While 2020 is on course to be a rare year where global seaborne trade volumes will fall, the average distance of each tonne moved is still set to grow, thanks in large part to the surging volumes of US energy exports, much of which has headed to Asia.
Clarkson Research has run the numbers and now estimates that for the full year there will be a 3.6% contraction in global seaborne trade in terms of tonnes.
However, analysts at the world’s largest shipbroker have added a significant caveat. The estimated average haul or distance transported per tonne of seaborne trade is set to have increased by 0.7% across full year 2020, to close to 5,050 miles. This is the fifth consecutive year of increase in average haul.
“[T]he average haul in key energy commodities has increased, helped by increasing US energy exports over longer distances,” Clarkson Research noted in its most recent weekly report.