Global Port Tracker report has optimistic outlook for rest of year and into 2014
By Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
September 06, 2013
The most recent edition of the North Europe Global Port Tracker report produced by maritime consultancy Hackett Associates and the Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics is pointing to a solid end of the year that they say will pave the way for a “sharp rebound” in North Europe next year.
The report cited multiple reasons for this, including fundamental economic indicators that are starting to head in the right direction, coupled with signs that the is emerging from its recession, following six months of contraction. And it added that some form of a Peak Season is expected but it will be relatively modest as it is calling for North Europe imports to be down 8.8 percent annually, while exports are expected to be down 1.8 percent, due largely to a weak first half of 2013.
“We are starting to see more evidence that companies like Germany and France and others are increasing their trade activity on long-haul routes to and from Asia at the expense of their share of inter-European trade,” said Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett. “If activity in China picks up, there will be more exports from Europe as well. Consumer confidence is also improving in Europe as well and should result in solid growth rates the rest of this year and into next year.”
Ports surveyed in North Europe Global Port Tracker report include the six major container reports in North Europe: le Havre, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Bremen/Bremerhaven, and Hamburg.
According to the report, total container volumes across the six port range in June—the most recent month for which data is available— surged 5.4 per cent over May with 3.50 million TEUs, which represents a 3.6 per cent year-on-year increase.
Hackett said that the ocean shipping market, especially in Northern Europe, is likely to see excess capacity over the next four-to-six months, with demand likely to be more in line with capacity growth around next March.
“It is not that excess capacity disappears, instead it is just that it does not get worse,” he noted.