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EUROMOVERS International

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Continued uncertainty for container shipping market

Mar 16, 2017
Xeneta, the global benchmarking and market intelligence platform for containerized ocean freight, is forecasting further uncertainty for the global container shipping market in 2017.

Although rates have risen significantly from the historic lows of early 2016, giving battered ship owners some reprieve, structural problems continue to undermine stability, while macro-economic and political factors are casting long shadows on the horizon.

“Prices rose from Q3 into Q4 before flattening out a little,” said Xeneta CEO Patrik Berglund, “but the carriers’ position improved significantly from the dire situation they found themselves in early 2016. That said, it had to. With the majority of carriers losing money hand over fist last year, the industry simply wasn’t sustainable.”

As it stands, further uncertainty is provided by an unpredictable economic and geo-political situation, as Berglund explained. “With the inauguration of Donald Trump, the continued fallout from the Brexit vote and a rising tide of more ‘insular’ political thinking, the outlook for global trade is, well, interesting,” he noted. “Carriers will be paying close attention to developments.”

Photo: Patrik Berglund

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