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The Container Shipping Industry Trends and Market Outlook

Shipping refers to the physical procedure of transporting freights, products goods and loads by sea, and sometimes by land or air. On the other hand, container shipping refers to the sing transportation of good using homogeneous re-sealable conveyance boxes from one place to another, by sea, land or air.

The growth and development of container shipping started as early as mid-1950s, when this mode of transport becomes very common all over the world. By early 1970’s people all over the world had adopted container shipping as the most common mode of carriage for both commercial and industrial merchandises, which included trade goods and heavy machineries, by sea. In all the areas of intercontinental shipping, the growth and development of container shipping is always considered the fastest. In terms of corporate size of containerized trade, it rose from 10% to 15% of the international trade in the duration of 2002-2012.

This massive growth of container shipping compared to other means of transportation can be attributed to its numerous benefits. Some of these benefits include the following: The containers employed in the shipment provide a safe carriage of the freight; as a result of the specific equipment used in handling of cargo the time packing and unpacking is less; and also the charge of conveyance of goods by means of container shipping is relatively cheaper compared to other transport methods.

In figures, by 2008 the overall traffic for container transport was about 132 million teu which raised up to145 million teu in the year 2009. By the 2010, the traffic was about 162million teu and income margins kept on rising annually. Nevertheless, as a result of intercontinental financial crisis, the sector experienced various challenges in 2009 to 2010. Throughout the same duration, oil prices rose to a different highest level causing a surge in operational budget and condensed income margins. In attempt to cut their operational budget, the shipping firms decided to use carriers of more loading volume. This was aimed at increasing fuel efficacy. This strategy bore a positive result which helped the industry to make progress in 2011 and by the end of 2012 industry recorded improved results.

Nevertheless the industry is by now indicating signs of saturation and consequently the charges, demands and revenues are projected to continue in a stable range up to 2016. Surplus of carriers is the key cause of this saturation state. Aimed at improving the market situation, many firms have by now lowered the number of vessels for container transport. Shipping firms have begun exploiting their resources efficiently in order to lessen their operational expenditure and increase their incomes. Therefore, it is correct to say that the general outlook of the market is progressive in the direction of the container shipping industry.