Our annual liner review looks back on a year of dramatic trends in the container shipping sector in both directions. Covid-19 dominated the dynamics, creating major disruption and initially a heavily negative impact on trade flows and markets. But by the end of 2020, the sector was amongst the best performing across shipping, and both the box freight and vessel charter markets were celebrating new highs…

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In a tough year for shipbuilders, orders dropped by a third but a flurry of orders at year end contributed to the most active quarter since early 2018. Global production slipped to its lowest levels in 15 years but, at still over 85% of 2019 levels, yards showed good resilience given Covid-19 challenges and continued consolidation. Reflecting the Green Transition, alternative fuel orders increased to 29% of the orderbook.

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After a uniquely challenging year for the shipping industry, our first Analysis of the year reviews some of the dramatic trends from a Covid-19 dominated 2020. Benefiting from elements of “disruption upside”, our cross-segment ClarkSea Index actually ended the year down only 2% y-o-y, experiencing its second highest year since 2010 (after 2019) despite global seaborne trade falling 3.8% to 11.5bn tonnes.

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At this point in the year, with many seasonal gifts having previously started the journey to their destination via containership, we often take a look at how the box shipping sector has been faring. As we approach the end of 2020, we can report not only on a rollercoaster ride through a tumultuous year, but also on a firm rebound, and an almost “perfect storm” leading to some record market conditions…

For the full version of this article, please go to Shipping Intelligence Network.

In terms of world seaborne trade, 2020 will no doubt be remembered for the “shock” from the Covid-19 pandemic. But that won’t tell the whole story; this year has also been notable for major short-term swings, with volumes in some sectors rebounding firmly despite the disruption and uncertainties. This week we revisit our monthly ‘basket’ trade growth indicator (see SIW 1,433 in July) to track progress.

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With shipping at the start of a unprecedented investment program around fleet renewal and shoreside infrastructure to deal with emissions reduction, SIW 1,450 profiled important progress so far in the uptake of Alternative Fuels, ESTs, “Eco” engines, scrubbers and port facilities. This week we drill down on progress in container shipping, a sector already often subject to a greater degree of consumer scrutiny. 

For the full version of this article, please go to Shipping Intelligence Network.

While Covid-19 has had major impacts across the shipping industry, few sectors have been more sharply affected than the car carrier sector, with trade down more than 60% yoy at the peak of the disruption. While the sector saw some of the more challenging market conditions across the shipping industry earlier this year and uncertainty remains, more recently an encouraging ‘rebound’ has been seen…

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Although the shipping industry is only at the start of a unprecedented investment program around fleet renewal ($1 trillion of newbuild orders this decade?) and shoreside infrastructure to deal with emissions reduction, this week’s Analysis features extracts from our latest Fuelling Transition series profiling important progress so far in uptake of Alternative Fuels, ESTs, “Eco” engines, scrubbers and port facilities.

For the full version of this article, please go to Shipping Intelligence Network.

2020 has seen major disruption to the shipping markets and a “shock” to seaborne trade. Volumes in many sectors are now returning, but on a full year basis global seaborne trade is still set to have fallen (latest estimate: -3.6% in tonnes) . However, one underlying trade trend of recent years has sustained, with the “average haul” of seaborne trade looking set to have increased for the fifth consecutive year.

For the full version of this article, please go to Shipping Intelligence Network.

Every year, readers of Shipping Intelligence Weekly are invited to submit their predictions of the value of the ClarkSea Index at the start of November the following year. Of course none of our entrants could have predicted the major challenges and disruption seen across the shipping industry this year, but it can still be useful to review where sentiment was a year ago and how the markets have evolved since.

For the full version of this article, please go to Shipping Intelligence Network.