Trans-Atlantic Trade

Trans-Atlantic Trade

Once the United States' dominant international corridor, the centuries-old trade between Europe and North America has stagnated in recent years as recessions struck both continents and as Asia increased its manufacturing prowess. But while analysts would classify the trade as "mature," with little upside or downside, it's also stable, meaning carriers and shippers can plan their strategies without fear of the severe volatility seen in other east-west trades such as the trans-Pacific and Asia-Europe. For many in the trade, anticipation in recent years has centered around preparations for the onslaught of large mega-ships that will begin to pour through the Panama Canal when its decade-long expansion project is complete in 2015. Suddenly, those big ships are arriving early — but from an entirely different direction: through the Suez Canal from Asia. Driving the trend is the introduction of new 10,000-plus-TEU vessels on the Asia-Europe trade, cascading the 8,000-TEU ships that previously plied that trade to the trans-Pacific and, now, through the Suez Canal as carriers seek the economies of scale that they can’t find on the 5,000-TEU ships that are the largest that can transit the Panama Canal.

 

 

 

 

 

Special Coverage

Bremerhaven
The U.S. ocean container trade via European ports, including transshipments, increased 3.8 percent year-over-year to 4.6 million laden 20-foot-equivalent units in the 12 months ending March 2014, according to PIERS, the data division of JOC Group.

News & Analysis

Weekly wrap-up for Aug. 30, 2014
30 Aug 2014
Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union ratified a new collective bargaining agreement with grain handlers in the Pacific Northwest, ending a two-year battle between the two parties.
Clasped hands: EU, Canada
15 Aug 2014
Executives at Canada’s two main east coast container ports of Montreal and Halifax say a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union will boost their volumes.
Port of Hamburg
04 Aug 2014
Consider the trans-Atlantic market an oasis of calm. For a container shipping industry focusing on the opportunities and pitfalls in the much larger Asia-Europe and trans-Pacific trades, or the rapidly growing north-south trade linking Asia to Africa and Latin America, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Containerized U.S. imports rose 6.9 percent year-over-year in June.
28 Jul 2014
U.S. containerized imports in June showed substantial year-over-year growth, as labor negotiations on the West Coast seem to have induced an early ocean container shipping peak season.
09 Jul 2014
Trade between northern Europe and North America fell in May, but carriers are making moves to keep their utilization rates over 90 percent on both eastbound and westbound routes, Drewry says.
Ocean carrier rate revision roundup for July 4
04 Jul 2014
Several container lines have planned general rate increases in multiple trade routes to take effect Aug. 1...

Commentary

As cargo delays at the Port of New York and New Jersey enter their third month, customers are wondering: When will this end? Terminal operators say they expect things to settle down soon after Labor Day. That’s small comfort to port users dreading another month of expensive delays.