Household spending in the US and EU is poised to revive flagging demand for container shipping, a senior analyst has predicted.
Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at BIMCO in Denmark, told a conference in Cyprus last week that the sector would bounce back in the second half of the year.
“Increased private consumption in the EU and the US should provide higher demand for containerised goods on the vital high-volumes trade lanes than what we have seen in first half of 2015,” he said.
“This will slow down cascading. Demand on Intra-Asia will stay positive, whereas new demand may arise from Iran, Cuba, Brazil and Africa.”
He also forecast a significant change in the size of ships calling at US East Coast ports, as they stand ready to receive Ultra Large Containerships coming via both the Panama and Suez canals.
“Competitive canal transit pricing is likely to play a central part when networks are optimised next year,” he said.
“In spite of the currently depressed markets, there is amble room for optimism going forward. This goes for the container shipping sector as well as for the dry bulk and tanker industry.”
Sand’s views are in line with recent forecasts from senior management at Maersk Line, the container shipping unit of A.P. Moller-Maersk (APM) group, that rebuilding of retail stocks in the EU and Russia would improve trading on the key Asia-Europe lane, which performed badly in the first half due to weak demand and overcapacity.