Global box volume growth slows sharply
Date: Monday, August 12, 2019
Source: Lloyd's List
Latest CTS figures show global volume growth at 1.3% in the first six months of 2019 despite a strong showing on the Asia-Europe trade, as the US-Sino trade spat depresses transpacific traffic
Volume growth on the major container trades slowed markedly in the first half of 2019 when compared with the previous year, with growth in June — often a strong indicator for container shipping’s July to October peak season — of just 0.9%.
The latest figures published by Container Trades Statistics show carried box numbers at 84m teu through the six months ending 30 June representing a 1.3% increase on the corresponding period of 2018. This compares with a 4.5% growth figure at the halfway mark last year.
Last year, the Far East-North America trade saw 6.6% container traffic growth, as healthy US consumer confidence and extraordinary frontloading ahead of proposed tariffs on Chinese imports in the latter stages of the year, boosting container trade – and helped offset weak Asia-Europe demand growth.
But this year, transpacific volumes of slightly over 9m teu for the full six months only just top last year’s total, rising by a marginal 0.2%, while volumes on the Asia-Europe trade jumped 5.2% in the first half of 2019 to 8.3m teu, with June figures up 3.8%, points to a fruitful peak season for Asia-Europe carriers in terms of volumes.