22nd November 2017
A SURVEY by analyst Alphaliner shows global container port volumes grew at 7.7 per cent in the third quarter, higher than expected.
The analyst surveyed 75 per cent of the world's top 200 container ports with the third quarter volume growth of 7.7 pc above that of 5.8 per cent and 7.4 per cent growth in the first and second quarters of the year. As a result, the analyst has increased its forecast for full year container volume growth to 6.4 per cent from 6 per cent previously.
The highest growth was seen in the Latin American region with volumes up 10 per cent as a whole, reports Seatrade Maritime News of Colchester, UK.
"The strong volume recovery in Latin America could lead to a major revamp of Asia-South America services in the coming months. New tonnage is expected to be introduced as carriers vie for market share following Maersk's acquisition of Hamburg Sud," Alphaliner's weekly report said.
Chinese ports, including Hong Kong, also saw good volume growth of 9.3 per cent in the third quarter. Leading the way Ningbo with 13.3 per cent increase to 6.38 million TEU and Guangzhou at 11.9 per cent to 5.2 million TEU in Q3 2017.
Faring rather less well in Southeast Asia was Port Klang with a 15.1 per cent drop in volumes to an estimated 2.81 million TEU in the third quarter. The Malaysian port, ranked 12th largest in the world, has been hit by the restructuring of alliances.
However, while global container volumes showed good growth lines continue to face issues with overcapacity. "Despite the high-volume growth rate recorded in the third quarter, carriers have largely failed to capitalise on the improved demand conditions," Alphaliner commented.
"Total effective capacity growth has outpaced the growth in demand, reaching 8.1 per cent at the end of September this year, due to the combined effects of new ship deliveries and a reduction in the idle fleet."
The growth in capacity has put pressure on container freight rates which fell 4 per cent last week alone.
Total group revenues rose by 8.3 per cent over this period to reach EUR942.8 million, mainly due to solid container throughput growth. Total container volumes grew by 10.8 per cent during the first nine months of the year to stand at 5.45 million TEU, reported American Shipper.