North Europe port recovery foreseen in 2014
The most recent edition of the North Europe Global Port Tracker report is projecting a recovery in container cargo volumes next year in North Europe.
The timing may be fortuitous as significant numbers of ultralarge containerships are being delivered.
After two years of negative growth, "2014 will see a resurgence of positive data with imports in the first half of the year projected to be up by 16 percent and all of Europe, including the Mediterranean/Black Sea, up by 9 percent. Northern Europe-laden exports will also rebound from a -5 percent to 11 percent as the Asian and U.S. economies gain strength," according to the report.
Ben Hackett, chief executive officer of Hackett Associates, said, “At times like this, the comparison with the previous year is not much of a guidance, as we need to look for a shift in the shorter-term paradigm. We believe that 2014 is set to be an excellent year for recovery." Hackett Associates publishes the report together with the Institute for Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL).
This year Port Tracker is forecasting imports for all Europe to be 21.8 million TEU, up 4.9 percent, and exports to be 17.6 percent, up 3.5 percent. But those increases are because of strong growth in the Mediterranean, where imports are up 30.8 percent and exports are up 18 percent. In North Europe this year, imports are projected to be down 9.4 percent, and exports look to be down 4.8 percent.
A return of consumer confidence and growth in cargo volumes may turn out to coincide with a wave of super large, efficient ships.
Michael Tasto of ISL said, “The timing might just be right: Whilst the markets are still plagued with overcapacity in 2013, new building prices probably hit rock-bottom early in 2013 and have since started to recover gradually. Also, upon delivery of these units (around late 2015 /early 2016), the market balance could be just about in balance.”
The Global Port Tracker: North Europe Trade Outlook provides a six-month projection plus an additional two-quarter forecast of inbound and outbound container movements in TEUs for the region’s six major container ports — Le Havre, Zeebrugge, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Bremen/Bremerhaven and Hamburg.
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