Global Ports Could See Container Volume Down by 6m TEU in 2020 from Coronavirus

From: Eworldship, edited by E-PORTS Category: Industry 10/Feb/2020

Troubled by the closure of factories and other restrictions that affect China's economic output, global ports could see container volume down by 6 million, a decline of about 0.7%, according to analyst Alphaliner.

"The full impact of the Chinese coronavirus outbreak on container volumes will not be fully measurable until ports announce their throughput numbers for the first quarter, but data collected on weekly container vessel calls at key Chinese ports already shows a reduction of over 20 per cent since January 20. Although factories in mainland China are expected to run on February 10, there are still concerns that the travel ban will prevent employees from returning to work and lead to a short supply of workforce," Alphaliner said in its weekly report.

According to dealers, orders of container ships, tankers and dry bulk carriers have declined significantly since the beginning of the year. The market slump is estimated to continue to March, and the railway and truck freight volumes in Europe and the US may also decrease.

Shanghai Port boasts an annual container throughput of 42 million TEUs. However, local dealers said that the container volume has decreased by 23% in the past three weeks. Everyone is afraid of contracting the virus and the shutdown has been prolonged.

As the world’s largest exporter of commodities, China exports clothing, furniture, automobiles and industrial equipment to many European and American countries. Although most shipping companies continued to travel to and from Chinese ports, the world's top ten shipping companies have cancelled over 24 voyages.

Maersk recently announced that its Europe-Asia shipping routes would be reduced by 2 voyages in the next two weeks. At the same time, CMA CGM, Evergreen and other shipping companies have also reduced their voyages to China.

With the shutdown of Chinese factories and decrease in freight volume, the global manufacturing industry has felt the impact. Hyundai Motor recently announced a complete shutdown of its domestic plants troubled by the short supply of Chinese spare parts. Tesla also announced that the delivery date in China may be delayed due to the shutdown of the Shanghai plant.