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集装箱运输市场季度预测报告Quarterly Forecasts of the Container Market

作者:   发布时间:2007-04-05    浏览量:3900   字体大小:  A+   A- 











         07年第1季度报告提炼Report highlights

     The Far East to northern Europe and Mediterranean trades remained the major success of 2006 with westbound volumes remaining at high double-digit figures until early December. Transpacific and transatlantic volume growth slowed in the final quarter and will cause some concern for ocean carriers this year.

     Global container port handling reached 115.7 million teu during 4Q06, and an estimated 441.8 million teu for the full year. World container traffic of 129.8 million teu was 10.8% up on 2005. As well as China, ports in eastern Europe and the Mid-East showed healthy annual growth.

     Global cellular fleet capacity grew by 4.4% in the final quarter to 9.44 million teu, with an increase in the full year of 16.3%. Due to a very quiet period for newbuild ordering activity at the end of the year, the capacity of vessels on order declined to 47.7% of the existing fleet total.

     A total of 16 x 8,000 teu+ vessels were deployed in the east/west trades in the final quarter of 2006. With another 43 of this size due for delivery in 2007, ocean carriers need to be careful in order to avoid potential overcapacity in some sectors.

     Drewry’s global supply/demand Index figure of 102.7 for 2006 indicated a certain robustness in the market given the poorish performance of some east/west trades and injection of additional fleet capacity. This year’s forecast Index figure of 102.2 reveals that the market will weaken slightly, but the gap between effective supply and demand will be not as large as the nominal numbers suggest.

     Average vessel sizes increased in all of the major north/south trade lanes, partly as a result of rising cargo

     flows, but also due to vessel cascading. With southbound cargo volumes from the Far East particularly strong, this is the good news, but container imbalances in the South America and African trades will continue to grow and will become an increased burden to ocean carriers. Overcapacity may become an issue for some trades if tonnage injection is kept unchecked.

     Maersk Line has taken a strong stance in the market place through a series of independent rate restoration initiatives in many trade lanes. Its suspension of several transpacific strings and removal of a number of US inland delivery points from its intermodal service portfolio points to the fact that profitability, rather than fleet expansion is now of primary concern for ocean carriers.

     Major ocean carriers who have thus far reported financial results for 2006, all show a decline in profit, despite

     moving substantially more containers. Average industry-wide revenue per teu decreased by 7% in 2006, to US$1,459. But Drewry believes that the worst of the ocean freight rate declines are behind the industry and is forecasting a marginal 1.2% improvement in average east/west rates for 2007, fuelled by the headhaul Far East/north Europe trade.

     Successful transpacific rate negotiations for the 2007/08 contract period will be the key for all major ocean carriers this year and if decent progress is made, this momentum could be carried forward into other trades and build on last year’s success in the headhaul Far East/north Europe trade. Carriers will be striving to change shipper/importer expectations and set rates by reference to actual cost increases and not perceived vessel utilisation levels.