Container volume growth continues in May

Date: Monday, July 9, 2018
Source: American Shipper

 Global transport volumes of containerized cargo grew 1.3 percent to 14.47 million TEUs in May compared with the same month a year ago, as strong growth in imports and exports to and from Europe and exports from North America was offset in part by a decline in Asian volumes, according to the latest data from industry analyst Container Trade Statistics (CTS).
   On a sequential basis, total volumes rose 4.3 percent from April, in line with typical seasonal swings.
   Containerized exports from Europe jumped 3.1 percent to 2.5 million TEUs, while import volumes climbed 2.6 percent to 2.8 million TEUs.
   Far East Asia exports, on the other hand, slipped 1 percent year-over-year to 8.4 million TEUs for the month, while import volumes were down 0.2 percent to 5.7 million TEUs.
   In North America, container export volumes ticked up 1 percent to 1.4 million TEUs, and at 2.4 million TEUs imports were relatively unchanged (up just 0.06 percent) compared with April 2017.
   Through the first five months of 2018, total international volumes have grown just under 4 percent to 68.6 million TEUs compared with the same 2017 period, according to CTS.
   The increase in international trade volumes will be welcome news for ocean carriers, which have struggled to increase rates in the early portion of 2018, leading to some disappointing first quarter financial results.
   As of last week, two of the primary indices measuring spot pricing in container shipping were trending lower than at the same time last year.
   Shanghai Shipping Exchange’s Shanghai Containerized Freight Index clocked in 8 percent lower than in the first week of July 2017, while the World Container Index, produced by London-based shipping consultant Drewry, was down 5 percent.

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