Market Recovery Uncertain


Thanksgiving week was the fourth consecutive week of falling spot freight rates for Asia to the US, reported

On the all-water Asia-US East Coast routes, the rate also fell by about 4.2% at $2,513 per FEU and the Shanghai to US West Coast more than doubled those losses with falls of approximately 10% to US$1,528 per 40-foot equivalent unit (FEU).

Zivi Schreiber, CEO of Freightos, says the falls have been expected: Traditionally, ocean freight rates start to dip off the week of thanksgiving. This is why, beginning this week, we should start to see a slight decline in ocean freight rate pricing.”

According to UNCTAD’s Review of Maritime Transport 2016 released at the beginning of November, 2016, shipping is currently seeing the slowest growth since 2009, after the global financial crisis.

Feature: Is Shipping the Next Financial Crisis?

Seaborne shipments did go up last year, however it was by a very small 2.1%, and analysts are uncertain as to whether the growth of the market will improve.

According to the report, South-South trade is gaining momentum, and planned initiatives such as the One Belt, One Road Initiative and the Partnership for Quality Infrastructure, as well as the expanded Panama Canal and Suez Canal, all have the potential to affect seaborne trade, reshape world shipping networks and generate business opportunities.

On the other hand, new technologies create challenges for the maritime industry that have not previously seen, and oversupply and dropping freight rates are still a huge obstacle for economic growth in the industry.

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