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A different recovery for box carriers?


Maritime research
firm Drewry believes recovery in the container shipping industry may be based
around the formation of new “mega alliances” and the continued reduction of
unit costs, rather than the matching of supply and demand at the individual
trade route level.
“A different
recovery is taking shape, which is unlikely to be built on any improvement in
freight rates,” said the company in its report Container Annual Review and
Forecast 2014/15.

Further, full
recovery was unlikely to occur until 2016 or 2017.
“An orderbook
that will see at least 53 and 45 ULCVs delivered in 2015 and 2016 respectively,
coupled with the delivery of 100 ships of between 8,000 TEU and 10,000 TEU from
the yards at the same time as a similar number of ships being cascaded from the
Asia-north Europe trade,” said Drewry.
“This will mean
both reductions in unit costs and the potential for excess capacity on some
Drewry forecasts
that freight rates will decline in 2015 by as much as 3-4% year-on-year, with
focus more on costs than revenue a more fruitful endeavour for carriers and
“Carrier revenue
is increasing again (due to more rapid growth), costs are falling faster than
rates, and some carriers are coming out of the red,” Drewry said.
“Even though unit
revenues are down by an estimated four per cent year-on-year for the first six
months of this year, the positive is that unit costs have been reduced by six
per cent.”
The formation of
the new alliances in the next three-to-six months will hopefully help a number
of carriers reduce their cost base further, but Asia to North Europe spot rates
have fallen 54 per cent since the beginning of August, concluded Drewry.
 Source: Baird Maritime

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