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            november 14, 2019

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Port Tracker expects European container shipping growth to slow


Europe's ongoing recession will slow growth in containerised imports and exports throughout the continent's northern ports to about one-third the rate of last year, according to Global Port Tracker.
The report, by Hackett Associates and the Bremen-based Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics, points out that total European imports this year are expected to rise 1.5 per cent while exports would increase three per cent, with both growth rates representing about one-third of last year's increases.
Ports surveyed in the report indicated that volumes at the six largest North Europe ports, including intra-European trade volumes, are forecast to show year-on-year increases of 2.4 per cent for inbound shipments and 5.2 per cent for outbound shipments. Both figures would be down sharply from 2011 growth rates.
For the ports of Le Havre, Antwerp, Zeebrugge, Rotterdam, Bremen-Bremerhaven and Rotterdam, year-on-year gains are forecast in only three of the next six months and three of the next four quarters.
Worst hit will be Rotterdam because of its dependence on Asian trade, the report said. Antwerp's volume is expected to remain relatively stable, with modest growth.
"Trade volumes remain on the decline. North European import growth rates are sliding towards flat to negative territory and exports have been flat for some months. The latest news from the industrial heartland of Germany suggests that we shall see exports declining in the coming six months," said Ben Hackett, founder of Hackett Associates.

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