Growth in global port throughput has plunged in April 2022 as volume indices show an overall post-Covid decline in demand.
According to the latest figures from the Drewry Global Port Throughput Index, global port throughput increased by 1.7 per cent month-on-month (MoM) to reach 141.1 points in April 2022 – 1.5 per cent below the 143.1 points recorded in April 2021.
Drewry suggests that this is evidence that the demand boom “has run its course”.
The Greater China region has made the largest contribution to MoM global container port throughput growth, however its overall performance was held back by a fall in volumes owing to the imposition of lockdowns.
Excluding China, throughput in Asia was 4.1 per cent lower year-on-year, with ports severely impacted by Chinese lockdowns.
European volumes remained below 2021 levels as the ongoing crisis in Ukraine is driving skyrocketing shipping prices.
Finally, North America recorded a 4.5 per cent increase in port handling, with Oceania representing the only other region with positive outlook.
In its latest Container Forecast, Drewry pointed out that the end of the container market bull run may be close as shipments along most trade routes are down with high inflation preventing a volume bounce-back – but high rates and carriers’ profits will not curb overnight as congestion still lingers at ports.