Alphaliner slashes 2019 box throughput growth estimate

Alphaliner has slashed its global container throughput growth estimate for 2019 from 3.6% to 2.5%.

“Weakening throughput growth in the year’s first quarter, and the expected decline in transpacific volumes as a result of an escalating US – China trade war, have weighed on full-year projections for container volume growth,” Alphaliner stated in its most recent weekly report.

According to a sample of more than 250 ports, compiled by Alphaliner, first quarter volume growth only reached 2.8% globally, dramatically slowing down from 6.6% in the same quarter of last year and from 4.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018. Among the largest ports, Hong Kong was the biggest loser in the first three months with throughput down 9.2% year-on-year, continuing the port’s slide down the global rankings to eighth spot.

The growing trade war between China and the US is already being felt on the transpacific with spot rates to the US West Coast down by 15% in the last fortnight. The Ocean Alliance has already announced two void transpacific sailings next month with Alphaliner predicting other carriers will follow suit making for a muted peak season.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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