DEMAND growth in the container shipping industry will slow in 2011 to
nearly half of last year's double-digit expansion as strong consumer
buying eases in emerging markets, industry experts said. Thursday, 20.Jan.2011, 02:35 (GMT+3)
DEMAND growth in the container shipping industry will slow in 2011 to nearly half of last year's double-digit expansion as strong consumer buying eases in emerging markets, industry experts said.
The box shipping industry has rapidly recovered from the global downturn in 2008-09, which the IMF has named the 'Great Trade Collapse', that cost the sector an estimated US$19.5 billion (S$25 billion) due to a severe slowdown in seaborne trade.
Demand growth in 2010 was boosted by the restocking of inventory levels and the recovery in consumer demand from the low levels of 2009,' said Tan Hua Joo, analyst with leading container shipping consultancy group Alphaliner.
'This will not be repeated in 2011 as demand trends have largely returned to normal levels.' Demand growth for the container industry, a key indicator of world economic activity, was expected to slow to 7.7 per cent from 14 per cent last year, according to Alphaliner.
That was closely in line to IMF forecasts last October for a 7 per cent expansion in global trade, after jumping 11.4 per cent in 2010. Trade contracted by 11 per cent during the downturn two years ago. The slowdown in demand will exacerbate the industry's oversupply problem that has prevented shipping companies, many of which returned to profit last year, from passing on higher freight rates to customers.