Sustainable Growth for Liner Shipping

Drewry Shipping Consultants' latest report "Annual Container Market Review and Forecast 2003/04" highlights that despite economic uncertainty, the war in Iraq and the outbreak of the SARS virus, 2003 will be a good year for liner shipping companies as trade volumes, especially to and from China, register strong growth. The report reports how (his year has seen a further recovery in the liner shipping industry as the cargo volume surges experienced in headhaul trades out of Asia in 2002 continued into the first half of 2003.

What is more, these containers are being carried at significantly higher freight rates than last year, with Drewry Shipping Consultants projecting total gross carrier income of a record $106 billion in 2003. up more than 19 percent on last year.

With world container trade expected to grow 11 percent this year and 9 percent in 2004 and the supply of new slots (effective capacity) rising by 10.3 percent and 8.8 percent, respectively, vessel utilization levels are forecast to remain high over the next two years (see Table I). This should enable further rate restoration programs to be implemented, with carriers, potentially at least, entering a period of sustained profitability, new global standards.

Maritime Reporter Magazine, page 11,  Nov 2003 Victoria

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