 2013
The lingering economic recession in Europe will set off a cascading of vessels that will result in another year of volatile freight rates in the U.S. import trade from Asia, according to an international maritime industry analyst.
US Auto Industry in High Gear
15 Feb 2013
Va-roooom! Auto parts shipments been gaining speed for three years since the Great Recession, and they’re poised to accelerate further in 2013.
12 Feb 2013
Last year’s drought in the Midwest, the worst since 1956, slowed U.S. agricultural exports, but the farm sector in 2012 still was on pace to set a second consecutive record in terms of total value of exports.
big rig
30 Jan 2013
A looming driver shortage, rate increases and equipment dislocations are the main challenges that cargo interests will encounter over the next two years as the U.S. economic recovery continues, transportation experts told a Journal of Commerce Webcast Tuesday.

Commentary

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.