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Majority expect prolonged downturn for container shipping: reader poll

Container outlook reader poll pie chart
Over 60% of Seatrade Maritime News readers expect the container shipping market to take three or more years to recover from its current downturn.

Our latest reader poll shows the majority expect a prolonged downturn for the sector which has seen rates and profitability plunge back to earth from record levels in 2021 and 2022.

Container shipping analysts have predicted that the market could continue to worsen in 2024 with carriers facing huge losses unless they are better able to manage capacity. Sea Intelligence warns of the sector facing “massive oversupply” until 2028 in even its most optimistic forecast.

The majority of Seatrade Maritime News readers taking part in our monthly poll were also negative on the outlook. Some 61% see the market taking more than three years to recover with 31% expecting recovery to five years or more.

Of the more optimistic 27% expect the container shipping market to take two years to recover, and just 12% believe it will bounce back in one year.

Look out for 2024 Markets Outlook podcast in early January next year where we will be covering the forecast for the container market with Maritime Strategies International (MSI).