Global Maritime Forecast

After losing billions of dollars over the past six years, container lines are having their best year since 2010 as container volumes and rates surge. The vast majority of the growth is coming from the major east-west trades where volumes increased nearly 6 percent in the first half of the year. Asia-Mediterranean routes are leading the recovery, with volume up just shy of 10 percent year over year in the first half of the year, and Asia-North Europe container volume up 4 percent. “All of the available container traffic datasets for this year point towards a much faster-growing environment than was previously forecast,” shipping analyst Drewry wrote recently. “World port throughput growth was barely a thing in either 2015 or 2016, and if the current rate for the first half 2017 as suggested by our sample ports holds true for the remainder of the year, it will have been the fastest growing year since 2011.” Other trade lanes showing strength in the first half of the year include the intra-Asia and trans-Pacific. In the spring, Drewry predicted the container shipping industry would close the year with an operating profit of around $1.5 billion, but upgraded that forecast in July to $5 billion as pricing and demand spiked through midyear. The second half of the year has been less positive for carriers as spot rates have eroded. The longer-term supply-demand outlook, meanwhile, has grown cloudy with the resumption of mega-ship ordering by Mediterranean Shipping Co. and CMA CGM. As the year wound down, the market was still undergoing a recovery, but not at the rate of early 2017.

This webcast will analyze the state of the global container shipping market as 2017 comes to a close, and look at the outlook for 2018, and a likely new set of industry challenges and opportunities.

Moderator and Presenter:

Mark Szakonyi, Executive Editor, The Journal of Commerce and


Alan Murphy, CEO and Partner SeaIntel Maritime Analysis


Interested in sponsoring this webcast? For more information, please contact Tony Stein at

Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 14:00