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这个冬天有点冷:集装箱运力短期难消化

作者:张运鸿 汪涛 姚婉悦 杨双艳 发布时间:2011-12-09 浏览量:9942
这个冬天有点冷:集装箱运力短期难消化

摘自American Shipper

by Eric Johnson (发表日期:25/10/2011)

翻译:国际海事信息网 张运鸿 汪涛 姚婉悦 杨双艳

 

随着市场需求持续走低,远洋班轮向国际航线注入大量运力的期望落空。

据Seabury集团顾问,海运业资深分析师Mathijs Slangen分析,跨太平洋航线东行以及亚欧航线西行,运价一直起伏不定,新兴的航线也开始出现类似情况。无独有偶,素来运营稳定的亚洲区内航线,运价增长率也低于全球平均水平。

九月末,“美国托运人American Shipper”杂志与Seabury集团联合召开网络会议,会上Slangen就远洋运价走势作出了分析报告,名为“高瞻远瞩:展望国际集装箱运输业”。slangen简明扼要地阐述了影响班轮运输业的重大问题,并强烈指责了目前“大船订购热”现象,指出上一批商船到货之前,集装箱运力就已经满了。

“区域船东逐渐融入全球市场,自然需要一个更加完善的全球网络运输系统,不仅如此,还必须和真正的国际公司同台竞争,”Slangen称,“区域船东一旦预备订购大船,既可以选择购买规模全部相同的船只,也可以选择购买各种规模不同的船只。” 他指的是去年一些中等规模的船公司,为了和航运巨头一较高下,不惜订购大批10000TEU以上的大船。

“未来几年,我们将看到,这些中等规模的船公司中,一部分可能无法在国际舞台发展下去,”Slangen指出,“这些公司应该着重在区域航线寻找机会为航运支线提供大船。航运公司现在太过依赖于打造全球网络运输系统了。”

当前的问题其实并不是市场需求的急剧下降。Seabury集团指出上半年集装箱容量增长率在7.8%,其中8%来自亚欧航线西行环线。

问题是运力增长太快,高于市场真正的需求,从而导致运力过剩,运价下行。这两条东西走向的国际领头航线,运价持续走软,原因却各不相同。亚欧西行航线,过去一年市场需求保持稳定,然而大批大船投入市场却导致了运力过剩。跨太平洋东行航线,运力一直稳定,但2010年中期以来,市场需求却持续呈下降状态。运力供给和市场需求相对的两方面,殊途同归,最终导致运价下跌。

“供需情况正在恶化,”Slangen指出,“大家都看看闲置船舶数量(此处指运价低迷的情况下)。市场自身的力量使船公司开始不断闲置船舶。”

他补充说,由于各家船东不断从亚欧航线调出大型船只,甚至专门为利基市场订制引进容量更大的新船,运价低迷的问题似乎已经波及到其他航线,

“远东至南美东海岸航线,船只规模近来不断增长,运费率也会跟着波动,亚洲/南美西海岸运力供给的增长越来越大于市场本身的需求。”

“目前我们看到不少航运公司把注意力放在新兴市场上。这些新兴市场发展越来越快,但是却跟不上运力的增长速度。一些航运公司认为现在的加勒比海地区大船过剩。”

Seabury集团上半年取得7.8%的集装箱增长率,极大程度上是因为这一年,美国对亚洲出口取得了17%的增长率,不过回程6%的增长率落后于平均数,。如前所述,亚欧领头航线今年运费率情况不济,不过运量增长率仍在8%,说明问题不在需求变少,而在运力过剩。

  Slangen指出亚洲区内航线上半年也呈现疲软态势,集装箱贸易增长率低至6%。亚洲区内航线货运率增长落后全球水平是不合常理的。增长缓慢也许与3月份日本地震海啸有关,东北亚运来的半成品占据了亚洲区内航线的主要市场。他认为日本航线的进出口贸易长期受海啸地震的影响。

“比方说,日本是一个海鲜输入大国,很多欧洲运来加工的海鲜产品都从原先的日本改往亚洲其他地区。日本能否重回加工大国的地位,我也说不准。”

为了更加透彻分析大船对运力增长的影响,先从过去十年间船只规模增长速度开始着手还是很有帮助的。亚欧航线上的船只,平均规模已将近8000TEU容量,而跨太平洋航线为5600TEU左右。

“10年后亚欧航线,(单位船只平均容量)将会翻倍,”Slangen说,“这规模简直太惊人了。尚未形成规模经济的小型运营商,将会退出亚欧航线,转投其他支线。”

Seabury管理咨询公司的资料显示,根据船舶订单分类的话,世界排名靠前的航运公司大致可分为四类。第一类: 这些航运公司在过去五年里,订单量一直稳定地保持在同一个线上。该类成员分别是马士基航运公司、地中海航运公司、德国赫伯罗特航运公司、中国海运集团、东方海外货柜航运公司。但马士基航运公司和地中海航运公司的订单量远超过其他三家航运公司的订单量。第二类分别是:法国达飞轮船有限公司、中远集装箱运输有限公司、韩国韩进海运公司、阳明海运股份有限公司。近年来,这四大航运公司根据市场需求已控制订单量,用减少订单量的办法提高服务质量。第三类分别是日本的三家航运公司,商船三井、日本邮船株式会社、川崎汽船株式会社。他们正积极忙于缩小集装箱舰队的规模。第四类成员是:长荣海运有限公司、美国总统轮船公司、汉堡南美船务公司。他们在过去五年中,订单量都有所增加。这一战略性的划分,使航运业形成了一个多元化的产业链。但运力过剩使得这些航运公司都毫无例外地受到同样的影响。Slangen举了一个很贴切的例子。远东至地中海的航运行业主要由一个承运商说了算。那就是,地中海航运公司。

Slangen同时指出,“其他航运公司不能增加他们的运价。因为地中海航运公司并没有把所有大型船舶都应用于这一行业。那就是说,一家航运公司的决策会影响到整个行业的发展。”他还说,“未来几年中,只有当延迟订单和众多大型轮船交付之后,才能真正看出船舶定货狂潮对整个行业的影响。很多船舶订货单签订的前提是,航运业收益要有九到十个月的增长才会交付船舶。但这一现象持续的话,以后将会产生许多问题的。”

同时,Slangen表示,“虽然最近在亚洲,这一行业有些较好的势头兴起,但2011年最后一个季度的情况和2012年的前景并不那么乐观。其一就是今年的旺季迟迟未到。就算到了旺季,订单也不会像前两年那样应接不暇。”

Slangen 说,“与2010年相比,今年的旺季姗姗来迟主要有两大原因。去年,旺季来的十分的早。那时,市场运力不足。鉴于这种情况,库存管理部门今年很早就开始运载货物。同时,他们也看到了客户们对航运业的信心又回来了。然而,现在,集装箱运输行业的情况与其截然相反。我们在所有服务方面,都做了充分准备。但是,客户对这一行业的信心一直处在较低的水平。库存部门现在真的很怕再储存货物。所以,目前这一形势变得十分复杂严峻。”

Slangen 指明,“欧洲债务危机导致一些国家的航运业受到严重打击。美国消费紧缩,导致奢侈品在中国市场看似保持强劲增长趋势的假象。在亚洲,另一个积极的信号是,在2011年第一季度,印度的外商直接投资有所下降。但,在第二季度有所增加。”

然而,他又补充说,“美国今年七月份的消费需求只相当于2005年一月份的水平。”

Slangen 预测,“未来几年,航运业的发展势头不会如以前一样强劲。我估计2012年对航运业来说应该会步履艰难。”

对全球航运业的分析,Seabury 集团用了40种不同的数据资源,且对2000种托运货物做了追踪调查。但Slangen告诉我们,“对航运业的前景预测,关键是要对采购经理人指数进行透彻分析。”因为采购经理人指数与全球贸易密切相关。

采购经理人指数( PMI)对检测亚洲区内的航运行业非常有帮助。采购部门的大部分订单大都是半成品,并未最终成功交付。美国和欧洲的采购经理人指数(PMI)从八月份开始一直呈下降趋势。

虽然目前的采购经理人指数仍然高于2009年,但制造业处于生产紧缩状态。事实上,在航运业比较发达的几个重要区域,采购经理人指数渐渐低于制造业停止扩大生产规模的指数。

大宗货物正逐步改用集装箱运输。这对航运业来说,是一种积极的发展势态。这一好兆头不仅要归功于集装箱运价低,而且物价上涨也是一个原因。实际上,自2006年以来,物价一直在平稳上涨。直到2008年年底,物价才稍稍有所下跌。

langen 坦言,“假如特定托运货物的物价持续上涨的话,用集装箱托运的话会更有利可图。”

集装箱运输业也应该聊以自慰。因为现有的各种集装箱运价指数都比波罗的海干散货运价指数稳定得多。这也就决定了散货的运价。从2009年开始,波罗的海干散货运价指数就比集装箱运价指数波动的多。所以,要用船运送散装货物的话,还是用集装箱比较合算,风险相对来说比较小。

然而,Slangen 强调,用集装箱运载大宗散货的话,只有当船舶载货返航,商家才有可能得到补贴。但是,光凭这一点并不能说明集装箱运输业在资产负债方面真的有了好转。

Slangen 指出,从Seabury公司的研究数据看出,从2000年到2010年回程运量不平衡对主要的长途运输行业来说影响不大。

他还指出,根据American Shipper今年早期报道,货运代理商在海运市场中占据了较大份额。Slangen说,货运代理商们的议价已经变得强硬起来。在寻求贸易发展方面,货运代理商反应极快。这样看来,他们正加紧脚步增加他们的市场份额。

 

The ocean carrier industry is finding it difficult to deploy a massive influx of capacity into global trades with relatively low levels of demand.
 Rates have faltered on the eastbound transpacific and westbound Asia/Europe trade, and newer trades are showing signs of similar vulnerability. Meanwhile, the usually dependable intra-Asia trade is growing slower than the global average, according to Mathijs Slangen, a senior maritime analyst with consulting firm Seabury Group.
 Slangen presented an analysis of ocean freight trends during an American Shipper-Seabury webinar in late September, “The View from the Bridge: Outlook for the Global Container Shipping Industry.”
 In the webinar, Slangen outlined a host of macro issues affecting the liner industry, but also attached culpability to its current ship-ordering binge — made even before all the vessels from the previous ordering cycle have been delivered.
 “Regional players evolve to global players, and so they want to have a proper global network, which means you need to compete with truly global players,” he said. “Once they start ordering larger vessels, one way to respond is to buy the same size vessels, or they can focus on differentiation.”
 He was referring to a raft of orders in the last year for ships larger than 10,000 TEUs, placed by mid-sized carriers hoping to keep pace with the industry’s biggest lines.
 “What we will see in upcoming years is that some of these carriers shouldn’t probably play at the global level,” Slangen said. “They should focus on regional trades, or feedering these mega-vessels. Shipping lines are hanging on too much to the idea of global networks.”
 The problem at present is not an outright lack of demand growth. Seabury pegged first-half container volume growth at 7.8 percent, including 8 percent on the beleaguered westbound Asia-Europe trade.
 The problem is capacity is growing faster than market demand dictates, resulting in overcapacity and stressed freight rates.
 The two key east-west head-haul trades are both suffering in terms of rate levels, but for different reasons. On the westbound Asia/Europe lane, demand has actually held steady the past 12 months, but a major influx of large vessels has boosted capacity too high. On the eastbound transpacific, capacity has held steady but demand has fallen since mid-2010. These opposite developments have, however, had the same effect on rates.
 “The supply/demand situation is deteriorating,” Slangen said. “Look at the number of layups (relative to poor rate levels). The market has to perform pretty drastically to get carriers to lay up vessels.”
 He added the problem seems to be spreading to other trades as carriers try to cascade ships from Asia-Europe, or even introduce larger new vessels designed specifically for these niche trades.
 “On the Far East/east coast South America trade, there’s been a huge recent increase in vessel size, and we’re seeing impacts on freight rates,” he said. “Asia/east coast South America deployment is growing faster than demand.
 “We see a lot of shipping lines focusing on emerging markets. These markets are growing fast, but not as fast as we’re seeing the deployment into this market. Several lines are calling the Caribbean with ships that are way too large.”
 Seabury’s 7.8 percent first-half container trade growth figure is due mostly to robust volume early in the year. U.S. exports to Asia handily beat the overall growth number, with 17 percent growth, but head-haul trade from Asia is lagging behind the global average at 6 percent.
 As mentioned, Asia/Europe head-haul trade, where rates have disintegrated this year, was at 8 percent, showing demand is not the problem, but rather too much capacity.

  Slangen noted that intra-Asia trade was also sluggish in the first half, at 6 percent growth. It’s atypical for intra-Asia growth to lag behind overall global growth. The slow growth may be tied in part to the disasters in Japan in March, with semi-manufactured goods from northeast Asia driving a significant percentage of intra-Asia volume.
 He said the disasters may permanently affect trade flows into and out of Japan.
 “For instance, Japan is a big importer of seafood, and a lot of the processing of seafood from Europe to Japan that used to take place in Japan has shifted to other parts of Asia,” he said. “I’m not sure this will go back to Japan.”
 To gain a perspective on how larger ships are affecting capacity growth, it’s instructive to look at how fast ship sizes have grown in the past decade. The average vessel serving the Asia/Europe trade has reached nearly 8,000 TEUs of capacity, while it’s around 5,600 TEUs on the transpacific.
 “There’s been a doubling of (average capacity per vessel) in Asia-Europe in 10 years,” Slangen said. “That’s massive. Smaller operators without economy of scale will withdraw from the trade and focus on other trades.”
 According to Seabury, the top lines can be loosely grouped into four categories when it comes to ship ordering.
 In the first group are lines who have kept their order books at consistent levels the last five years. In that group are Maersk Line, Mediterranean Shipping Co., Hapag-Lloyd, China Shipping, and OOCL (though Maersk’s and MSC’s ordered capacity levels are much higher than the other three).
 In the second group are four lines (CMA CGM, COSCO Container Lines, Hanjin Shipping, and Yang Ming) which have adjusted their order book downward in recent years to align with market
demand.
 A third group, composed of the three Japanese lines (MOL, NYK Line and “K” Line), is actively reducing its containership fleet size. And the fourth group (Evergreen, APL, and Hamburg Süd) has increased its order book the past five years.
 These strategic divides paint a picture of a diversified industry. But overcapacity is affecting all lines in a more even way. As an example, Slangen said the Far East-to-Mediterranean trade is dictated largely by one carrier, MSC.
 “Other shipping lines cannot increase their rates because MSC is not sailing full on that trade with their big ships,” he said. “That means that one line affects the whole industry.
 “The effects (of the ship-ordering binge) will only really be seen in a couple years when delayed vessels and a record number of mega-vessels are delivered. A lot of vessel orders were placed based on nine or 10 months of growth. That will cause problems in the future.”

 

 Meanwhile, Slangen said the outlook for the remainder of 2011 and 2012 is not so rosy, despite some recent positive signals in Asia. For one, peak season was delayed this year, and won’t be as intense as the last two years.

 

 “Peak season has been delayed (relative to 2010) for two reasons,” Slangen said. “Last year, the peak was quite early. There wasn’t enough capacity in the market, and inventory managers saw this happening, so they started shipping their cargo quite early in the year. They also saw consumer confidence was back on track again. Now we have the completely opposite situation. There’s plenty of space on all services. But consumer confidence is at a low level now. Inventory managers now are really scared to restock again. So it’s very complex in that sense.”
 Slangen said the debt crisis in Europe — with several countries “not in a very positive picture at the moment” — and stagnant consumer spending in the United States belies a strong increase of luxury goods into China. Another positive signal in Asia is that while foreign direct investment into India slowed in the first quarter of 2011, it has increased in the second quarter.
 But he added U.S. consumer demand in July was at about January 2005 levels.
 “The growth in upcoming years won’t be as high as seen before,” he said. “I anticipate 2012 to be a very tough year.”
 Seabury uses 40 different sources of data and tracks 2,000 cargo commodities for its analysis, but Slangen said a key resource to monitor are purchasing managers indexes (PMIs), which he said have a “high correlation with global trade.”


 The PMIs are particularly useful in monitoring intra-Asia trade, where the bulk of the volume is tied up in semi-manufactured goods. PMIs for the United States and Europe were trending downward through August.
 Though the PMIs are still way above the levels seen in 2009, they are approaching the point at which manufacturing is considered to be contracting. In fact, PMIs for nearly every important region are trending below the point at which manufacturing will stop expanding.
 One positive development for the liner shipping industry is that bulk commodities are shifting to container transport. It’s occurring not only because of low container rates, but also because of increased commodity prices. Indeed, commodity prices have increased almost uniformly since 2006, save for a dip in late 2008.


 “If the commodity price of a specific cargo is increasing, then it becomes more attractive to ship it by container,” Slangen said.
 The container industry should also take heart from the fact that various container rate indexes now available are much more stable than the Baltic Dry Index, which measures bulk cargo rates. The BDI has been much more volatile than container rate indexes since 2009, suggesting the container industry is a relatively less
risky market in which to ship bulk
goods.
 However, Slangen noted moving bulk volumes to containers “can only be subsidized if they are on a backhaul. There’s not really a change in container balance due to this though.”
 Slangen pointed to Seabury’s research showing backhaul imbalances have changed little on the major long-haul trades from 2000 to 2010.
 He also noted, as American Shipper reported earlier this year, that freight forwarders are capturing a larger share of the ocean freight market.
 “There has been a strong increase in bargaining power of freight forwarders,” Slangen said. “Freight forwarders tend to respond in a faster way to trade developments, and in this case they are increasing their market share quite heavily.”         
 To listen to the American Shipper/Seabury webinar, access on line at www.AmericanShipper.com/SeaburyWebinar.

来源:American Shipper

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