Trade wars and the IMO2020 regulations have dominated conversations in the container shipping market throughout 2019.
Whilst the trade war initially boosted port volumes through 2018 as shippers front-loaded cargoes to beat tariff deadlines, inevitably volumes and freight rates slumped in the second half of 2019.
The IMO2020 regulations and the emergence of Coronavirus have further rattled the market in the first months of this year, imposing greater costs and increasing pressure on carriers that are still struggling with distressed balance sheets.
Despite this unfavourable start, 2020 also promises to bring new strategic alliances, the first 24,000 TEU megaships and exciting new emissions technology.
In this review we look at the market trends for 2019 and analyse the outlook heading into 2020.