Weak Demand Hits World’s Busiest Ports


Weak demand caused by a lack of a peak season in the market has caused the world’s busiest ports to see the slowest rate of growth since the 2009 global recession, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Port of Jakarta and the Port of Hamburg were among the ports to see the biggest drops in traffic, with volumes falling 16.6% and 9.2%, respectively.

Peter Sand, Chief Shipping Analyst at BIMCO, said that the strength of the Chinese Yuan is tied to the dollar, which means that the price of Chinese goods increases if the dollar also rises.

“That was something European consumers did not like. In order to make 2016 a better year, we need European consumers to be more happy, and perhaps to see the yuan depreciated.

“For a sustainable level of freight rates, we could talk about 2 million TEUs being idle. Owners and operators should do whatever they can to not to order new ships, and continue demolition of unused tonnage.”

The volume decline at both ports is a reflection of the current state of world trade. The Baltic Dry Index – an index which is seen as a mirror to the performance of world trade – dropped by more than 790 points in November, 2015, compared the same period in 2014.

Low freight rates and overcapacity are prompting shipping lines to cut capacity on key routes, with Maersk previously announcing plans to consolidate its own fleet.

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