In Bimco chief shipping analyst Peter Sand’s latest report on the container shipping market he noted that the demand side continues to improve on a global scale.
“Demand-side growth is outstripping supply-side growth now, which is something that improves the fundamental balance in the market. This difference is 1-2%, not a landslide change from one day to the next, but a most welcome move in the right direction,” Sand said.
On the Asia – Europe trade an improvement has been seen in spot rates with the average for January – August 2014 at $1,281 per teu some 19.5% higher than the same period in 2013. However, on the transpacific Asia – US West Coast trade rates have fallen 14% over the same period.
With the container trade now into its peak season Sand noted it was “off to a good start” on key trades from Asia.
“On 1 August, freight rates went higher, as supply matched the demand situation well. Bimco expects the spot freight rates to resist last year’s constant slide from early August to end-October on Far East to Europe,” he said.
Despite deploying 41 new ultra-large containerships on the tradelane this year and the number of idle vessels at a three-year low, rates are back above the breakeven point.
However, looking at the Asia - US West Coast and US East Coast trades the report noted that they “seem exposed to a gradual deterioration in freight rates as the peak season passes”.
Concluding though Sand said that despite the positives “serious overcapacity remains”.
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