Transpacific and Asia-Europe containerised cargo volumes have been projected to burgeon by around seven per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, this year, according to the latest Container Intelligence Monthly, released by Clarkson Research.
The positive forecast, which also projects that shipping demand will outstrip carrying capacity by 2.7 per cent this year, follows the already-favourable growth indicators seen in the first quarter.
Earlier, the World Bank projected that global real gross domestic product (GDP) would grow by 2.7 per cent this year, after contracting by 2.2 per cent in 2009.
Other forecasts by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggested that nominal GDP would grow by as much as 4.5 per cent.
These forecasts seem to be improving almost on a daily basis.
However, there are a number of factors present in the global market that could threaten a true recovery this year, such as the Greek economic crisis, and the fear that Greece’s problems could spill over to other countries.
These developments will no doubt be watched carefully by the shipping industry, which is optimistic of not only a return to growth this year, but a relatively strong return.
Clarkson predicted that worldwide container traffic would rise from last year’s 124 million TEUs to 135 million TEUs this year—representing a year-on-year growth of 8.8 per cent.
Although this growth may seem impressive, it is important to remember that the industry will be looking to not only grow from last year, but also to return to pre-recession volumes.
If the forecast is accurate, container shipping demand in 2010 will come in at just 1.45 per cent under 2008’s 137 million TEUs in global volumes. This essentially means that by 2011 the industry should be back on track after playing catch-up this year.