|85% of container activity at Singapore relates to transhipment; 30% at Rotterdam
Global container shipping activity
is back above pre-crisis levels. Meanwhile, because of the high level of China's
exports to the US and Europe, an estimated 21% of containers return empty.
Deutsche Bank Research in
a paper published on Monday, says that global container throughput rose by
at least 11% last year, after declining for the first time ever in 2009 (-9%).
The level of global container throughput was thus higher again than before the
crisis. The reasons for the recovery were the stockbuilding of industrial goods
and the rapid upturn in Asia above all. 2011 will probably see container
throughput increase by 7%.
DBR says about 12% of the fleet was
out of service during the Great Recession compared with 2% at last count. In the
meantime, prices (rates) have recovered, but they are still well below their
pre-crisis record levels.
Although the next few years will see
additional capacity introduced into the market - - and especially in the very
large container ship segment - - demand is likely to grow faster than supply on
average until 2015. Economist, Eric Heymann, says the problem of overcapacity
will therefore be mitigated. In both 2011 and 2012 charter rates could rise
by significant double-digit amounts.
Heymann says rising incomes in
important emerging markets - - above all in China - - may also enable the
sector to mitigate the problem of unequal flows and thus reduce the share of
empty container journeys (2009: 21%); this would result in considerable cost
savings. To date, on routes from China to Europe and the US the share of laden
containers is higher than on the return leg.
The status quo is positive for
freight rates paid by European and American exporters.